Monday, November 23, 2009

FYI : Ringworm

My children's school has several confirmed cases of ringworm. Thought I'd share with you what I've learned.
Counterintuitively, Ringworm is not an actual worm infection like pinworms. Ringworm is actually the name of a highly contagious fungal infection.

It is spread by contact with an infected person or something they touched. It is a red, itchy rash that usually manifests in a circular shape, with normal-colored skin in the middle. It often becomes crusty.

It is related to athlete's foot and jock itch and is treated with the same type of over-the-counter creams such as Lotramin or Tinactin. To treat, twice a day wash the area with soap and water, pat dry, apply the cream, and cover with a bandage (to avoid spreading the infection to others). This must be done for 3-4 weeks while the infection heals. Keep the as area clean and dry as possible.

Damaged skin that becomes cracked and irritated can also develop a secondary bacterial infection, which will need to be treated.

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