See A Dermatologist To Get Help With Ringworm

There are a lot of skin conditions that your child can come home with. One of them is ringworm.  

What Is Ringworm?

Its name notwithstanding, ringworm isn't actually a worm. It's a fungus. It grows in the shape of a circle, which is where it gets part of its name from. The outer edges can be raised, which is why people thought that it was caused by a worm instead of a fungus. Generally, the skin has a red, crusty rash around the affected area, while the center is clear. It can also be very itchy and painful. The area could also have blisters as well. Depending on where the site is, it can also cause hair loss. 

How Is Ringworm Treated?

Since it's a fungus, ringworm is treated with anti-fungal agents. You can buy over-the-counter anti-fungal ointments and creams which can be applied directly to the affected area. They are the same OTC treatments that are used for athlete's foot or a yeast infection. However, unless you are sure that it is ringworm because your child has had it before, you shouldn't treat it by yourself. You should go see a doctor before you do anything with it, especially if it's a severe case. What you should do is go see a dermatologist. They will be able to diagnose and give you better treatments than what you could find at a store.  

There are a couple of ways that the dermatologist will make sure that it is ringworm that your child has. One way is that they can shine a black light on the area. That's because ringworm will shine under a UV light. Another way for them to diagnose ringworm is that they will scrape off a little of the skin around the area and put it in liquid potassium hydroxide. The KOH destroys the normal skin cells, leaving the fungus, which the doctor can see under a microscope. After they have a definitive diagnosis, the dermatologist can give you some stronger medication for your child. They may give you both an oral and topical medication. The oral medication will take a little longer to work, but it can help fight the fungus while the topical medication will attack it at the site.    

If your child does end up with a bright red, scaly rash in the shape of a ring, it is probably ringworm and something that many children get. You can treat it yourself, but it is best to see a dermatologist (such as one from Dermatology Surgery Center) to be sure it is ringworm.