Ringworm of the body

Ringworm is caused by a fungal infection of the skin, often transferred from puppies or kittens that have it.

Characteristics include:

  • Ring-shaped pink patch with a scaly, raised border
  • Ring slowly increases in size
  • Clearing of the center as the patch grows
  • Usually 1⁄2 to 1 inch in size, and mildly itchy

Home Treatment 

Antifungal Cream.  Buy Tinactin, Micatin, Lamisil or Lotrimin cream at your drug store.  You won’t need a prescription.  Apply the cream twice daily to the rash and 1 inch beyond its borders.  Continue this treatment for 1 week after the patch is smooth and seems to be gone.  Successful treatment often takes 3 to 4 weeks.  Encourage your child to avoid scratching the area.

Contagiousness.  Ringworm of the skin is mildly contagious through direct skin to skin contact.  The type acquired from pets is not transmitted to humans from humans, only to humans from animals.  After 48 hours of treatment, it is not contagious at all.  Your child doesn’t have to miss any school or day care.

Treatment of Pets.  Kittens and puppies with ringworm usually do not itch and may not have a rash at all.  If ringworm patches are seen, or if ringworm recurs in your child, contact your veterinarian.  Also have your child avoid close contact with the animal until he or she is treated.  Natural immunity will develop in animals after 4 months.

Call our office during regular hours if . . . 

  • The ringworm continues to spread after 1 week of treatment.
  • The rash has not cleared up in 4 weeks.
  • You have other concerns or questions.