Motherhood

What Causes Ringworm in Babies?

Team Peanut
Team Peanut4 months ago5 min read

Ringworm in babies can be uncomfortable but is usually not dangerous. Read on to find out what to look out for and how to treat it.

Ringworm in Babies

The idea of your baby getting ringworm may sound scary.











But don’t worry — in most cases, it’s quite harmless and completely treatable.

And if the name makes you squirm, you’ll be pleased to know that it has absolutely nothing to do with worms! Phew.

We’ll take you through what causes ringworm in babies, what symptoms to look out for, and how to treat it if it happens.

In this article: 📝

  • How does a baby get ringworm?
  • Ringworm symptoms in babies
  • How to treat ringworm in babies
  • Is it common for babies to get ringworm?
  • Is ringworm harmful to babies?

How does a baby get ringworm?

Also known as tinea, ringworm is a fungal skin infection. You can identify it by the red rash in the shape of a ring.

It is contagious, and it can be spread by contact with:

  • A pet infected with ringworm
  • Another person infected with ringworm
  • Any items that an infected person has used, such as bedding, clothes, combs, or towels
  • Items or surfaces in a public area. The locker rooms for public pools and sports facilities are particular culprits.

Ringworm symptoms in babies

If your child has ringworm, the symptoms will appear between four and 14 days after the infection.

The two most common places for babies to get ringworm are on their scalp and body.

And the symptoms are slightly different, depending on where it appears:

On the body

On the body, ringworm appears as scaly patches in the shape of a red ring with roughly half an inch diameter.

These can occur anywhere on the skin.

The ring-shaped rash can also be identified as ringworm because it has a smooth, unaffected patch of skin in the center.

The most uncomfortable part for your little one is that it can be really itchy.

And because there are so many reasons rashes can develop, it’s sometimes hard to know if it’s ringworm or something else.

That’s why it’s best to get to your healthcare provider for a diagnosis as soon as possible.

On the scalp

On the scalp, the rash typically has a less distinctive ring shape.

It usually looks like scaly patches of skin or small bald patches on the scalp.

There might also be areas of inflammation, which are swollen, covered in small bumps, and feel moist.

Scalp ringworm has the potential to develop into a more serious infection called kerion.

This is a pus-filled sore that can happen because of an allergy to the function or an immune response.

It can be hard to tell the difference between scalp ringworm and cradle cap.

So, if you’ve spotted some symptoms that are difficult to identify, book an appointment with your doctor.

How to treat ringworm in babies

Don’t worry! It’s totally treatable.

It’s a good idea to see a doctor as soon as you notice signs of ringworm so that you can get rid of that nasty infection as quickly as possible.

The type of treatment needed will depend on the type of ringworm your baby has.

How to treat ringworm in babies on their scalp

Ringworm on the scalp, the most common treatment is an antifungal shampoo, alongside oral antifungal medicine.

This is because scalp ringworm is particularly stubborn, and you’ll need both treatment types to get rid of it.

The oral medication is usually taken for about four to eight weeks but may be needed for longer.

How to treat ringworm in babies on their body

Ringworm on the body, the most common treatment is an antifungal cream.

This will need to be applied directly to the affected area, twice a day for around four to five weeks.

If this does not work, your doctor might follow this up with a stronger cream or oral medication.

To avoid the risk of secondary infection, it’s a good idea to keep your baby’s nails short and buy gloves for them to wear.

That’s because scratching can aggravate the situation.

And if you’re using creams or shampoo, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after every application.

Is it common for babies to get ringworm?

Ringworm on the scalp is more common in younger children between two and ten and rarely affects adults.

Body ringworm affects people of all ages.

Ringworm is caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes — the same type that causes athlete’s foot (infecting the skin around the foot) and jock itch (infecting the skin around the groin).

Luckily, both of these are not common in babies.

Is ringworm harmful to babies?

There’s good news here — ringworm usually doesn’t do any long-term damage.

It may be a bit itchy and so quite frustrating for your baby.

But once they get the right treatment, these uncomfortable symptoms should disappear.

We know — having a sick baby is super stressful.

Join us on Peanut. You don’t have to go through this alone. ❤️

👶 More from The 411:
Newborn Skin Peeling: What to Know
Newborn Chapped Lips: Why It Happens and What to Do
Should You Be Worried About Baby Rash?
Should You Worry About a Newborn Rash?
Newborn Temperature Guide
What to Do About Baby Fever
Smallpox vs. Chickenpox: What’s the Difference?
Baby Red Cheeks: What to Know
What to Know About Hives on Your Baby

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