Ringworm is often a misdiagnosis for other conditions, especially numular eczema and pityriasis rosea.
Remember that athlete’s foot is unusual in preteen children. These children often have Juvenile Plantar Dermatosis or a contact dermatitis when they have an itchy red rash on their feet. Ringworm is only mildly contagious, so children undergoing treatment may continue to attend school or daycare. In addition to infected people, you can get ringworm from infected cats and dogs, so examine your pets if someone in your family develops ringworm.
Ringworm can be treated with fungus-killing medicine. The medicine can be in taken in tablet or liquid form by mouth or as a cream applied directly to the affected area.
The treatment for ringworm is one of the many effective topical antifungal creams, such as miconazole (Tinactin) or clotrimazole (Lotrimin). Several of these antifungal creams are now available without a prescription. Treatment may require several weeks. Only by treating for at least one week after the resolution of symptoms can one guarantee eradication. As soon as treatment has begun it’s fine for her to play with others, but it’s best not to share clothing or to let other children rub the patch of ringworm.
Ringworm is difficult to prevent. The fungus is very common, and it is contagious even before symptoms appear.
Steps to prevent infection include the following:
Educate the public, especially parents, about the risk of Ringworm from infected persons and pets.
Keep common-use areas clean, especially in schools, day-care centers, gyms, and locker rooms. Disinfect sleeping mats and gym mats after each use.
Do not share clothing, towels, hair brushes, or other personal items.
Infected persons should follow these steps to keep the infection from spreading:
Complete treatment as instructed, even after symptoms disappear.
Do not share towels, hats, clothing, or other personal items with others.
Minimize close contact with others until treated.
Make sure the person or animal that was the source of infection gets treated.