Anyone can be susceptible to ringworm; this fungal infection can occur at all ages and is especially common in school aged children. Signs of symptoms of ringworm in toddlers include red patches or raised oval rings that are itchy, and surround a smooth center. The infection is not caused by a worm but is a contagious fungal skin infection. In this article, we will discuss the best antifungal cream for toddlers along with everything else you need to know about treating ringworm in babies and toddlers.
Ringworm pictures toddlers and babies
Causes of ringworm in children- How long is it contagious?
Ringworm infection spreads via skin to skin contact. Therefore, you must treat the infected child with antifungal cream and also wash all clothing in hot water. This will help eliminate the fungal spores that cause ringworm or tinea infections. Children can pick up ringworm from infected adults or kids at school.
- A healthy child can acquire ringworm of the scalp by picking up a hat of an infected individual.
- At school, close contact with infected kids can transmit the fungal spores and spread the disease.
- Using infected hair brushes and towels can also pass on the disease from infected family members to healthy ones.
- Pets transmit ringworm to kids too. A significant number of ringworm infections in babies and toddlers come from pets. So if you have an infected pet, do get it treated immediately. You may even want to isolate it for a while until the infection is cleared. Do check out the ringworm remedies I have discussed for cats and dogs. Use these to get rid of ringworm in your pet. If however, you do not see results, seek help of a vet.
Ringworm can remain contagious for up to a week after starting the best ringworm treatment.
Spotted scaly scalp with hair loss
Babies often come home from daycare displaying the aptly named black dot sign on their scalps. This is typical of tinea capititis or ringworm of the scalp. They are often mistaken by parents to be lice. However, these dots are nothing but stubs of broken hair as ringworm of the scalp causes hair loss. The fungus weakens the hair shaft and hair structure causing the hair to break. The top of the toddler’s scalp might acquire a ‘salt and pepper’ appearance. In children with dark skin, this may be difficult to be seen.
Ringworm in toddlers: the good and bad
Good news is that ringworm in toddlers is treatable and is not as widespread today as it once was. The bad news is that it is highly contagious and that makes it difficult to treat. Children come in close contact with each other in schools and daycares. They also share toys, blankets, hats, combs etc with each other. This causes the spores to spread easily. Also, once ringworm sets in, it kind of stays in the system and continues to make an appearance every once in a while. Poor immunity, unhygienic environment, sugar-rich diets all tend to aggravate the situation.
What to do to treat ringworm in babies effectively?
First of all, educate yourself as to ‘what does ringworm look like on a child?’ We have included ringworm pictures toddlers and babies above for you to get an idea. Next, you must speak to your doctor about the right ringworm toddler leg, scalp, and body treatment options.
In most cases, topical antifungal cream works well. Apply the antifungal cream for toddlers 2-3 times a day on the rashes and lesions. In severe cases though, you may have to administer prescription antifungal pills to treat the infection from inside.
Best treatment for toddler ringworm
Lamisil AT 1% gel is the best anti-fungal cream for toddlers as it clears up ringworm quickly. Continue using this cream for 2-3 weeks. Also shampoo your child’s hair using ketoconazole shampoos. Wash (or discard) all clothing and infected items like caps, scarves, hats, gloves jackets and toys in hot water and mild bleach. If you prefer something gentler, there are a few natural remedies for ringworm in babies and toddlers:
Tea tree oil
This wonderful essential oil cures many skin issues and toddler ringworm is one of them. Dab a couple of times on the ringworm lesions. If the oil burns or stings, dilute it using a carrier oil. Use this natural treatment 2-3 times a day.
Apple cider vinegar
No tests have been conducted on apple cider vinegar for ringworm in babies but many parents swear by it. Soak a piece of towel in diluted apple cider vinegar and apply it to baby’s infected skin for 5 minutes at a time. A mixture of salt and vinegar can also be applied to the lesions and covered up with gauze. Leave this on overnight or until the lesions disappear.
Crush a few cloves and mix with olive oil. Apply the mixture on ringworm lesions and cover up with a bandage. Garlic can sting a bit, so it is best avoided in your child has sensitive skin.
Equip your child for the fight
In addition to using above natural and over-the-counter ringworm treatment for babies, you must also equip your child’s immune system to ward off fungal infections. Feed your child immune boosting foods, vegetables, fruits, onions and garlic which are anti-fungal in nature. Orange veggies which contain plenty of vitamin A are also beneficial- squash, carrots, sweet potatoes etc. These improve skin renewal. Also keep zinc levels high by feeding them with seafood, oysters, whole grains, nuts and seeds.