Every parent wants her/his baby to have beautiful skin. However, babies could suffer from many skin problems and one of the main ones is ringworm in babies. The first step towards healthy baby skin is to identify the outbreak and learn the difference between allergies, fungal infections and bacterial skin rashes. So, does your baby have ringworm? Let us discuss this further….
Is it baby ringworm or eczema?
Baby ringworm (like adult ringworm) is caused by fungi. Fungi love dark, warm and moist places. So you might see ringworm rashes in moist places on your baby’s skin such as the sweaty areas between toes, in the groin and armpits as well as the folds of the skin of the torso, elbows etc. Ringworm may even be present in the baby’s scalp.
Eczema rashes are similar to ringworm lesions and are round, reddish brown, scaly and itchy. In both cases, the child might try to scratch the skin causing angry red marks which might bleed or develop secondary infections.
Diagnosing Baby ringworm
The best way to diagnose baby ringworm or eczema is to use a Wood’s lamp which consists of a dark bulb having UV light. When held 4-5 inches from the skin lesions, the light throw back a greenish color on the skin, if it is ringworm. If the light thrown back is not green, then your baby does not have ringworm. Additionally, your child’s doctor can also take skin scrapings from the lesions to observe them under the microscope. This is the recommended approach to determine if your baby has ringworm.
Ringworm of the scalp in babies
This is a serious skin condition which must not be ignored. Tinea favosa or ringworm of the scalp forms a yellow, honeycomb shaped crust on the scalp. These, if left untreated, could develop deeper abscesses called kerions. These are very painful and itchy and could even cause permanent hair loss.
How to treat ringworm in babies?
Coconut oil ringworm treatment
One of the best natural ringworm treatment options for babies is coconut oil. Apply coconut oil all over the lesions. You can use a small cotton wool to dab the skin with the oil. Do this three times a day. Coconut oil is anti fungal and prevents the rashes from spreading. It is safe and gentle for baby’s delicate skin.
For baby’s scalp ringworm, apply coconut oil using a spray bottle. It is very important to get the oil to the roots of the hair. Remember: the fungal spores causing the infection might have spread everywhere so get the oil working all through the strands. Use the remedy three times a day. You can use a gentle baby shampoo the next morning to wash off the scalp. Repeat the oil treatment 2-3 times a week until the infection clears.
Neem is the go-to herbal treatment for all kinds of skin infections. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It can quickly soothe redness and itchiness caused by ringworm and is safe and gentle for use on baby’s delicate skin. Neem powder and neem oil is readily available in the market. Use the oil on the ringworm lesions by diluting it with carrier oil like Jojoba oil etc.
This essential oil is not only soothing; it is also antifungal and antibacterial. It is also a calming remedy that can heal and soothe irritated and inflamed skin. Apply lavender oil on the skin by diluting it with some carrier oil like Jojoba or sweet almond oil.You can also add a few drops of it to the baby’s shampoo to cleanse hair and scalp.
Tea tree oil
One of the best natural remedies for fungal skin infections is tea tree oil. It has high amounts of terpenin -4-ol which makes it useful in all kinds of skin and hair preparations. Never use undiluted tea tree oil on infant’s skin as it could cause rashes and burns. Also, never even ingest the oil. Always dilute the oil in olive or coconut oil before using it for baby’s skin. This is an ideal ringworm toddler treatment for scalp and skin.
Apart from coconut oil ringworm treatment, Jojoba oil is one of the best carrier oils for ringworm as it is packed with antifungal properties. The oil is also very light and is easily absorbed by the baby’s delicate skin. It also enhances the ringworm fighting properties of the essential oils like tea tree and lavender oil, making it very effective for fighting the infection.
DIY homemade ringworm treatment cream for baby ringworm
Here is a simple antifungal ringworm cream for babies:
- 80 drops of Jojoba oil
- 5 drops of tea tree oil
- 10 drops of neem oil
- 5 drops of lavender oil
Mix all oils well. Using a sterile cotton wool, apply the mixture three times a day to baby’s ringworm. In case of ringworm on scalp, apply the mixture to baby’s hair and scalp at night. Wash off with baby shampoo the next morning.
Apart from treating the baby, make sure you also disinfect its environment. Wash all bedding and baby clothing in hot water and bleach. Clean all surfaces such as the baby’s crib, toys and other areas with borax powder and white vinegar.
If, despite these natural remedies your child’s skin condition worsens, you might need to see your pediatrician. Antifungal skin creams or oral antifungal medicines may be required in extreme cases.