Ringworm in Children: 4 Tips to Follow When Your Child Has Ringworm

Ringworm in Children: 4 Tips to Follow When Your Child Has Ringworm

Aug 30
Ringworm in Children: 4 Tips to Follow When Your Child Has Ringworm

Ringworm is a common fungal skin infection among children. It’s highly contagious and can transfer from a person to another. Ringworm is not serious and can be treated at home. But sometimes, children can experience recurrence at least 3 to 4 times a year. Here’s everything you need to know about ringworm in children. And, what should you do when your child has ringworm?

Understanding Ringworm in Children

Ringworm is caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes. These fungi commonly survive in moist, warm areas and can affect anyone at any age. But, children under 15 can be more at risk. Your child can get ringworm if they have some risks below:

  • Living in a hot, warm climate
  • Having poor hygiene
  • Having weakened immune system
  • Playing on the soiled ground
  • Having damp skin for long periods of time
  • Having minor injuries of the skin and nail
  • Walking barefoot in places that have fungi
  • Having contact with pets that carry fungi

Ringworm can attack many different parts of your child’s body. These include the scalp, the face, the groin, the nails, the hands, the feet, the trunk and extremities.

Read more: Poor Hygiene Could Be To Blame for Fungal Infections

Ringworm in children

Ringworm in children

4 Tips to Follow When Your Child Has Ringworm

1. Recognizing symptoms of your child

Symptoms of ringworm can vary, depending on the affected areas. But usually, when your child has ringworm, they will notice the following symptoms:

  • A red, scaly, itchy rash that looks like a ring
  • Itching, burning and pain in the affected areas
  • Bumps, sores or blisters on the affected areas
  • Hair loss or bald patches on the scalp
  • Nail discoloration (ringworm of the nails)

Ringworm in children can be mistaken for many other skin conditions. For example: skin rash, insect bites, eczema and psoriasis. But in ringworm, itchiness is so intense, which can lead to excessive scratching. To confirm the diagnosis, you can take your child to the doctor.

Read more: Misunderstanding Between Psoriasis and Ringworm

Ringworm symptoms

Ringworm symptoms

2. Treating your child with antifungal medications

As mentioned above, ringworm is not a serious condition, and it can be treated easily. Here are several treatment options for your child if they have ringworm.

OTC antifungal creams or powders

A wide range of ointments, creams and powders can help to treat ringworm. For example: terbinafine, miconazole, tolnaftate and clotrimazole. You can buy these at a pharmacy and follow the directions carefully. Fugacil is one of the best OTC antifungal creams for ringworm. It can help remove fungi out of the skin and prevent recurrent infections. But generally, Fugacil is not recommended to children under 15. For safety, you should ask a doctor if this cream is safe for your child. 

Oral antifungal medicines

If your child’s infection does not improve with OTC medications, consider oral ones. These medications are stronger and they can take a few weeks to months to kill the fungus.  Usually, they’re prescribed for those patients who have ringworm of the nails or the scalp.

Antifungal shampoos

When your child has ringworm on the scalp, you can use an antifungal shampoo as treatment. This can help prevent hair loss and stop the spread of infections to other parts of the body. If your child’s ringworm does not improve after treatment, take them to the doctor. The condition can spread and lead to other infections if not treated well.

Read more: Common Prescriptions for Ringworm

Antifungal shampoos for ringworm

Antifungal shampoos for ringworm

3. Treating your child with home remedies

There are many natural remedies that help relieve symptoms of ringworm in children. But, the evidence about effectiveness of these remedies is till limited. If you want to try them for your child, consult your doctor first. Some home remedies for ringworm include:


Garlic has been known for treating ringworm as it contains antifungal properties. So, apply garlic paste to your child’s ringworm. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water. Follow this remedy two to three times a day. Stop using garlic if it causes burning and irritation to your child.

Tea tree oil

Due to antifungal benefits, tea tree oil can help to cure ringworm. You can dilute tea tree oil in warm water or carrier oil. Apply the mixture to your child’s ringworm and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water and repeat two to three times a day.

Tea tree oil for ringworm

Tea tree oil for ringworm

Coconut oil

When your child has ringworm, you can use coconut oil to give them relief. Just apply the oil directly on the affected area. Leave it overnight and re-apply every day.  

Lavender oil

Lavender oil can be quite safe and gentle for children’s skin. To treat your child’s ringworm, you can mix lavender oil in carrier oil and apply it on the affected area. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water and repeat it two to three times daily.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar offers a variety of health benefits, including treating ringworm. To do this, you can apply apple cider vinegar directly on the affected area. Leave it on for 30 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and re-apply twice a day.

Other home remedies may include Aloe Vera, Turmeric and Grapefruit seed extract.

Read more: Does Tea Tree Oil Work for Fungal Skin Infections?

Apple cider vinegar for ringworm

Apple cider vinegar for ringworm

4. Preventing your child from spreading ringworm to others

Ringworm is contagious. It can be transmitted in direct and indirect ways. Having skin-to skin contact or sharing infected items can make fungi spread. To help your child avoid passing the infections to others, take the few tips below.

  • Teach your child to practice good hygiene
  • Keep their feet dry and clean
  • Dry their body properly after showering
  • Change their sheets regularly and wash them in hot water
  • Don’t let your child play with pets that have ringworm
  • Don’t let them share personal items, such as combs, hats, clothing and towels with others
  • Remind your child to wear slippers or shower shoes in locker rooms and swimming pools
  • Remind them to avoid close contact with others at school and public places

Read more: How to Treat and Prevent Ringworm with Diet


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