Ringworm In Babies: How Do Babies and Infants Get Ringworm

by Mousumi Mukherjee
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Ringworm In Babies: Ever seen any red circular patches of rashes over your baby’s body & ignored them, assuming that it might be some harmless rashes that will get cured overtime on their own? Then, think again before ignoring them the next time because they may be a fungal infection called ringworm instead of any normal rashes. 

Are you shocked to be attentive to that? You might be thinking that if the rashes are caused by fungus & not any worm, then why is the name ringworm! Well! Yes! Indeed, ringworm in babies is not any worm & only a fungal infection caused by fungus on the baby’s skin. But, the ringworm rashes look just like some ring-shaped red-colored worms over your baby’s skin, and hence the name ringworm. 

Inquisitive to learn more, right? After all, who doesn’t wish to keep their babies safe & protect them from various infections by acquiring knowledge about such diseases! Worry no more! In this chunk of writing, we will explain to you about ringworm & the measures that will prevent it from occurring in your baby ringworm. We will also make you know about the ringworm treatment for babies. So, just keep reading. 

What Is Baby Ringworm?

What Is Baby Ringworm
What Is Baby Ringworm

Baby ringworm is one common type of skin infection that happens due to fungus. It is somewhat contagious & any individual can have this disease. Apart from young people, older people also catch this kind of fungal skin infection. The transmission of this fungal infection from one person to another happens when one touches another (physical contact). 

Also, it spreads through animals & dirty things (like garments, bedsheets, towels, etc.). Another name for ringworm is tinea or dermatophytosis. The same fungus that causes infections called tinea crisis/jock itch, tinea pedis/athlete’s foot, tinea capitis/scalp infection & tinea corporis/bodily infection causes the ringworm on baby’s face & other areas. Jock itch happens in the groin area, athlete’s foot on the scalp & bodily infections on the body. 

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Ringworm Color and Creams For Treatment

Ringworm also looks sometimes pinkish instead of reddish & it gives curling up the appearance of a worm over a baby’s skin. It’s very much alarming when you see such a rash on your baby’s body. Yes, indeed, ringworm will not do any long-term harm to your baby. But, since it is not always easy to differentiate an ordinary rash from the rash of ringworm, it is better to get a proper diagnosis & opinion from a doctor. 

Luckily, it is very much possible to treat ringworm if you visit your doctor at any time. The doctor often prescribes your baby some OTC (over-the-counter) medicines for clearing up this condition within the time of a few days. Ringworm on face baby & other areas causes some pain, and though the infection is mild, the pain may be severe. 

Besides, the itching caused by this fungal infection on your baby’s skin can lead to scratches with your baby’s fingers. It may invite unwanted bacteria within the wound, resulting in a more severe bacterial infection. So, timely treatment of ringworm in infants & babies is very important. 

How Do Babies Get Ringworm?

How Do Babies Get Ringworm
How Do Babies Get Ringworm

Babies or infants are more susceptible to ringworm if:

  • They live in warm climates (because tinea mostly multiplies in environments that are sweaty & warm
  • They get contact with other babies or adults who are already having this fungal infection in them
  • Walking barefoot
  • They are kept in daycare (because they come in connection with other children of daycare, some of whom may have ringworm in them) 
  • They get contact with pets who are already having ringworm in them (like if a pet rub its face on a baby’s face or if a baby kisses its pet, etc.)
  • Have low immunity because of receiving treatment for some diseases like Cancer
  • They are malnourished
  • They come in touch with any object, which was previously used by any person suffering from the fungal infection

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Is Tapeworm In Babies Different From Ringworm?

Sometimes, babies or infants also get infected with tapeworm. This tapeworm comes mainly from the pet’s body, especially the dog’s. The babies get affected by tapeworm if accidentally they ingest larvae-containing fleas while playing in sand or spots containing abundant fleas.

In such a case, for treating the tapeworm, your baby’s doctor will prescribe a praziquantel-type oral drug or niclosamide (single dosage). Albendazole & Praziquantel-type antiparasitic other medicines are functional precisely to treat cysticercosis. 

Tapeworm in babies is different from ringworm because tapeworm, unlike ringworm, is a parasitic infection & not a fungal infection. Also, the ringworm is of ring-like shape, whereas the tapeworms retain dorsoventrally flattened bodies. If a child has tapeworms, he will feel pieces of worms getting out through his anus and notice the worms in his poop.

Tapeworms in kids may result in lumps under their skin, vision problems, weakness in their body or trouble walking, seizures, abnormal heartbeat, etc. 

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Ringworm Treatment For Babies

The ringworm treatment is possible through some OTC (over-the-counter) medicines or ringworm cream for babies like clotrimazole, miconazole & tolnaftate. Doctors usually recommend them to babies having ringworm. Apply any one of the above medicines 2-3 times a day. Continue it for at least one week until your baby’s ringworm infection goes away totally. It is better to consult your baby’s healthcare provider or pharmacist for any further questions. 

In case of the failure of an OTC cream to prevent ringworm, the doctor prescribes other powerful oral antifungal medication. Ensure if you are using the medication for your baby as per the doctor’s recommended doses.

If an infected ringworm rash occurs on your baby’s skin, treatment with antibiotics is necessary. In case the ringworm occurs on your baby’s scalp, your baby’s healthcare provider will recommend a special shampoo to you. Since ringworm is somewhat virulent, it is better to test & treat the additional household members. 

Ringworm In Babies Appearance In Between 4-14 Days, Just After The Preliminary Infection:

  • Your baby’s scalp & skin of other body parts will have red, scaly patches (it may result in hair loss in the ringworm-affected area)
  • Once you see the rash growing to about 1/2 inch in diameter, you will find that the patches shape into a circular ring. 
  • After getting to nearly 1 inch of diameter, you will see that the rash will stop growing. 
  • One/many patches that are both uncomfortable & itchy will be found on your baby’s skin.

Due to the above signs & symptoms, many people confuse this ailment with other ailments like dandruff, eczema, other skin conditions, or cradle cap. However, cradle-cap solely occurs during infancy when the kid is less than one year.

If your kid is more than 1 year & has rashes on their head, then it is not Cradle Cap at all. The healthcare professional of your kid makes the diagnosis to make sure if the red circular patches over their skin are ringworm or some other skin condition like eczema and others.

Diagnosis Of Ringworm In Babies

Your baby’s doctor may diagnose ringworm on your baby’s skin by looking into it. They confirm that it is ringworm if the patches are rashes having a characteristic raised border. They also detect if it is any other condition of your baby’s skin than ringworm like eczema, skin pigmentation, acne, or heat rash.

Some people have birthmarks that look like a rash/ringworm. If uncertain about ringworm, the doctor will test a tiny sample of your baby’s skin under a microscope. 

Natural Solutions To Baby’s Ringworm

Treatment for ringworm must not be delayed. Ringworm in itself is indeed a benign infection. But, if left untreated, it may cause more severe problems because of bacteria that will infect the rash, mainly if your baby scratches the place. In such a case, home remedies sometimes come to help. 

Many nurses or doctors permit the patients to go for home remedies side by side with the prescribed medicines. Though no evidence till now has proved that breastmilk heals pains in babies, many guardians still believe that the antibodies gifted in breastmilk will act as a natural remedy for their babies. 

How To Prevent Ringworm In Babies

Some simple measures will prevent ringworm in babies. Such measures include:

  • Maintaining clean & dry skin of your baby
  • Resisting tightfitting clothing.  
  • Utilizing clean towels
  • Preventing the sharing of towels, brushes, cloths, combs, hats, or other objects
  • Keeping your baby fresh & clean by dressing your child in fresh & clean dresses every day
  • Ensuring the thorough wash of your child’s hands (in case they touch any ringworm-infected plate. 
  • Treating the ringworm of other members of the family for preventing it from further spreading
  • Immediate treatment of other fungal infections like athlete’s foot, jock itch, etc. 
  • Keeping your baby away from daycare & preschool (though it can’t be permanently done). 

Conclusion

So, ringworm in babies is a very much treatable condition if detected earlier & at times. Because, with the passage of time, the infection spreads to your baby’s other parts of the body. Just proper treatment with proper care is all that is needed to heal your baby’s infections. 

FAQs

Q1. How does a baby get ringworm?

Answer: Babies or infants are more susceptible to ringworm if:
1) They live in warm climates (because tinea mostly multiplies in environments that are sweaty & warm
2) They get contact with other babies or adults who are already having this fungal infection in them
3) Walking barefoot
4) They are kept in daycare (because they come in connection with other children of daycare, some of whom may have ringworm in them) 

Q2. Is it common for babies to get ringworm?

Ans. Yes, it is common for babies to get ringworm. In the USA, most of the cases are based on people-to-people transmission through pets-to-people transmission is also quite common worldwide. Babies usually get ringworm, mostly in their scalp & body. 

Q.3. What should I do if my baby has ringworm?

Answer: Treatment for ringworm must not be delayed. Ringworm in itself is indeed a benign infection. But, if left untreated, it may cause more severe problems because of bacteria that will infect the rash, particularly if your baby scratches the place. In such a case, home remedies sometimes come to help. 

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