Algoma Public Health
What is it?
- A skin infection caused by a fungus. It can affect the scalp or the body.
What are the symptoms?
- Rash consisting of ring-shaped areas that are dry and scaly or moist and crusted.
- The outside edges of the rash are reddish in colour.
- As the rash progresses the central area often clears leaving normal looking skin.
- If the scalp is infected, areas of temporary baldness will be seen.
- Rash may be itchy.
How quickly do symptoms develop?
- Within 4 to 14 days after being in contact with the infection.
How is it spread?
- By direct or indirect contact with skin or scalp lesions (rash) of infected people or animals.
- By contact with infected articles such as combs, hairbrushes, hats, clothing or towels; contaminated floors, shower stalls, benches and similar articles.
How long is it contagious?
- As long as lesions are present and articles are contaminated or until treatment is initiated.
- Children with ringworm may attend school/daycare once treatment has started.
How is it treated?
- With a prescribed cream or ointment.
- Often a medication taken by mouth is also prescribed.
What can you do?
- Check household members, pets and farm animals for circular rash and if found, contact physician or vet as necessary.
- Combs, hairbrushes, face cloths and towels should not be shared.
- Wash your hands after touching the infected skin. If your child has ringworm he should be encouraged to frequently wash his hands.
- Encourage children to wear foot-wear in public showers and pool areas.
Date of Creation: June 1, 2015
Last Modified: Feb 25, 2016