Ringworm is a general term that refers to several different skin conditions. Most commonly, it refers to a rash or cluster of small red bumps that are usually found on the arms, legs, groin area, and scalp. These rashes can appear with scaly skin, eczema, psoriasis, or another condition. It’s important to watch for signs of ringworm healing so you know when it’s time to consult with a doctor again. If you notice any redness around the ringworm site that doesn’t fade in about two weeks after the infection first appeared, it could be a sign of an underlying bacterial infection. Check out the following tips on how to know if ringworm is healing:
How To Know If Ringworm Is Healing
Check for any of the following signs
Ringworm infection causes a red itchy rash on the scalp, face, neck, and limbs that may itch or burn. If the infection recurs, you’ll notice that the red patches will appear again and the rash will be aggravated. In addition to the red rash, there may also be scaling and itching. An easy way to check if the fungus has healed is to gently remove the scales with a strong hairbrush. If you see a layer of normal hair underneath, then the fungus is gone.
Confirm your diagnosis
Ringworm looks very similar to other skin conditions. Therefore, you need to confirm your diagnosis through a doctor. You can also get a dermatologist’s opinion if your child’s condition doesn’t improve after a month of anti-fungal treatment. You can also go for a skin biopsy to get a proper diagnosis. This is a simple test that involves pricking some skin lesions and taking a sample for examination in the laboratory. You can also do this at the same time you do a ringworm assessment to save yourself a trip to the doctor’s office.
Treat with antifungal medication
Ringworm is an infection caused by a yeast-like fungus called Candida. Most antifungal medications work by killing this fungus. In most cases, they’re also useful in treating dandruff, too. Antifungal medications come as creams, ointments, and pills and must be applied to the infected areas daily for at least 3 weeks. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a longer treatment, while in others, you can stop it after 2 weeks and start it again if the infection recurs. You can also use anti-fungal shampoos or anti-fungal sprays to keep your child’s scalp clean and prevent the fungus from spreading to his/her hair. However, don’t use anti-fungal shampoos for longer than 6 weeks as they may dry the hair.
Keep a watch on your child’s symptoms
A healthy child should not have any symptoms after being infected with ringworm. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If your child has any of the symptoms described in Check for any of the following signs, it could be a sign that the fungal infection has resurfaced or you need to get another doctor’s opinion. – Severe itching that doesn’t subside even with anti-fungal cream application 5 times a day for 3 weeks – Recurring itchy bumps that appear during warm weather – Recurring flu-like symptoms (runny nose, sore throat) – Change in hair color – Incomplete clearing of skin lesions
Stay informed and prevent reoccurrence
Though ringworm is curable, it’s still important to know the signs of the infection and get treatment right away. Staying informed about the symptoms of ringworm and what to look for is the best way to prevent reoccurrence. You can also follow these preventive steps to keep ringworm from reoccurring: – Don’t share towels or washcloths – Clean your child’s toys regularly – Keep your child’s room well ventilated – Don’t share hats, scarves, socks, or gloves – Teach your child to wash his/her hands thoroughly – Don’t scratch your itchy areas – Cut nails regularly – Make sure your child doesn’t use public toilets
How Do You Know When A Ringworm Goes Away?
- If your child’s skin lesions have cleared up, his/her hair looks healthy, and you haven’t spotted any new symptoms, the ringworm infection is probably gone.
- If you suspect that your child has ringworm, but you can’t find it on his/her head, you should get a doctor’s opinion.
- If the disease recurs within 2 weeks of treatment or if new skin lesions develop, you should take another doctor’s opinion.
- Note: When in doubt, get a doctor’s opinion.
- Ringworm can be contagious so keep your child away from other children until he/she is completely healed.
- Ringworm can be difficult to diagnose and treat because it can take up to 3 weeks for a doctor to see the infection. In most cases, ringworm is confirmed by seeing the fungal organism on a skin sample under the microscope.
What Are The Symptoms Of Ringworm?
- Blisters or scabs that crust over with time
- Discoloration of the skin
- Scaly patches on the skin
- Itching that doesn’t subside even with anti-fungal cream application 5 times a day for 3 weeks
- Recurring itchy bumps that appear during warm weather
- Recurring flu-like symptoms (runny nose, sore throat)
- Change in hair color
- Incomplete clearing of skin lesions
Does ringworm turn black when healing?
1. It’s common for ringworms to turn black when healing. The black discoloration is not caused by the fungus that causes ringworm. It’s just the pigment in your skin (melanin) changing color as it heals.
2. The color change is caused by these factors:
- Your child’s skin has become inflamed, which changes the pigment in his/her skin and makes it more likely to turn black
- Your child’s immune system has responded to the infection, which also causes a change in skin pigment
- Your child has had a bacterial infection (staphylococcus), which can change the color of his/her skin too
If you’re worried about your child’s ringworm turning black, don’t panic! It will go away after about 2 weeks of healing time.
3. Ringworm does not cause permanent damage (i.e., scarring or disfigurement). If you are concerned that your child’s ringworm might have turned black, please consult a doctor who can examine your child and tell you if there is any danger of permanent damage to his/her skin from this condition.
How Do You Treat Ringworm?
1. Treating ringworm is essential to healing and preventing recurrence of the infection. There are several types of antifungal creams and ointments that can treat ringworm. Your doctor may prescribe prescription medication, such as:
- Ketoconazole (Nizoral) – This medication can be used alone or in combination with other medications to treat ringworm. It is available as a cream, lotion, shampoo, or pills. This medication works by killing the fungus that causes ringworm. Ketoconazole also helps prevent new fungal infections from occurring as well. Ketoconazole can be taken for 3–4 weeks at a time, but it will not work if you stop taking it too soon (i.e., before your skin has completely healed). If you are using this medication to treat ringworm, please ask your doctor how long to continue taking this medication before trying another type of treatment for your child’s condition.
- Clotrimazole (Lotrimin) – Clotrimazole can be used alone or in combination with other medications to treat ringworm. It is available in lotion, cream, or pill form and works by killing the fungus that causes ringworm. Clotrimazole can be taken for 3–4 weeks at a time but it will not work if you stop taking it too soon (i.e., before your skin has completely healed). If you are using this medication to treat ringworm, please ask your doctor how long to continue taking this medication before trying another type of treatment for your child’s condition.
- Itraconazole (Sporanox) – Itraconazole can be used alone or in combination with other medications to treat ringworm. This medication is available as a cream, lotion, pill, or shampoo and works by killing the fungus that causes ringworm. Itraconazole can be taken for 3–4 weeks at a time but it will not work if you stop taking it too soon (i.e., before your skin has completely healed). If you are using this medication to treat ringworm, please ask your doctor how long to continue taking this medication before trying another type of treatment for your child’s condition.
2. If you’re treating a toddler or child with ringworm, please also consider treating his/her head lice with an over-the-counter product containing permethrin (such as Nix).
3. Keep in mind that once the infection is gone, it is very important for children and adults who have had ringworm infections not to expose themselves to people who have been infected with the same fungus and to avoid close contact with others who may have been infected. Please see “What should I do if someone else in my family has been diagnosed with the same type of skin infection
Ringworm is a frustrating condition that may come back over and over again. It’s important to keep an eye out for the “healing” signs of the infection so you can get rid of it for good once and for all. If you notice any signs of the ringworm infection healing, you can assume that you need to get back to a doctor as soon as possible.