Ringworm in Babies: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Ringworm in babies: causes, symptoms & treatment

A developing baby can face numerous challenges along their development cycle; they will have to overcome numerous fevers, allergies and infections. Some of these infections can be extremely contagious, one of which is ringworm. Treating these illnesses is one of the most important aspects of helping your child grow in a healthy and happy manner. Understanding these infections can help you learn more about how to identify them, treat them and prevent them.

What is Ringworm?

Ringworm is a form of infection that can be extremely contagious, surprisingly they have nothing to do with worms. The infection is called ringworm because of the shape of the contusion or bruise that manifests when your baby has this fungal infection. It is common to find ringworm infection in babies, this condition is not dangerous or extremely painful but can be extremely irritating and itchy. It is also known as tinea corporis and is most evident in children. This condition can manifest on any part of your child’s body from the scalp to the toes.

How is Common Ringworm in Young Children?

Ringworm is a very common infection that manifests in school children; this disease is extremely rare in toddlers or infants. The most common age range for children to manifest ringworm is between 2 and 10 years.

What Causes Ringworm in Babies?

Ringworm in children and babies can be caused by a variety of factors that include:

  • Pets

If your child has any kind of interaction with pets such as cats and dogs that have the infection it can spread to your child.

  • Surfaces

These infectious fungal bacteria can linger on surfaces if your baby has contact with the infection on a surface they are considered at risk for ringworm.

  • People

Ringworm is contagious, your baby or child can get ringworm if they have contact with others that have the disease as well.

Causes of ringworm in babies

Note: Ringworm spreads through touch, if your child has ringworm, please keep them quarantined during their treatment period, so other children do not get sick as well.

Symptoms of Baby Ringworm

One of the most important parts of fighting against any infection is understanding and identifying the infection. To do this, we must first learn about the symptoms of that infection. To understand ringworm, it is crucial that we know what the symptoms are and how they manifest.

  • Ringworm begins manifesting as either a single rash or many rashes that are red and scaly.
  • Hair loss is a common symptom of ringworm; this condition can often be mistaken for cradle cap or dandruff due to the manner of hair breakage.
  • Red patches on the face can mimic the symptoms of eczema but could be a symptom of ringworm.
  • The patches can be extremely itchy; itches are in children suffering from ringworm.
  • The growth of the patches in a ring-like shape, and rapid increase in the number of such patches is a typical characteristic of ringworm.
  • These patches on the skin can grow between a half inch to an inch in a circular shape with slightly raised borders and a clear area in the centre. This type of patch indicates ringworm.

Diagnosis of Ringworm

Ringworm is known to manifest through an extremely distinct wound or patch on the skin; this allows doctors to make the diagnosis through a physical examination and by taking a medical history. If there are still doubts about the diagnosis, the doctor can take shavings of skin from the affected area and examine it under a microscope.


If unattended ringworm can lead to following complications.

  • Leaving ringworm untreated can weaken your child’s immune system to a large extent, leaving your baby susceptible to further infections and diseases. If your child has ringworm, consult your primary care physician immediately and implement the recommended treatment plan.
  • An additional infection could leave your young one weak; they may need to go on an extended course of antibiotics.
  • Ringworm can also cause some minor scarring, ringworm on the scalp can cause hair loss along with the scarring.


Depending on the severity of the infection, doctors can recommend the following treatment for ringworm in children:

  • Creams

One of the most common ways to treat this condition is by applying ringworm cream for babies, this type of cream is specifically made with the skin requirements of children in mind.

  • Shampoos

A simple way to treat ringworm would be using children’s antifungal shampoo while bathing them to ensure ringworms on the scalp are treated effectively.

  • Soaps

Similar to the shampoos, using antifungal soaps on your child while giving them a bath can help combat this fungal infection.

  • Ointments

Using anti-fungal ointments can help ease the irritation for your child while combating the infection itself.

  • Antibiotics

If the ringworm is severe and in multiple parts of your body and is also accompanied by another infection, your child may need to go on a course of antibiotics.

Treatment: Bathing with antifungal soaps

Remember that ringworm medicine for babies is prescribed on a case-specific basis, do not share the medication with others or use them on other children even if they have the same condition. Before applying any of these treatments, talk to your pharmacist or doctor about the procedures for applying the medication and what has to be kept in mind and what to look out for.

Home Remedies

Using home remedies for ringworm can be considered an alternative to prescription medication. It is highly recommended, however, that you consult your doctors about home remedies and natural medication for ringworm in babies natural treatment methods. Here are some home remedies that may help combat ringworm:

  • Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree is known to have numerous dermatological benefits, it has properties that are assumed to combat ringworm. Be careful how you use this or how much, talk to a dermatologist before applying tea tree essential oil.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is loaded with essential probiotics and acids that are hugely beneficial to the human body, applying this as a salve by dousing it on cotton and gently cleaning the patches with it is assumed to combat ringworm and other fungal infections.

  • Grapefruit Seed Extract

This is considered one of the most potent natural antifungals around, using two drops of this mixed with some water to clean the patches of ringworm is thought to help combat the infection.

Home remedies: Tea tree essential oil

How to Prevent Infants from Getting Ringworm?

There are some steps that you can take to ensure that your infant and child does not get a ringworm infection.

  • If you have pets in the house, then make sure that they get their shots regularly and that you brush their fur from time to time.
  • Keep your infant’s nails trimmed as the infection can spread because of long, overgrown nails.
  • Change your child’s brush and comb every two months.
  • Change and wash your child’s bedsheets and pillowcases regularly. While washing, let the cloth soak in hot water for a few minutes.
  • Be sure to wash your child’s clothes at home and do not give it to the dhobi. Ringworms are notorious for being spread through the contact with infected clothes.

Though the ringworm infection is highly contagious, you can exercise certain precautions to ensure that your child remains comfortable. Making sure that the infection does not spread to other members of the family or to other children is important. Talk to your child’s doctor about any concern you may have regarding the infection.

Also Read:

Pinworms in Babies
Common Skin Allergies In Babies