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What is the most effective way to treat ringworm in children?

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Quick Answer

Ringworm in children is most commonly treated with an antifungal ointment or cream available over the counter, according to About.com. The exception is tinea capitis, which is tougher to treat and frequently necessitates a regimen of an oral medication for several months. Prescription skin creams and lotions are also available.

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Full Answer

Generally, ringworm resembles a red, round sore that has a scaly edge, notes About.com. In many cases, the area itches, and when tinea capitis is the culprit, dandruff and hair loss are common as well. The pediatrician usually diagnoses ringworm on the basis of the way the rash looks. In some cases, the pediatrician orders a culture to be run for tinea capitis.

In most cases, ringworm is just mildly contagious, explains About.com. This means that children receiving treatment are generally allowed to keep attending day care or school. It is possible to catch ringworm from dogs and cats as well as from other people, so if someone in the house develops ringworm, it's time to take a look at the household pets.

If tinea capitis is the type of ringworm involved, it's important to take the medication with a glass of milk or fatty food to boost absorption, notes About.com. The patient should also use shampoo with selenium sulfide to reduce the danger of contagion.

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