What's Going Around: Ringworm

Posted: 8:59 AM, May 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-29 12:59:12Z

An infection that tends to be more common as the weather gets warmer is what's going around this week.

Dr. Belinda Miller with Kids First Immediate Care in East Lansing says she's been seeing patients with ringworm.

Ringworm is a fungal infection spread by contact with infected individuals or pets, shared items like towels, clothing or bedding and shared hard surfaces in moist areas like showers, locker room floors and pool areas.

Ringworm has a distinctive circular rash and symptoms include itchy, red, scaly or cracked skin-- as well as hair loss. Symptoms tend to appear between four and fourteen days after the skin gets infected.

Treatment depends on where the infection is. If it's on the skin-- use an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream, lotion or powder for two to four weeks. If it's on the scalp or other hairy area, treatment usually requires a prescription medication taken by mouth for one to three months.

Be sure to see a doctor if the rash is severe and widespread or doesn't respond to over-the-counter products. To reduce your risk of getting ringworm -- don't share personal items, avoid infected people or animals and stay cool and dry.