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Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine
Lawrenceville Office: 595 Hurricane Shoals Rd NW, Lawrenceville, GA 30046 | Phone: 404-355-0078
Duluth Office: 3790 Pleasant Hill Rd, Suite 230, Duluth, GA 30096 | Phone: 770-995-0823
Hamilton Mill Office: 2089 Teron Trace, Suite 100, Dacula, GA 30019 | Phone: 770-995-0823
Sugar Hill Office: 4700 Nelson Brogdon Blvd NE #180, Sugar Hill, GA 30518 | Phone: 770-995-0823

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  • Ring-shaped pink patch
  • Scaly, raised border
  • Ring slowly increases in size
  • Clearing of the center as the patch grows
  • Usually ½ to 1 inch in size
  • Mildly itchy


Ringworm is caused by a fungus infection of the skin, often transferred from puppies or kittens who have it.

Expected Course

It responds well to appropriate treatment.


Antifungal Cream. Buy Tinactin, Micatin, or Lotrimin cream at your drug store. You won't need a prescription. Apply the cream twice daily to the rash and 1 inch beyond its borders. Continue this treatment for 1 week after the ringworm patch is smooth and seems to be gone. Successful treatment often takes 3 to 4 weeks. Encourage your child to avoid scratching the area.

Contagiousness. Ringworm of the skin is mildly contagious. It requires direct skin-to-skin contact. The type acquired from pets is not transmitted human-to-human, only animal-to- human. After 48 hours of treatment, it is not contagious at all. Your child doesn't have to miss any school (or day care).

Treatment of Pets. Kittens and puppies with ringworm usually do not itch and may not have any rash. If ringworm patches are seen, call your veterinarian. If no patches are present but ringworm recurs in your child, also contact your veterinarian. Also have your child avoid close contact with the animal until he or she is treated. Natural immunity will develop in animals after 4 months even without treatment.


During regular hours if

  • The ringworm continues to spread after 1 week of treatment.
  • The rash has not cleared up in 4 weeks.
  • You have other concerns or questions.

Instructions for Pediatric Patients, 2nd Edition, ©1999 by WB Saunders Company.
Written by Barton D. Schmitt, MD, pediatrician and author of Your Child’s Health, Bantam Books, a book for parents.

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