Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."


Lisa writes, "What are the symptoms and treatment of ringworm?"

Answer: Ringworm is caused by a fungus not a worm as the name implies. It usually begins as a single lesion anywhere on the body, but typically has an affinity for the trunk, limbs, or face.

Ringworm, known as Tinea Corporis is usually acquired by direct human contact, animal exposure or rarely from soil or dirt. It affects not only children, but all age groups.

Ringworm appears almost as a round ring with a pale center. The ring gets bigger quite rapidly and if not treated may spread to surrounding skin. At times, ringworm may be itchy. They are usually not painful.

Ringworm infections as well as other fungal infections involve genetic factors which are fairly complicated. Special cells in our immune system determine how our bodies react to these fungi. This explains why some people get infected and reinfected while others do not, given the same exposure. Ringworm grows best in a warm and humid environment.

Treatment is fairly simple. An antifungal cream is applied directly to the ringworm. Because they can be quite stubborn, ringworm must be treated for a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks. There are prescription creams as well as over the counter creams that are effective. If there are many ringworm or ringworm that are spreading rapidly, your doctor may prescribe medicine by mouth. Because ringworm is contagious, remind family members not to share towels or objects that could possibly be contaminated i.e.: combs, brushes, etc.

Also see:

  • Does Strep Throat lead to Scarlet's Fever?
  • Can a pediatrician comfortably prescribe and manage ADHD medication or is it better suited to a psychiatrist?
  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.