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."
Daniel writes, "I would like to know if ringworm can be a phyically damaging fungi."
Answer: Ringworm is caused by a fungus not a worm as the name implies. The fungus is an organism that is found in many places,
including soil, animals and humans. They thrive in warm moist places and
multiply if not treated. The technical term for ringworm is Tinea Corporis.
Tinea comes from the Greek word meaning "Moth." Corporis is also Greek and
Genetic predisposition or any acquired immune problem may explain why someone
will get ringworm and others with similar exposure will not. Eczema,
psoriasis and other skin conditions may mimic ringworm. A sampling or
scraping of the actual lesion will usually lead to a diagnosis. Treatment can
then be started.
In children, the typical round lesion (ring) is common in the summer and
warms months. Many times an antifungal cream or lotion is used without a
scraping or biopsy. This is because it may take many weeks to actually grow
on the lab. By that time, it could have been already treated.
As far as being physically damaging, the ringworm, unless left untreated for
any length of time will usually not cause major disfigurement. As with any
damage (including a simple cut) to the skin, there will always be some sort
of residual. Healing is different on everyone. As a rule, a simple ringworm
lesion should cause no internal physical effects. It is a dermatophyte and
because of it's nature, is usually confined to the skin.
Consult with your doctor if you have any concerns or questions.
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.