Skip to main content
CNN.com CNN.com -- Health
ASK AN EXPERT
Got a question about a health story in the news or a health topic? Here's your chance to get an answer. Send us your questions about general health topics, diet and fitness and mental health. If your question is chosen, it could be featured on CNN.com's health page with an answer from one of our health experts, or by a participant in the CNNhealth community.




* CNN encourages you to contribute a question. By submitting a question, you agree to the following terms found below.
You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. By submitting your question, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your questions(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statment.
Thank you for your question!

It will be reviewed and considered for posting on CNNHealth.com. Questions and comments are moderated by CNN and will not appear until after they have been reviewed and approved. Unfortunately, because of the voume of questions we receive, not all can be posted.

Submit another question or Go back to CNNHealth.com

Read answers from our experts: Living Well | Diet & Fitness | Mental Health | Conditions

Expert Q&A

  • Share this on:
    Share
  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print

What is causing my daughter's ringworm?

Asked by Amanda, Houston, Texas

Open quote
Close quote

My daughter has had ringworm for about a month. It is getting worse. She used a cream. What causes ringworm? We don't have pets.

Expert Bio Picture

Living Well Expert Dr. Jennifer Shu Pediatrician,
Children's Medical Group

Expert answer

Ringworm is an infection on the surface of the skin that is caused by a fungus. It is common in children but can also occur in adults. It is usually passed by direct skin contact with another person who has ringworm or by touching a contaminated surface such as dirty clothing or towels. You may also be able to get the infection from household pets or contaminated soil.

This skin condition often looks like many tiny pink bumps connected in the shape of a ring or a worm. There is no actual worm in the skin, however. The infection may start out as a small spot that spreads outward and grows wider, up to an inch or two, often leaving a clear or less bumpy center. The skin lesion may be scaly or fluid-filled and may itch or feel painful.

The diagnosis of ringworm may be made by a physician who looks at and identifies the skin lesion. Some lesions may not appear typical of ringworm so other tests may be needed. For example, a special purplish light called a Wood's lamp may help confirm the diagnosis of ringworm; in a dark room, some fungi will appear to glow under this lamp. Your doctor can also gently scrape the infected skin to see whether it contains fungus.

Ringworm infections typically go away after applying an anti-fungal cream for about four weeks. If your child's infection has not gone away after a month of using the cream, it's possible that the medication is not correct for her condition or that she may need a stronger anti-fungal product such as a prescription-strength ointment or cream, or an oral anti-fungal medicine. Also, certain medications, such as steroid creams, may make the ringworm worse so if your daughter is using a combination anti-fungal/steroid product, a plain anti-fungal cream will likely work better.

On the other hand, ringworm may look similar to other skin conditions such as eczema, which can occur in round patches that look like rough coins called nummular eczema. The treatment for these conditions will be different from ringworm medications, so it's important to let your doctor know that the current medication is not working. Good luck!

More Q&A

  • CNN's Medical UnitCNN's medical unit brings you the best experts available to answer your questions about current events and health issues that matter most to you.
What are the potential problems with ovarian cysts?asked by: Asked by Jane Coles; Virginia
Why do I no longer need an antibiotic before teeth cleaning?asked by: Asked by Janet; Leeds
How frequently should a man urinate daily?asked by: Asked by Brian; Canada
Quick Job Search
keyword(s):
enter city:

CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.

The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.

Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2014 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.