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Ringworm Contagious, but Treatable

Kids most vunerable, so check them carefully

(HealthDay) -- If one of your children comes home from school with what looks like a bad case of dandruff, you might want to take a closer look.

According to an article from The Detroit News, he might have ringworm. It sounds nasty, and it's very contagious, but it's also easily treatable, the article says.

Initial symptoms often include itchiness on the scalp, along with solid pink circles on the skin. The circles can grow to the size of a dime or larger, with a ring of scaly red skin surrounding a smooth center. On the scalp, it can cause hair loss. Kids catch it from each other from combs, brushes and bath mats. They can also catch it by walking barefoot on infested soil. Or by petting infected cats and dogs.

If you think your child might have ringworm, contact your doctor. The doctor will do an examination and take a skin culture. Use of an over-the-counter antifugal cream for three to six weeks should clear up the problem. But sometimes, when ringworm affects the scalp, an oral medication might be prescribed as well. The drug should be taken until the prescription is finished, even if it looks like the problem is clearing up. Until the problem is solved, you should make sure your child's towel, bath mat and comb are kept separate from others.

To find out more about ringworm, you can read this article from Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia, or this from the Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine.

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