Ringworm (medically known as tinea), is not caused by a child's contact with dirty water nor from walking outdoors without footwear, as many have come to believe. In fact, ringworm is really a mycotic (fungal) infection that is spread from pets to humans, then from one infected child to another.
Ringworm shows up in round patches on the surface of the skin and bald patches on the scalp. Because of the ancient belief that the infection was caused by worms, the name 'ringworm' has stuck.
And while some persons are familiar with the itchy round spots on the skin or on the scalp, some ringworm infections do not produce this sign.
Ringworm can be treated topically (externally) or orally. However, home remedies like bleach, iodine, rubbing alcohol, garlic and vinegar are not safe and may only result in the bleaching or burning of the skin.
The two more common types of ringworm are Tinea capitis and Tinea corporis.
Tinea capitis is ringworm of the scalp, which appears as scalp scaling that is associated with bald spots and is very common in children. This condition is easily spread in schools and at barber shops and has to be treated both topically and orally.
Tinea corporis affects the skin. It often produces the round spots of classic ringworm. Sometimes these spots have an "active" outer border as they slowly grow and advance. It is important to distinguish this rash from other even more common rashes before it is treated. This type of ringworm can be treated topically.