How is ringworm recognised?

  • Ringworm of the scalp commonly presents as dry, scaly patches with hair loss (bald patches). Occasionally, the infected scalp becomes red and lumpy with pustules. This can easily be confused with impetigo.
  • Ringworm may present on the face or trunk as a group of itchy, scaly, pink papules. Often the rash forms a ring with a well defined raised edge and normal skin in the centre. Vesicles may also occur along the edge.
  • Athlete’s foot presents as a painful crack between the toes, usually between the small and next toe. It may also affect the sole of the foot. You do not need to be an athlete to catch athlete’s foot.
  • Infection of the nail causes discolouration (yellow or white nails) with abnormal nail growth (crumbly nails).

HIV-infected children may develop extensive, severe fungal skin and nail infections which do not respond to standard treatment.

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