We have a new roommate. I didn’t invite it to stay with us, but it invited itself. Brought its bags and made a home on my two-year old’s tummy and won’t leave. It’s the ringworm. From what I’ve read Marc could have picked up this fungus anywhere. Yes, I said fungus. Ringworm is named for the characteristic ring it leaves and can be a pain the butt to evict. I’ll be honest, I was ignoring it, it was only a small quarter size red mark on his belly and I thought it was just a spot he liked to scratch at his diaper line. But then my sister, who is training to be a nurse, said, “Hey idiot, I think that’s ringworm.”
“Idiot? Okay, Auntie Runs With Scissors.” See what happens when siblings are smarter than you? Still I ignored it. Even when she pelted me with emails about how it works and how to treat it. Slowly, this fungus stretched its feet out and relaxed across his belly. I panicked and retrieved the email from my trash box.
Apparently, ringworm is a Dermatophyte. These buggers are part of a several different fungus organisms that affect different parts of the body: skin, body, foot (athlete’s foot) and nails. Most of these fungi live in humans and animals except the ringworm of the nails; that only lives in humans. Infection spreads through direct skin to skin contact or indirect contact by the things they touch, such as toys, towels, brushes, combs, bed linens, telephones and shower stalls. Keeping common areas clean is recommended. Ringworm of the skin starts off as a small pimple, usually near the groin area and expands leaving the middle clear thus leading to a red ring. This area is itchy and symptoms appear about 4 to 10 days after exposure. Ringworm of the foot appears scaly and the skin becomes cracked between the toes; ringworm of the nails affects them by becoming thick, discolored and brittle.
I did visit www.WebMd.com and according to their website you can treat it a home with any cream that has the ingredient miconazole nitrate (like Monistat). But since I figured Marc was better safe than sorry, I took him to his pediatrician where I got the prescription fungus-evicting cream and served it notice. Be careful! It has friends. They won’t eat all the potato chips, make long distance calls or constantly ask to borrow your car, but they will leap onto other children. I am being vigilant about not letting its friends in and look forward to the day it moves out.
Be careful of his ad: Fun-loving Fungi loves sports, especially wrestling and small children. Looking for skin to make myself at home in, in exchange for redness, irritation and itching. Crankiness just a bonus!