Posted by: Ticktock | October 28, 2010

Kissed by a Fairy – Ringworm

No, my five-year old daughter does not have a lipstick kiss on her face. She has ringworm, which despite it’s unpleasant sounding name, has nothing to do with worms of any kind.

Ringworm is a fungal infection that looks like a circular rash.  I’m calling it a “fairy kiss” because it’s reminiscent of the natural fungus rings that sometimes form in the grass (aka “fairy circles”). We were suspicious of ringworm on Sunday of last week and scheduled an after-school  doctor’s appointment for Sasha, but a teacher  spotted her fairy kiss and promptly sent her to the school nurse who applied some anti-fungal cream and a bandage.

Later, the doctor said that schools are a bit irrationally fearful of infections like ringworm and pink eye, and that these infections are not nearly as contagious as people think. In an any case, ringworm infections usually disappear within a week or two if it’s  treated with the appropriate medication (my doctor recommended Lamacil).

The incubation period for ringworm is about ten days. We’ve yet to see Sasha’s ringworm flare up in anyone else in the house and it’s been about 10 days. I think the doctor might have been right to dismiss this as a trivial inconvenience with minimal risk; certainly not worth the worry that schools and parents have upon seeing the infection on a child’s face.

What do you think? Ever had to deal with ringworm?



  1. I caught ringworm from my cat when I first adopted her. She had a habit of sleeping under my chin. (!!) I had five rings and ended up on oral antifungals. I also had to sulphur bath her for two weeks. It was awful, but no one else caught it. I lived alone at the time though. I wasn’t sure how long after beginning treatment I was contagious and ended up getting fed up and burned the last persistent ring with a bleach solution. It worked and the scar disappeared after about 4 years (heh). I don’t recommend the last part for children.

  2. I was thought to have ring worm as a child (we had two cats). It wasn’t particularly itchy although if I was asked ‘oh does it itch?’ I’d think about it and say ‘Yes’. A bit like being asked ‘Does your nose itch?’ and suddenly it does.

    Anyway, anti-fungal creams didn’t work and I ended up at a dermatologist’s office who diagnosed granuloma annulare.

    Hope it clears up quickly.

  3. We have had a few rounds of ringworm in our house. Mostly me. Mostly in the harsh, dry Chicago winters. Luckily (?) my son got what I thought was a very bad diaper rash all over his bum and down his legs (it was the down his legs that clued me into the “not a diaper rash” situation) so we took him to his pediatrician, who promptly wrote a prescription for extra strength topical steroid cream (that takes care of my ringworm in a few days.
    I love the idea of calling it a “fairy kiss” because ringworm just sounds grim.

  4. Dooce has been dealing with Ringworm, so Colin, your daughter has put us in with the big leagues by catching it. Congratulations! Maybe soon we’ll have tons of sponsors and we’ll all be able to make a living blogging. (Note to readers: this is not our goal.)

  5. my son had ringworm for awhile and being a new parent, i just assumed it was eczema and applied lotion safe for babies. anyhow – after a couple weeks of it not going away, my doc said to buy some antifungal cream (target makes a great generic) and it went away in a month.
    the little patches on his elbows have been so tough to get rid of! i’m going back to see if the doc can write a prescription for something a little stronger to get rid of those.
    no one else in our house has gotten it though, i would assume you’d have to really rub up against some one for that to affect your skin but don’t quote me on that…

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