Ringworm is a flat, ring-shaped infection.

Ringworm on the scalp can cause round, painful red patches and make hair fall out.

How is ringworm spread?

Ringworm is spread by contact with infected skin, clothes, personal items or surfaces.

Ringworm on the scalp can cause round, painful red patches and make hair fall out.

How to treat ringworm

  • check and clean skin everyday
  • see your doctor if the ringworm is on your child’s scalp as this needs to be treated with medicine
  • for ringworm on other parts of the body, a public health nurse, pharmacist or doctor can show you which cream to use
  • go to the doctor if your child has a fever or their skin becomes swollen, warm or is leaking fluid
  • check other children for ringworm.
  • treat any animals with ringworm.

What to do if ringworm gets worse

Go to the doctor if any of these things happen:

  • the infection lasts more than two weeks
  • the ringworm is on the scalp
  • skin becomes red and swollen
  • there is some pus in the infection
  • your child has a fever.

It is important to take the antibiotics each day until they are finished, even if the skin appears to be better. The antiobiotics need to keep killing the infection in the body after the skin has healed.

Time off from work, kura or school

Avoid infecting other people in the workplace, kura or school. Stop your child from touching other children until the ringworm goes away.