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How do you treat ringworm of the scalp?

Preschoolers are prone to ringworm of the scalp due to their relative lack of personal hygiene.
Preschoolers are prone to ringworm of the scalp due to their relative lack of personal hygiene.
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Ah, the preschool years. Youngsters learn their way around crayons, find that carpet squares can make adequate substitutes for their beds at home during nap time, and savor the oddly appealing combination of grape Kool-Aid and soda crackers. There is little to worry over in these young lives yet, save perhaps the fleeting humiliation of having to take one's place in the back of the line after failing to successfully tie your shoes. Eventually, though, the sting of embarrassment becomes a forgotten memory.

Luckily, this unrefined sense of humiliation mitigates the fact that preschool-age kids are likely to contract ringworm of the scalp. This common skin infection is easily transmitted in a number of ways: through person to person contact, person to object contact and animal to person contact [source: Mayo Clinic]. (It can also show up on other parts of the body.) Young children attending preschool together tend to meet many of these criteria. They are likelier to play with pets at home or handle dead animals, they share close quarters and touch the same objects -- at an age where personal hygiene is of little concern. As a result, once a kid turns up at preschool with ringworm of the scalp, the probability of a school-wide outbreak is high.

The condition's prevalence amongst the preschool set doesn't mean that it only targets the young. Anyone can contract ringworm of the scalp (and its sister infections, jock itch and athlete's foot). What exactly is this condition, how can you recognize it and what are the available treatments for it? Read on to learn more about ringworm of the scalp and how to get rid of it.

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