Be warned! I am being totally REAL here in this post! 🙂
It has been a little stressful at our home the last ten days. It seems like when things are going well and we as a family are plugging right along, that something comes in the way and puts a road block in our path, or at least a speed bump to slow us down.
We’ve noticed for some time that the baby kittens have had spots on their coats where their fur doesn’t grow. Knowing what I know now, we should have checked into that right away. Ali and Zach love the kittens and play with them usually every day…until a week ago last Friday.
Zach noticed a small round spot on his forearm which we first thought was a bug bite. It kept getting bigger, even after we applied antibiotic ointment. Then another one began to appear on his other arm. Bill and I searched the internet for what this might be and we diagnosed him with having ringworm!
I won’t put a picture of it on this post because the pictures really gross me out! If you really want to see some pictures, just Google ringworm and you’ll see plenty. ICK! Ringworm is a fungus, similar to jock itch and athlete’s foot. It got its name from the shape it makes (a ring) and people used to think that a worm caused it (some of the spots can look like a worm making a ring). Again, GROSS! People can catch it from animals, namely cats, and can pass it on to others by contact of the affected area if not treated properly. Children are most susceptible, and so are adults with weakened immune systems. Zach got this from the cats!
I wanted to cry in reading about it. Of course some of the sites we read made us feel like the end of our lives were just around the corner, and there would be no quick treatment. I felt like a failure. Here I try to teach my children to shower daily and have good personal hygiene, I keep our home clean, I make sure we all wear freshly laundered clothes, we keep the cats outside, I feel we are all pretty healthy…and yet we have to deal with ringworm!
We then noticed a couple of spots on Ali’s legs. Bill immediately went to Walgreen’s that very evening, a week ago last Friday, and got what we thought might work to treat this stuff quickly. We used Band-Aid Wash to clean the area, applied Germ-x after the area was dry, then used Lotrimin Ultra which is an antifungal cream. Within a couple days, both Ali and Zach’s spots were clearing up! Yea!
Both kids have had a few melt-downs at different times about having ringworm! Bill and I have tried to reassure them, and help them again understand how very important it is we keep ourselves clean and check our bodies for any changes in our skin. We’ve also talked about being thankful it’s nothing more serious!
We’ve changed the kids’ bedding every day, and washed the bedding and all their clothes in hot, soapy water. We’ve bleached the shower every day. We’ve made sure the kids don’t touch the cats during this time while we are treating the cats with a spray to get rid of theirs. We’ve probably gone a little overboard in some cases, but I don’t want to take any chances!
Zach had a school physical with his pediatrician last week and even though the spots were almost gone, Dr. Gray wrote out a prescription for a stronger antifungal cream, just in case. He reassured me that this is the time of year with heat and high humidity that kids will get ringworm, and cats are natural carriers of it. He said it was nothing to get worked up about, but to treat it, and go on with life. He said not to cover the spots with a band-aid because once you start treating them, they are no longer contagious! I’ve always liked Dr. Gray! He knows me well enough by now, after fifteen years with him as the kids’ pediatrician…he probably knew what I needed to hear! 🙂
The kids spots are now almost completely gone! Hallelujah! 🙂 But last night after we got home from our trip, I felt a strange itch on my upper inner thigh…you guessed it…I found a rather large spot of ringworm, about the size of a nickel! GROSS! I again wanted to cry! I have been searching my body every day to make sure I didn’t have any spots, but my upper inner thigh is not a place I checked! Why would it appear there? This ring must have been there a couple of days already. Ugh! I began treatment immediately, and I’m praying that God will not allow any other breakouts!
So, check your body. Check your kids. Check your pets. If you see a round red area that looks like a ring, start treatment with Lotrimin Ultra immediately (you can get it at any drugstore in near the athlete’s foot cream area). I also believe the Band-Aid Wash and Germ-x helped the treatment! If you catch it early, it’s easier to treat!
Ok, I hope I didn’t totally gross you out! 🙂 If you see me in the next few days, don’t worry…I’m not contagious! (Especially with where my spot is!) If I can help anyone else not have to go through the anguish of figuring out what ringworm is, and figuring out how to treat it, then it has been all worth it! I just don’t ever want me or my family to get it again! 🙂