An estimated 20% of the population is thought to have ringworm or similar skin affliction at some point in their lives. Ringworm is a common fungal infection also known as Dermatophytosis. Ringworm and pregnancy are often found to coexist – it could be that it is a preexisting condition or that a woman develops it after having become pregnant.
Ringworm and pregnancy will have the same symptoms if a woman contracted it in her non pregnant state – a flat scaly, circular patch on the skin, with a discernable outer edge.
In many cases there could be more than one patch and the location may differ as per the type of ringworm. This patch could grow in size and may also be itchy.
With ringworm and pregnancy, one of the common apprehensions would be if the infection can be passed on from the mother to the baby.
However, this is not an infection that passes from the blood stream of the mother to the baby, so even if it does cause discomfort and pain for the mother, it is unlikely to have any negative impact on the baby.
What may be of greater concern is the medications that are safe to take for easing ringworm and pregnancy, since there are limited medicines that are safe for women to have while carrying a baby.
Fungal rash creams are generally prescribed to treat ringworm, however before using even over-the-counter drugs such as clotrimazole, it is best to consult with a doctor about possible implications of the use of that drug.
It is thought that topical applications that contain nystatin and triamcinolone are generally safe for treating ringworm during pregnancy since formulations containing these substances are to be found in category C of the FDA pharmaceutical list; which is a list of drugs not known to cause any problems during pregnancy, but not thought to be completely safe either.
Tea tree oil can be an effective antidote to ringworm, however just because it is a herbal remedy, it should not be assumed that it is safe to take during pregnancy. Some experts are of the view that tree oil is not suitable for ringworm and pregnancy.
Scrupulous standards of hygiene are also important to maintain to control ringworm in pregnancy – this can help the condition resolve itself quicker and minimize the chances of its returning.