Q&A: I've been diagnosed with ringworm and I want to know how it will affect my pregnancy.
I have been diagnosed with ringworm of the skin. I have about 20-30 patches all over my body. I was being treated with a Nystatin/Trimacolone combo cream, which seemed to be working, but once I found out I was pregnant I didn't feel comfortable using it anymore because it is a Category C drug. I have switched to the safer over-the-counter Lotrim AF, but it doesn't seem to be working. Is there anything else I can do? Does this infection pose a risk to my baby?
Despite it’s name, ringworm has nothing to do with worms. Instead, it’s a contagious skin infection caused by fungus. You may be more familiar with another of ringworm’s names—if it’s in your feet, it’s called athlete’s foot. Ringworm is most often spread through contact with another infected person or pet.
The infection, though irritating, poses no risk to your unborn baby—it’s more of a cosmetic concern. The category designation of the drug you were taking is from the US Food and Drug Administration, which evaluates these prescriptions for safety. A Category C drug means that there haven’t been enough studies to evaluate whether the drug poses potential risks to your unborn baby. So it’s possible the drug may have adverse effects but not conclusive. According to the FDA, “[Category C drugs] should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.” So talk to your health care provider, just because it’s a Category C drug doesn’t mean it will harm your unborn baby.