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InkyAnn's avatar

Does ONLY ringworm in humans glow under a blacklight or is there other rashes that will glow too?

Asked by InkyAnn (2441points) November 24th, 2011

Ok so here is why i’m asking. A month ago I got a kitten from a shelter. A week after I brought him home I noticed two small red bumps between his eye and ear, two on the back of his neck and one on each paw. The bumps turned into white scabs that clustered the fur together, if I cleaned them the fur came off. I took him to a vet and they shown a black light on them and said that they didn’t think it was ringworm because ringworm in cats will glow a neon green and these weren’t that color. So I didn’t think much of it. All of the scabs went away except for the two on the back of his neck. None of them grew in size at all and the ones on the back of his neck changed to normal looking scabs.

So here is where my question comes in. Tonight before bed my boyfriend asked me to look at a itchy spot on his shoulder that looked similar to this. It is small enough that it could fit on my thumb nail. Now I know that the picture says its ringworm, but that’s just the closest I could find to what it looks like. We live in a household of 3 people and our kitten is a indoor cat. No one else has any symptoms. I play with my cat all the time and constantly have deep scratches from him that have never caused anything to happen to me. My plan of action for tomorrow is to get a black light to shine on my boyfriend to see if it glows like the vet said it will before we pay to see a doctor for something we could just get over the counter medicine for. But before he freaks thinking its ringworm (if it glows) are there any other rash like spots that can glow under a blacklight as also?

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11 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

A lot of (but not all) fungi and bacterial rashs show up under a blacklight as some other skin conditions. Also I’ve read that it’s only about 50% acurate so half the time stuff that is supposed to glow doesn’t which makes it helpful in detection but can’t be relied on alone.

Ringworm is a pretty common skin condition in humans. It causes atheletes foot, “jock itch” and often found on the scalp (or anywhere else thats moist for long periods of time), so even if he has it it probably didn’t come from the cat anyway.

InkyAnn's avatar

@Lightlyseared Thank you for that. I am a little confused though. Its not on his scalp or in a “moist area” like the arm pit per-say. Its on top of his shoulder by the base of his neck where our kitten likes to ride around on. Not a place where he sweats. And I was told by the Vet that ringworm is very difficult for a human to contract from an animal.

Heres some follow up questions. Say it is ringworm (or a fungi like infection) would he have to got to a doctor to get a Rx for it or could we just get one of the creams i was reading about online to get rid of it?
Also he is on antibiotics for a minor surgery he had two days ago, will the antibiotics that hes on get rid of it?

Mariah's avatar

@Inked_up_chic Dunno what creams you’ve specifically read about, but some creams do require a prescription. And any given antibiotic may or may not be effective on any given condition. You’ll want to research the particular antibiotic he’s on to see if it works for what he has (although without a known diagnosis I don’t know if you could be sure).

Having had surgery so recently, his immune system may be compromised. So if you’re concerned, I’d say bring him to a doctor.

Mariah's avatar

Oh also, at second glance of that photo, I just want to make sure. The rash in that photo is kind of a ring of redness. Your boyfriend’s rash doesn’t also have a red central dot, does it? Because that is what the lyme disease rash looks like. Dunno if he’s been anywhere where he could have gotten a tick bite, but just something to consider.

Meego's avatar

I don’t know much about the glowing green part, but I do know that ringworm in cats can be transferred to humans.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@Inked_up_chic its more common in moist areas but you can get ringworm anywhere you have skin. I don’t know how common it is to catch it from an animal but it is very common for a human to have ring worm, often without even realisisng it.

I personally would try applying athletes foot cream to it and seeing if it made any imporvement. If it is ringworm it should look visibly improved in a day or two (but still apply the cream for at least a week). If it didn’t improve by monday then I’d go to the doc. (Like I said that is what I would do).

syz's avatar

Fluorescence under a Woods lamp is not a definitive diagnosis or elimination of ringworm. A dermatophyte test medium (DTM) culture is the true diagnostic. It’s also possible for animals to be asymptomatic carriers.

Treatment of mild cases in human is quite simple, so it wouldn’t hurt to use some jock itch cream on the lesion. Ringworm is a fungus, and antibiotics will have no effect. If it doesn’t clear up, as always, the best option is to seek medical attention.

JLeslie's avatar

If you have a stash of Lotrisome ointment (basically an antifungal and cortizone in one). I would try it twice a day for a few days and see if it improves. You can also try the jock itch cream suggested above, or vaginal yeast infection cream if you have it in the house. Add a little cortizone ointment too.

If it is not round, but rather jagged and very itchy, with blistering, it could be shingles, but not likely in that location, or that small, I doubt it is.

Ringworm is fairly common, and not a big deal, no need to freak out if that is what it is.

1Truth2love3compassion4bliss's avatar

It is likely morgellons, my cat had the same symptoms and more, me as well as 2 other members of my household have it, me the worst, on the contrary to popular belief of medical examiners its not delusional parasitosis but something we have never seen before. Likely a bioweaponized nano technology stemming from Lyme disease creation and research.

syz's avatar


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