There are several creams, ointments, and oral medications that can treat ringworm, a rash that often, but not always, grows in a ring pattern on the skin. The rash can spread and start to ooze in patches. It is usually very itchy. The good news is that there are ways to get rid of it.
Attack the Cause
Fungi that live on the skin and hair cause ringworm. The fungi thrive in warm, wet areas such as the folds of the skin and can be passed from person to person on wet towels, clothing, sports gear, or locker room floors. Treating ringworm involves targeting the fungi that cause it.
Start by buying an over-the-counter antifungal cream or ointment. Brand names include Tinactin and Lamisil, but there are many others. Follow the directions. If the rash does not get better, ask your doctor for a prescription-strength ointment. Particularly stubborn cases may require oral medication. Ringworm on your scalp, which can cause hair loss, often is treated with a prescription from your doctor.
Make sure you continue using the ointment or taking the pills for as long as you are directed to do so. The rash could start to appear better as soon as you begin treatment, but it will get bad again if you stop the treatment too soon. It could take up to a month to get rid of ringworm.
Sometimes ringworm leads to a secondary infection when bacteria enter the irritated skin. Bacterial infections require antibiotic ointment or oral medication.
Prevent Its Return
Once you have successfully treated ringworm, take steps to avoid another bout. Keep your skin, including your feet, clean and dry. If you have had it in your scalp, make sure to shampoo every day. Protect yourself from fungi in public areas by wearing footwear at gyms and locker rooms. Do not share towels, combs and other person items.
“Ringworm – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention of Ringworm.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2012. <http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/ringworm-of-the-skin-topic-overview>.
“Ringworm: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2012. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001439.htm>