How to Treat Ringworm

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Treat Ringworm
Treat Ringworm

How to Treat Ringworm. Ringworm, or "tinea," is a contagious fungal skin disease characterized by patches of rough, blistery skin surrounded by a red ring. It is caused by a fungus living on the skin, rather than a worm, as its name suggests. Ringworm is treated with pills or antifungal topical creams, powders and lotions.

Treat Ringworm with Antifungal Solutions

Consult a physician as soon as ringworm symptoms occur. Ringworm treatment is more effective the earlier it begins.

Treat ringworm of the body with over-the-counter antifungal lotions and creams, such Micatin, Tinactin or Lotriminutes

Follow directions and complete at least 1 week of treatment. If there is no improvement, your doctor may prescribe antifungal medication, as well as antibiotics.

Take the complete cycle of medication and follow directions. Know that ringworm of the scalp and nails is much more difficult to treat than ringworm of the body. It is also more difficult to treat if you have a weakened immune system or are fighting another illness.

Prevent the Spread of Ringworm While You Heal

Wear clothing or a protective bandage over the infected area to prevent skin contact with other people.

Avoid activities, such as swimming in public pools, that may put other people at risk.

Don't share personal items, such as combs, clothing or towels, while you are infected.

Treat Ringworm with Natural Solutions

Supplement antifungal treatments with multivitamins and supplements containing gamma-linolenic-acid or GLA.

Soothe ringworm patches with slices of papaya, paste made from ground mustard seeds or a topical calendula cream made from ornamental "pot marigold."

Use herbs like tea tree oil and lavender, or boost the immune system with echinacea.

Strengthen your immune system with a healthy diet, including dark-skinned fruits and leafy green vegetables, proteins and whole grains.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your feet clean and dry to avoid athlete's foot and always wear clean socks when exercising. Visit FamilyDoctor.org for more tips on avoiding ringworm (see Resources below).
  • Avoid touching animals with bald patches, which could be a sign of ringworm.
  • Be sure to have your pet treated, as well, if you've gotten an infection from your dog or cat.

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