Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin. Despite the name, a worm is not responsible for causing ringworm. The fungus that causes ringworm grow sin areas that are warm and moist, such as swimming pools, showers, and in the folds of skin. It is highly contagious and is spread through contact with an infected human or animal or by sharing towels, sports equipment, clothing, or dirty shower stalls. Fortunately, there are several treatments for ringworm.
At-home remedies for ringworm are popular and they usually work well. The first line of attack is to use an antifungal ointment or cream. Many can be purchased over-the-counter at a local pharmacy or drugstore. The best antifungal creams that can be used without a prescription include the ingredients miconazole or clotrimazole. There are several popular brand names of antifungal creams or ointments, such as Lotrimin®, Monistat®, Tinactin®, and Micatin®.
For at-home treatments for ringworm, wash the affected area with soapy water, removing any flaking skin, and drying the area completely. Then, gently apply the antifungal ointment to the affected area. It is important to follow the directions on the ointment and not use it for a longer period of time than what is recommended. If the symptoms persist or if there are any concerns, it is always best to consult a medical doctor.
Sometimes over-the-counter antifungal creams or ointments do not clear up the infection, so other remedies for ringworm become necessary. The next line of attack for ringworm is oral treatment. Antifungal pills are common, but in most cases, they are prescribed by a doctor and are usually taken either once a day or once a week for several weeks, depending on the exact prescription.
Azole pills, usekd to treat ringworm, absorb into the body quicker if they are swallowed with orange juice or cola. Unfortunately there are a few side effects with the azole pills, such as headaches, nausea, rash, and problems with the liver. They should not be consumed by pregnant or nursing women or anyone who is drinking alcohol because of an increased chance of damage to the liver.
Other treatments for ringworm include terbinafine pills and griseofulvin pills. Terbinafine pills are taken twice a day for two weeks and have few side effects. Griseofulvin pills should be consumed with fatty food so that the medication can be absorbed by the body quickly. The side effects associated with griseofulvin pills include sensitivity to light, nausea, and headaches.
Although it is handy to know the treatments for ringworm, it is also good to know how to prevent it from reoccurring and how to avoid it to begin with. To prevent its return, apply talcum powder or other drying agent to the affected area each day. Keeping clean gymnasiums, locker rooms, bathrooms, sand schools can help prevent the spread of ringworm. It is also best not to share personal items, such as towels and clothes with other people.