Showing posts with label steps in preventing ringworm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label steps in preventing ringworm. Show all posts

Ringworm self treatment

Ringworm treatment should start immediately as soon as the ringworm infection is detected. Some experts do consider ringworm as a mild and harmless condition but ignoring it and hoping that somehow it would go away on its own may not be the prudent course of action.

Initially, you can administer ringworm treatment on your own. Ringworm usually responds well to self-care within 4 weeks of medication.

For a mild case of ringworm, you can apply an over-the-counter antifungal lotion, cream or ointment. Most fungal infections respond well to these topical agents, which include:
  • Clotrimazole
  • Miconazole
  • Terbinafine
Wash and dry the affected area. Then, apply a thin layer of the topical agent once or twice a day for at least two weeks, or according to package directions.

Infected pets should also be treated.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Some fungus infections do not respond well to external applications. Examples include scalp fungus and fungus of the nails. To penetrate these areas, oral medications are necessary.

See your doctor immediately, if ringworm of the body covers a large area, affects the scalp or nails, is severe, or doesn't respond to over-the-counter medication within 4 weeks of self-care.

Your doctor will recommend either prescription-strength topical (external) medication such as Econazole or Miconazole; or oral medication like terbinafine, itraconazole, and fluconazole.

In taking oral medication to treat severe ringworm infection, the Mayo Clinic article cautions that "side effects from oral medications include gastrointestinal upset, rash and abnormal liver functioning. Taking other medications, such as antacid therapies for ulcer disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), may interfere with the absorption of these drugs. Oral medications for ringworm may alter the effectiveness of warfarin, an anticoagulant drug that decreases the clotting ability of your blood.

The MedicineNet article however, observes that "in recent years, newer agents" for ringworm treatment "have been introduced that are both safer and more effective. These include terbinafine, itraconazole, and fluconazole. Reputations die hard, however, and many people continue to fear that even these newer agents are 'bad for the liver,' when in fact they are quite safe when used properly."

Ringworm Treatment: Prevention

Prevention is still the best ringworm treatment. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, ringworm is difficult to prevent. "The fungus that causes ringworm is common and contagious even before symptoms appear."

Below are some steps you can take to help reduce the risk of ringworm: 

Be informed and inform others. Be aware of the risk of acquiring ringworm from infected persons and pets. Educate your children about ringworm, and tell them what to look out for, and how to avoid infection.

Stay clean. Hygiene is important in preventing the spread of ringworm in your household. Wash your hands often, and encourage your children to do the same, to avoid the spread of infection. Always keep your hands and feet clean and dry. Shampoo your hair regularly, especially after every hair cut. Wear shoes or sandals all the time at the gym, locker rooms, and pools. Use sanitizers and disinfectants to clean common or shared areas in your house, at school, in child care centers, gyms, locker rooms, and in areas where you keep your pet cats or dogs.

Stay cool and dry. Avoid excessive sweating, don't wear heavy clothing in warm, humid weather. Dr. Stoppler observes: " Common recommendations along these lines are for men to wear boxer shorts, for women to avoid panty hose, and so forth. Whether these measures, some of which are quite difficult to implement, are really worth all of the effort is open to question. One thing is sure though: white socks (which are often recommended for athlete's foot) are not necessary!"

Avoid infected animals. According to Dr. Stoppler, cats are the most commonly affected pets. Often they show skin changes similar to those of affected humans. Look out for bald spots or patches of skin where fur is missing. In some cats, however, the symptom may not be visible. If you're not sure, bring your cat to the veterinarian to check for ringworms. Infected dogs, on the other hand, generally always show the typical skin symptoms of ringworm.

Treat your pets of ringworm or have them checked by a vet if you're not sure. Remember, ringworm infection does not create lasting immunity and you can be infected with ringworm repeatedly through continued contact with infected pets.

Don’t share personal items. Don't let others use your personal items like clothing, towels, hairbrushes, combs, gloves, and headgear. Of course, you too must make it a point not to borrow those items from others. To be doubly safe, wash and dry these items after every use.


Doctor's Pulse by Dr. Melissa Conrad Stoppler. Topics range from bed bugs, bee sting treatment, spring cleaning tips, night sweats, sleep, stress buster tips, fitness tips and more., "Tools for Healthier Lives" medical resource service by the highly-respected Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.