How can you treat ringworm?


Quick Answer

How you treat ringworm on the body depends on the location of the infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Ringworm on the skin can typically be treated with over-the-counter antifungal creams, lotions and powders. Ringworm on the scalp or nails must be treated with prescription oral medications.

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Full Answer

Ringworm is a common fungal infection that develops on the top layer of the skin, according to Mayo Clinic. It appears as a red circular ring on the skin and is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact. Although it can be itchy, the infection is not life-threatening.

There are several over-the-counter antifungal treatments you can apply to a ringworm infection on the skin, such as clotrimazole, miconazole, terbinafine and ketoconazole, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Follow the directions on the package label for proper application. These treatments may need to be applied to the skin for two to four weeks, until the infection clears up. For infections on the scalp or nail, you must see a doctor, who can then prescribe a specific oral antifungal medication. These include griseofulvin, terbinafine, itraconazole and fluconazole, which are typically taken for one to three months. Your doctor determines which type of medication is best for you.

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