Mild cases of ringworm are best treated by over-the-counter, antifungal topical medications, such as Lotrimin AF and Lamisil AT, according to Mayo Clinic. If the fungal infection is more severe, or the infected individual has a compromised immune system, a several-week course of oral antifungal medicine is required.
Ringworm is a very contagious fungal infection affecting the top layer of the skin. It is caused by mold-like parasites that are only visually similar to worms, producing the wavy, circular rash that characterizes the infection, explains Mayo Clinic. Ringworm is acquired through contact with the skin of an infected animal or person. It is common to contract it from pets, and ringworm is often found in cows. Ringworm is so highly contagious that even direct contact with an item that has been touched or worn by an infected person can spread the fungus.
Those that are most vulnerable to the fungal infection live in humid or damp environments, participate in athletic activities that involve skin contact, wear tight clothing or are under the age of 15 years old, states Mayo Clinic. Prevention of the contagious fungal infection involves good personal hygiene, such as frequent hand washing. Disinfecting common areas and shared surfaces in locations such as gyms and schools also works as prevention. Individuals should avoid excessive sweating and infected animals that look to be missing patches of fur, as well.