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How long can ringworm live on clothing?

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Quick Answer

Ringworm is a fungal infection that can live on surfaces, including clothing, for months, according to Healhtap. It can be cleaned using antifungal spray and laundering.

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Ringworm, a highly contagious fungal infection also known as tinea, spreads through contact with infected items such as clothing, locker room floors, brushes, combs and hats, according to WebMD. It can also spread through direct contact with an infected person. Without proper treatment, ringworm can live on these surfaces for months.

The Iowa Department of Health recommends killing ringworm on clothing and bedding by laundering them in hot water and a commercial fungicidal product. Topical treatment can be used for people infected with ringworm or, if that is not effective, a prescription antifungal medication. Until treated, infected people should limit their direct contact with others, such as abstaining from contact sports or using swimming pools.

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