Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin, feeding on the keratin found on the outer layer. You can develop ringworm just about any place on your skin, including your scalp, your hands and your lip. Ringworm is highly contagious and can even spread from one body part to another. If you think you have lip ringworm, it is important to identify and treat it immediately to avoid spreading it.
Recognize ringworm symptoms. It may look like a round, flat patch of skin that is very itchy. It can appear raised, with red scaly rings of skin. Lip ringworm may also appear in a circle, with the center looking healthy and the ring looking red or inflamed.
Avoid spreading your lip ringworm to other parts of your body. Try not to touch the affected area with your hands, and if you do, wash your hands immediately with warm, soapy water. Avoid kissing other people or sharing food and drink.
Consider over-the-counter medicine for mild cases. Almost all over-the-counter ringworm treatment is topical and comes in the form of lotion, cream or ointment. These medications usually must be applied twice daily. First wash and dry the affected area thoroughly, then coat the area with a thin layer of medication.
Consider prescription medication for lip ringworm that covers a large area or does not clear up after two weeks of over-the-counter medication. Most prescription medications come in the form of topical ringworm treatment, such as miconzole or terbinafine. There are also oral medications like ketoconazole, but they are best used on ringworm found on the scalp or in the nails.
The directions for ringworm treatment medications can vary. Always follow your doctor's or the manufacturer’s directions.
See your health care provider if you do not see an improvement in the lip ringworm within two weeks or if you develop swelling, fluid drainage or fever.