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How to Treat Ringworm That Won't Go Away
Ringworm is a contagious infection that develops after tinea, a common fungus, begins to grow on your body. You can acquire tinea from an infected person or animal, and also if your skin is exposed to damp contaminated surfaces. Ringworm gets its name from the circular, raised appearance of the ringworm rash; it is not caused by a worm, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians 2. Most people can eliminate ringworm with over-the-counter anti-fungal creams, but ringworm that does not respond to these medications requires more aggressive treatment.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
See your doctor. If you have attempted to treat your ringworm for two to four weeks without success, medical treatment with a prescription anti-fungal cream or an oral anti-fungal medication is necessary.
How to Get Rid of Ringworm in Seven Days
Apply prescription anti-fungal cream to your ringworm rash as your doctor directs. Doctor-prescribed topical medications are stronger than over-the-counter creams, and they may be effective on your tough case of ringworm.
Talk to your doctor about oral anti-fungal medications. These prescription medicines are reserved for fungal infections that have been resistant to other treatments. Ringworm will usually respond quickly to anti-fungal pills, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
To reduce your risk of future ringworm infections, keep your skin clean and dry, wash your hair often, avoid sharing clothes and other personal items, wear shoes in public places and avoid touching animals with bald patches.
Watch for signs of a secondary bacterial infection, such as redness, swelling, warmth, discharge or fever, when you have ringworm. See your doctor if you suspect an infection; you may need to be treated with antibiotics.
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- MedlinePlus: Ringworm
- American Academy of Family Physicians: Tinea Infections
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fungal Diseases: Treatment for Ringworm. Updated August 6, 2018.
- American Academy of Dermatology. Ringworm: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Outcome.
- University of Michigan. Ringworm of the Scalp or Beard. Updated April 1, 2019.
- Satchell AC, Saurajen A, Bell C, Barnetson RS. Treatment of interdigital tinea pedis with 25% and 50% tea tree oil solution: a randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded study. Australas J Dermatol. 2002;43(3):175-8.
- Ledezma E, Marcano K, Jorquera A, et al. Efficacy of ajoene in the treatment of tinea pedis: a double-blind and comparative study with terbinafine. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2000;43(5 Pt 1):829-32. doi:10.1067/mjd.2000.107243
- MedlinePlus. Athlete's Foot. Updated April 16, 2019.
- To reduce your risk of future ringworm infections, keep your skin clean and dry, wash your hair often, avoid sharing clothes and other personal items, wear shoes in public places and avoid touching animals with bald patches.
- Watch for signs of a secondary bacterial infection, such as redness, swelling, warmth, discharge or fever, when you have ringworm. See your doctor if you suspect an infection; you may need to be treated with antibiotics.
Shannon Cotton is a freelance writer covering a variety of topics, including parenting, health and lifestyle. After nine years of writing for a weekly newspaper, she took her love of writing to the Web. Cotton attended Tarleton State University and received her bachelor’s degree in 2003.