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Treating Ringworm

Updated on August 30, 2011
Scalp ringworm should be treated by a physician.
Scalp ringworm should be treated by a physician.


Ringworm is an itchy rash with a reddish border and normal skin tone inside the border. The rash can spread by contact with the rash or surfaces that have been contaminated with the fungus that causes ringworm. Treating ringworm can be done with home remedies or over-the-counter medicated lotions or creams.

Ringworm is a fungal infection, so it is treated with antifungal medications. Antifungal creams and lotions are available at most drug stores. Sometimes, people are embarrassed to purchase these antifungal products and prefer to purchase them on the Internet. The person using the antifungal treatment should follow the directions on the package.

If the ringworm does not go away within four weeks or if the ringworm is on the scalp or nails, people should seek medical attention. A doctor can prescribe an antifungal medication for ringworm of the scalp or nails. People with ringworm should consult their doctor immediately if the rash shows any signs of becoming infected such as increased redness or if the person develops a fever.

Home Remedies for Ringworm

Many people prefer to use home remedies for ringworm instead of the over-the-counter anti-fungal medications. One ringworm home remedy is to mix iodine and rubbing alcohol in equal parts and apply to the ringworm rash with a cotton ball.

Papaya is used in many ringworm home remedies. A paste can be made with the papaya seeds or the fruit of the papaya can be rubbed on the rash. Another type of paste to get rid of ringworm is made with mustard seeds. Tea tree oil is a common ingredient in various home remedies to treat many different conditions. Ringworm is no exception.

Preventing Ringworm Recurrences

Because ringworm is contracted by contact with surfaces that have been contaminated with ringworm or a fungus that causes ringworm, disinfecting the environment is important while treating ringworm. A person who just got rid of ringworm wouldn't want to pick it up again from their home or pets.

If someone gets ringworm, pets in the household should be checked for ringworm. Ringworm can be transmitted from pets to humans. Therefore, if the person gets rid of ringworm but doesn't treat the pet, the person can get ringworm again from the pet. Also, a cat or dog can get ringworm from humans.

Bed sheets and clothing needs to be washed after coming in contact with the ringworm rash. As an added precaution, the person may want to disinfect the shower or bathtub that is being used by the person with ringworm. This is also true for athlete's foot since that rash can be spread to others who use a contaminated shower.

For more information about the contagious nature of ringworm and preventing the spread of ringworm, please visit my article: Is Ringworm Contagious?



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