Ringworm refers to a fungal infection of the skin. Despite what the name seems to suggest, the condition has no association with worms. However, the name comes from the nature of the infected area, which appears as a round ring. The ring is usually red in color. It is also scaly and dry. The radial rash caused by the fungus can be flat or elevated. Given that a fungus is the primary cause of ringworm, it is possible to treat the condition using antifungal drugs. These drugs include oral and topical medications.
Topical drugs are usually the first option for treating ringworm and other fungal infections. Most of these drugs can be bought from conventional retailers in different forms. Most of them are available in powder, cream, lotion, and ointment form. When buying topical medications from ordinary retailers, it is important to consider products that contain active ingredients. Active ingredients to look for include terbinafine, miconazole, butenafine, naftifine, clotrimazole, and tolnaftate or ketoconazole. Terbinafine is an effective antifungal ingredient for ringworm treatment. There are chances of experiencing some side effects after using topical medications.
However, the risk of side effects is low. Nevertheless, it is crucial to read the provided directions and follow them carefully. You should consult a medical doctor to prescribe a powerful antifungal drug if topical drugs bought from retailers fail to work.
Oral medications provide a reliable alternative to topical drugs that have failed. Your medical professional may prescribe antifungal drugs that can be taken orally to destroy ringworm infections. Oral medicines also contain important active ingredients, but in different amounts compared to the amounts of these ingredients in topical medications. Oral medicines are effective in treating ringworm infections on the scalp, toenails, and fingernails. Given that oral drugs enter directly into the body, there are chances that side effects may occur. Skin rashes, stomach upsets, and abnormal functioning of the liver are the common side effects.
The treatment duration for ringworm depends on the proper use of the relevant drugs. The infection can disappear within one month if infected people use drugs properly. In case the infection fails to respond for more than a month, it is advisable to consult a doctor to evaluate the situation. The doctor should then provide stronger drugs as needed. You can shorten the treatment duration by choosing topical medications containing terbinafine. This drug is reported to destroy ringworm within one week.
Other Treatment Methods
Apart from using drugs to treat ringworm, other methods may also help to eliminate the infection. One of the treatment methods involves preventing the infection from spreading to other parts of the body. You should also prevent the infection from spreading to other people. Some of recommended actions include washing your bed sheets and pajamas daily. Also, wash and dry the infected areas daily. Do not scratch the affected area to avoid spreading the infection.
How to Prevent Ringworm
Once you are infected with ringworm, it is vital to prevent further infections. Prevention is crucial for persons who are prone to athlete’s foot and jock itch. Avoid body-to-body contact with infected persons or animals. Moreover, avoid sharing personal items such as hairbrushes and towels. Also, wear clothes and shoes that do not retain moisture. It is also advisable to wear sandals in locker rooms and water shoes in shower rooms. Towels should so be kept clean.