Ringworm is an unsightly, mildly infectious fungal infection of the skin. Over-the-counter ringworm treatment is readily available and comes in the form of anti-fungal drying powder, creams, and lotions. The more effective treatments contain miconazole and clotrimazole. Ringworm is usually harmless but can be persistent, and prescription ringworm treatment in the form of anti-fungal pills may be required if this is the case.
Curing ringworm will depend on where it is on the body. Ringworm, also called tinea, can appear on the scalp, face, and bearded area of the face, in the groin area, and in the nails and toes. The best advice for sufferers of scalp ringworm is to seek medical advice, as over-the-counter ringworm treatment in the form of anti-fungal creams are unable to penetrate into the scalp. The best treatment for ringworm in this case is doctor-prescribed anti-fungal tablets containing griseofulvin, as well as the use of a shampoo containing selenium sulfide.
Treatments for ringworm on the skin, the groin area (also known as jock itch), and on the toes (athlete's foot) include topical applications of miconazole and clotrimazole, which are both effective anti-fungal agents, as well as creams containing terbinafine and griseofulvin. The best advice is to consult a pharmacist or doctor, who will base his diagnosis on where the ringworm is.
Treating ringworm can be difficult to cure in that it spreads easily. Symptoms include itchy, scaly patches of skin, usually in the shape of a ring. Scratching at the skin causes the infection to spread. The symptoms do not appear immediately, so the sufferer may be unaware that he should be receiving treatment for a certain part of his body while he is treating another part. This can give the impression that the infection is untreatable, as it keeps appearing on different parts of the body.
Applying an over-the-counter ringworm treatment should be accompanied by other treatment strategies. Keeping the infection clean is vital, and frequent hand washing after contact ensures the containment of the fungus to one area of the body. It is also important to wash sheets and blankets every day, so as to prevent further infection.
An over-the-counter ringworm treatment needs about two weeks of application, twice a day. Any ringworm persisting after this time should be checked by a doctor, as stronger medication may be required. During the examination, a sample may be taken from the infected area to determine what kind of fungus is causing the problem, and a suitable prescription ringworm treatment given.