Mehul is a 29-year-old man, who was feeling itchy on his neck. He didn’t notice what was wrong for a day or two, but on the third day, he noticed something unusual on his neck. He at once got worried and consulted a doctor. The doctor examined and confirmed it was nothing but a ringworm infection. Mehul was prescribed a 3-day ringworm treatment and now his condition is absolutely fine.
Our skin is our largest organ and therefore it is prone to several skin infections and one of them is ringworm. Ringworm, as the name suggests, is an infection caused in the form of a ring shape on the skin. It is most common in children and can be treated with antifungal medicine.
Let’s dig deeper to understand what is ringworm and what is the best ringworm medicine for an effective cure?
What is Ringworm?
Ringworm is a highly contagious infection of the skin caused by a fungus. It is called so because it causes a rash in a circular shape, which is often very itchy and red. Also known as Tinea or Dermatophytosis, ringworm as you may assume is not at all caused by any worm. It is usually spread due to a lack of hygiene and spread from the skin of an infected person to another person.
Ringworm can appear on different areas of the body, and the type of ringworm is often named after the location of the infection.
Ringworm can affect the following areas of the body:
- Scalp: known as Tinea capitis
- Beard: called Tinea barbae
- Feet: often called Athlete’s Foot or Tinea Pedis
- Hands: known as Tinea manuum
- Toenails or fingernails: referred to as onychomycosis
- Groin: commonly known as jock itch
Symptoms of Ringworm
How do you know that the skin infection you are suffering from is ringworm and nothing else? For this here is a list of common symptoms to detect that it is dermatophytosis or ringworm:
- Circular Patch
- Red and Itchy Skin
- Scaly and Cracked Skin
- Hair Loss
- Burning Sensation
- Red Bumps in Ring Shape
Causes of Ringworm
Before we throw light on the best treatment of ringworm infection, let us first examine the main causes of this skin infection. This is a skin infection in which a fungus starts eating keratin. So, ringworm is generally seen in the areas of the body where there is more keratin like skin, hair, scalp, and nails. The three main forms through which a ringworm infection spreads are:
- Human skin to human skin in close contact
Ringworm can be contracted through contact with an infected person. Ringworm patients should refrain from sharing towels, clothing, combs, or any other personal things with others in order to prevent the spread of the infection.
An infected animal comes in contact with a healthy human being
Ringworm can be acquired by touching a pet with the infection. Ringworm can be transmitted to humans by a variety of animals, including cats and dogs, particularly puppies and kittens. Other animals, such as goats, cows, horses, and pigs, may pass on ringworm to humans.
Ringworm fungi can thrive on surfaces, especially in wet environments such as public shower facilities and locker rooms. As a result, it is recommended to refrain from walking in these areas without shoes.
Treatments for ringworm infection for Humans
Here are some common treatments of ringworm for humans:
1. Let Your Skin Breathe
The first thing to note as a measure to increase the effectiveness of a ringworm treatment is to keep your skin free without any bandage. This will allow the skin to breathe and it will enhance the healing process. Bandaging on the other hand will keep the moisture intact and slow down the healing process.
2. Skin Care
As part of a ringworm treatment, make sure to indulge in proper skincare too. For this, make sure to wash your skin gently and dry it using a soft towel, but don’t rub it. Besides, you must change your bedding daily and change your underwear, and socks quite often, because ringworm generally infects the groin and areas where sweat accumulates. Also, try to wear loose-fitting garments and undergarments.
You can trust the power of over-the-counter antifungal medicines to treat ringworm infections. Medicines like Clotrimazole, Terbinafine, and Miconazole can be very effective as topical antifungal medicines if applied twice or thrice on the infected area for three consecutive days. You can also try some over-the-counter antifungal lotions, powders, and creams to get relief from this skin infection.
4. Antifungal Shampoo
Likewise, we suggest you try an antifungal shampoo to treat the ringworm on the scalp. If you are experiencing scalp boils, hair loss, and itchiness of the scalp, make sure to wash your hair with a good anti-fungal shampoo to kill the bacteria that has infected your scalp.
Home Remedies to Treat Ringworm
Apart from the above-mentioned treatment options for ringworm, you may also try the following home remedies:
1. Tea Tree Oil
The first effective home remedy that one can try to heal ringworm infection is tea tree oil. Various studies have revealed that tea tree oil is effective in treating fungal skin infections.
2. Coconut Oil
Likewise, you can trust the power of coconut oil for its antifungal and microbial properties to treat ringworm infection. Just use warm coconut oil and apply to the infected area thrice a day and see the difference.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Possessing strong antifungal properties, apple cider vinegar is very effective in treating skin infections like ringworm. Just soak a cotton ball into apple cider vinegar and apply it on the infected skin thrice a day to see the results.
4. Aloe Vera
Try using fresh aloe vera or one available in the market in a gel form to soothe your ringworm fungal infection. It will help relieve you from inflammation in itchiness.
These tips might help prevent the spread of ringworm if it is present in your household:
- Keep your clothes and skin dry and clean.
- Wear airy footwear that allows free passage of air around the feet.
- Keep the nails on your fingertips and toes clean and short.
- Change your underpants and socks every day.
- Refrain from walking barefoot in facilities such as public showers.
- Avoid sharing towels, clothing, sheets, or other private items with someone who has ringworm.
- Consider washing your hands using soap and water after playing with pets. If you suspect that your dog or cat has ringworm, take them to a veterinary doctor right away.
- If you participate in sports that require you to be in close contact with other players, shower promptly after your practice or play and keep your athletic gear clean. Avoid sharing sports equipment with other players on the team.
Best Ringworm Medicine
Let’s talk about the best ringworm medicines prescribed by renowned doctors. Usually, all doctors prescribe topical antifungal medications to treat this kind of skin infection. Some of the medicines prescribed for ringworm are Griseofulvin, Terbinafine, and Itraconazole.
The Bottom Line
We believe that prevention is always better than cure. So, instead of you looking for ringworm medicine, try to first pay attention to your body hygiene to prevent such infections in the first place. In case, still you get infected with ringworm or Dermatophytosis, then you know what type of ringworm treatment to start by reading the information provided herein this article. If you still don’t experience any improvement in your symptoms, do consult a doctor at the earliest.
Does apple cider vinegar kill ringworm?
There is some evidence that apple cider vinegar might possess antifungal properties that could aid in the treatment of ringworm; however, there are currently insufficient studies to conclude that apple cider vinegar alone is an effective treatment for ringworm. A visit to a healthcare provider is essential for an accurate evaluation and treatment of ringworm.
How to treat ringworm at home?
While seeing a medical professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for ringworm infection is always recommended, some home remedies for ringworm that may help relieve symptoms include:
• Keeping the affected area dry and clean
• Using antifungal lotions or ointments available over the counter
• Using tea tree oil, coconut oil, aloe vera, or apple cider vinegar may be helpful home remedies.
Are there any ringworm complications?
A: Fungal infections seldom spread beneath the skin's surface. Any serious disease is highly unlikely; however, ringworm may spread from one area of the body to another if not treated.
If your skin over ringworm ruptures, bacteria may penetrate and trigger an infection.
People who have HIV, are receiving chemotherapy for cancer, or have other illnesses that impair their immunity are more susceptible to getting ringworm than others. When the body's immune system is weak, it becomes highly challenging to eliminate the infection.
What is the difference between ringworm and eczema?
Many skin disorders, including eczema, can mimic ringworm. Ringworm and eczema both produce itchy and red skin. Eczema, unlike ringworm, is not contagious and does not spread from one part of your body to another. Ringworm has a distinctive ringlike look. For an accurate diagnosis, you should consult with a healthcare specialist.