Ryan is an experienced health writer helping educate and inform people on all types of important health topics. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT and can be found recreating in the local mountains.
Leann Poston, M.D.
Leann Poston, M.D. earned her medical degree from the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. She completed an MBA from Raj Soin College of Business, focusing on healthcare. She is a full-time medical communication writer and educator.
April 19, 2021
Ringworm can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. There are many ways to get rid of it, from home remedies and over-the-counter medicine to prescription-strength compounds designed specifically to kill the infection once and for all.
EverydayDr is partnered with PlushCare, a telehealth company that connects patients with online doctors. PlushCare was just named one of the top startups of 2021 by Forbes, and doctors have an average of 15 years of experience. This expertise enables doctors to be able to diagnose, treat, and even prescribe medication for ringworm, all virtually. You can book a same-day appointment with PlushCare here.
Cases of ringworm can occur anywhere on the body. Ringworm is a fungal infection classified under the heading of tinea. It takes on different names based on where it appears on the body and can manifest with slightly different symptoms in each of these areas.
Regardless of where and how the ringworm shows up on the body, treatment remains the same.
Want to know how to get rid of ringworm? Relax; ringworm is easily treatable by using antifungal medication (a fungus that causes ringworm). Even if you don’t know how to get rid of ringworm, it usually goes away on its own after a few months.
Even though ringworm will eventually run its course if left untreated, EverdayDr recommends using medication or at-home remedies to speed up the process. Ringworm is highly contagious even during treatment!
“A fungal infection rarely spreads below the surface of the skin to cause serious illness,” according to Mayo Clinic, “But people with weak immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS, may find it difficult to get rid of the infection.”
The first step in how to get rid of ringworm is to contact a medical professional for diagnosis. Ringworm can look like other common skin conditions–eczema, psoriasis, and even contact dermatitis. Treatment for these skin conditions is entirely different from ringworm treatment.
A doctor may ask questions about your medical history and about various lifestyle factors to classify the infection. A sample of the affected area can be tested for fungus. The doctor may even look at the skin under a black light, as some types of ringworm infections glow under black light.
If you’ve been in contact with another person or an animal who certainly has ringworm, then consider beginning treatment with an over-the-counter antifungal cream such as Clotrimazole (Lotrimin), Miconazole, or Terbinafine (Lamisil). Be sure to follow the container’s directions and wash your hands frequently, especially after touching any affected areas.
If the ringworm rash shows no sign of improvement after two weeks, then you may need to go to a medical provider for a prescription-level antifungal medication. A particularly stubborn case of ringworm may take weeks or even months to clear up completely.
Several everyday household products have antifungal properties and are worth a try for ringworm treatment.
Tinea capitis, or ringworm of the scalp, must be treated with a prescription ringworm medicine. Creams and lotions do not work for this type of ringworm. The fungus is in the hair follicles, and medicated creams do not adequately reach the infection.
Ringworm is highly contagious; don’t risk contaminating a doctor’s office! Reducing transmission is a strength of remote healthcare. EverydayDr partners with an award-winning telehealth provider called PlushCare who provides access to top-of-the-line doctors. Booking with PlushCare is easy, and you can see a doctor in as little as 15 minutes. To get a diagnosis and ringworm treatment plan, book an appointment here today.
Ringworm clears up with topical or oral antifungals. Over-the-counter brands are available, and you can pick them up at any local pharmacy or grocery store. Usually, over-the-counter medication works great for ringworm treatment and will clear it up within 2 to 4 weeks.
Over-the-counter antifungal medications for ringworm treatment include the following:
You may also need a prescription for a ringworm infection that does not go away after two weeks of treatment. Contact your doctor for ringworm treatment if your case is persistent. They can prescribe an antifungal like one of the following:
You know how to get rid of ringworm now, but what is the fastest way? Catch it early and hit it hard. The earlier you identify the infection and treat it, the better the chances are of quick relief and eradication. Early treatment can also prevent the infection from spreading, becoming chronic, or recurring.
The first sign of ringworm is a small, itchy red bump. It is easier to diagnose if you know of an infected person or animal you may have contacted. If you suspect ringworm, begin immediate treatment with an over-the-counter antifungal cream or ointment.
Keep the skin clean and dry, and apply cream or ointment as directed. While treating ringworm, avoid skin-to-skin contact with others, and be sure to have any pets examined by a veterinarian for fungal infection signs. After treatment, the last thing anyone wants is a repeat occurrence of ringworm.
If you really want to know how to cure ringworm fast, set up an appointment on PlushCare to talk to a doctor. They will be able to help you judge if over-the-counter or prescription medications are necessary.
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Book a virtual appointment with our award-winning telehealth partner PlushCare. PlushCare successfully treats 97% of conditions on the first visit.See a Doctor Now