The majority of ringworm cases can be treated at home with antifungal creams that you don’t need a prescription for. The rash will typically improve within about 2 weeks however; most antifungal creams should be used for about 2 to 4 weeks to make sure you completely get rid of the fungus.
If you are using an antifungal cream and the rash does not improve you might consider an alternative medication. If you notice that the rash is more severe, more widespread or continues to come back even after you have used the medication, then an alternative medication will need to be used. One option is antifungal pills that you can get with a prescription from your doctor. If you do take the pills, in order to make sure the ringworm is completely gone you will need to complete the full medication course your doctor prescribed even after the symptoms have disappeared. This will keep the infection from returning within a few days, weeks or even months.
Some of the medications you might consider taking are:
- Allylamines – This includes medications like Lamisil (available without a prescription). These can be purchased as a cream, pill or a gel.
- Terbinafine – This medication is an oral granule which is sprinkled over your food so it is easy to swallow.
- Azoles – This is an oral medication which includes Diflucan and Sporanox and can be purchased without a prescription. Brand names of these can include medications such as Mycelex and Micatin.
- Tinactin (contains tolnaftate) – This medication comes in the form of a lotion, gel, spray or cream and can be purchased without a prescription.
- Griseofulvin – This medication comes in the form of a pill and will require a prescription from your doctor.
- Clotrimazole or Betamethasone – This medication is a mixture of corticosteroid and antifungal. It is used most often to treat cases of ringworm that are severe; it includes bringing, itching and swelling. If you are taking this prescription medication you should not use it for more than two weeks at a time and should not be used long term because of the side effects that are related to corticosteroid use long term.
If you are using any type of antifungal pill you should make sure that your doctor monitors your blood count and kidney and liver function to ensure there are no negative side effects taking place.
Treating ringworm should not be a dangerous process so finding out all you can from your doctor about treatment options is vital in getting rid of the ringworm without worrying about side effects that may occur. Once the ringworm is treated and cured take the necessary steps in prevention to keep it from coming back again.