Treating Ringworm at Home: What You Need to Know

Have you been struggling to get rid of your ringworm? You don’t need to spend time and money on expensive treatments. Here’s what you need to know about treating ringworm at home.

Quick facts: Treating Ringworm At Home

  • ✅ Ringworm is a fungal infection that can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal creams or ointments. (Mayo Clinic)
  • ✅ Try to keep the affected area clean and dry. Wear loose, comfortable clothing to prevent rubbing and friction. (CDC)
  • ✅ Apple cider vinegar has antifungal and antibacterial properties, and can help to fight off the infection. (Healthline)
  • ✅ Tea tree oil, garlic, and lavender oil can also be used to treat ringworm. (Healthline)
  • ✅ Ringworm can spread through contact with infected people, pets, or items, so it’s important to practice good hygiene. (WebMD)

Overview of Ringworm

Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin and is caused by a variety of fungi known as dermatophytes. It is highly contagious and can spread through direct contact with infected people or animals, or indirectly through shared items such as clothing and towels. It appears as a red, scaly, and often itchy patch on the skin.

Understanding the signs, symptoms, and causes of ringworm is important for successful treatment.

Definition of ringworm

Ringworm is a type of fungal infection that appears on the skin as red or pink patches in the shape of a ring. It is also known as tinea or dermatophytosis.

Ringworm is caused by certain types of fungi that live on the skin and can spread between people or animals. The most common symptoms are itchy, patchy, and scaly skin that might blister or ooze. It can affect any part of the body, but most often appears on the hands, feet, scalp, abdomen and groin areas.

Treatment for ringworm usually involves antifungal creams or ointments that are applied to the affected area two to three times a day for several weeks until the infection has cleared up. In some cases oral medications may be needed to fight off a more severe infection.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of ringworm can vary, but typically include red, scaly patches on the skin that are often itchy. The affected area may be surrounded by a circular patch of red blister-like bumps or bumps with pus. In some cases, the rash may blister or form a raised bumpy patch. In addition to appearing on the skin, ringworm can also occur in other parts of the body like the scalp and feet.

If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, it is important to get checked by a doctor as soon as possible to determine if you have ringworm. Many people confuse ringworm with other conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, so it is important to have an accurate diagnosis so that you can receive appropriate treatment at home.


Ringworm is caused by a fungus called dermatophytes, which live on the skin and can cause an infection. Since ringworm is highly contagious, it can spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. It can also spread from direct contact with an infected person or animal. Pets are a common source of ringworm, as they come in close contact with humans and can easily transmit it. Ringworm can also spread through sharing towels, bedding, clothes, and other items that have been in contact with an affected person or animal. If you suspect ringworm on scalp, it is important to treat it as soon as possible.

It is important to note that anyone can get ringworm; however, certain people are at greater risk such as:

  • Those who frequently have close contact with animals.
  • Those who have a weakened immune system due to medication or illness.
  • Those who wear tight clothing that does not allow air to circulate around the body (such as athletes who compete in wrestling matches).
  • Those who engage in behaviors such as picking at the skin which may leave open sores that are susceptible to infection.

Treatment Options

Ringworm can be an uncomfortable skin condition, and it is important to take steps to treat it as soon as possible. While it is possible to treat ringworm at home, it is important to be aware of the different treatment options available. From topical creams and ointments to oral medications, each of these treatment options come with their own pros and cons. Let’s take a look:

  • Topical creams and ointments – These are applied directly to the affected area and can be effective in treating mild cases of ringworm.
  • Oral medications – These are generally prescribed for more severe cases of ringworm, and they can be effective in treating the infection more quickly.

Over-the-counter medications

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can help treat ringworm, an infection of the skin caused by fungi. Common OTC topical antifungal medications include clotrimazole, miconazole and terbinafine. These products are available in creams, lotions, gels and sprays. OTC oral antifungal medications are also available for more severe cases of ringworm or for those that have not responded to topical treatment. Such medications include butenafine hydrochloride, fluconazole and itraconazole.

When treating a fungal infection like ringworm at home with an over-the-counter medication, it is important to:

  • Use the correct dosage instructions as indicated on the packaging label and follow the instructions consistently until completing the full course of treatment.
  • Keep the affected area clean and dry in order to prevent spreading or worsening of symptoms.
  • It may take up to two weeks for ringworm symptoms to subside; if symptoms do not improve or worsen after two weeks of treatment, contact a healthcare provider for further medical advice.

Home remedies

Home remedies are one of the most popular options for treating ringworm. These are simple, non-invasive treatments that can be done in the comfort of your own home. Common home remedies include:

  • Using a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to create a topical solution to gently rub onto the skin and reducing itching.
  • Taking an oatmeal bath to soothe irritated skin and reduce inflammation.
  • Applying a cool compress to the affected area to help reduce itching.
  • Using over-the-counter ointments, such as Lotrimin or Tinactin, on the infected area to help treat ringworm.

However, these home remedies may not completely get rid of ringworm and it is important to speak with your doctor if symptoms persist or worsen over time. Additionally, in some cases you may need antibiotics or other medications prescribed by your doctor.

Prescription medications

Prescription medications are medications that need to be prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacy. They are typically used for more severe or stubborn cases of ringworm.

One common prescription medication for ringworm is an antifungal ointment such as ketoconazole or clotrimazole. These ointments can be applied directly to the affected area once or twice daily, depending on the severity of the infection.

In some cases, a doctor may also prescribe an oral antifungal medication such as terbinafine or griseofulvin. Oral antifungals tend to be more effective but can also cause side effects in some people so it is important to follow your doctor’s advice exactly when taking them.


Prevention is the best way to avoid getting ringworm. It is important to watch for any unusual skin irritations and to stay away from anyone who has an active ringworm infection. Additionally, it is important to keep the skin clean and dry, and to avoid sharing items, such as towels and clothing, with others.

Let’s take a look at what else you need to know:

Good hygiene

Good hygiene is an essential part of treating ringworm in dogs at home. This includes washing the infected area with mild soap and warm water, as well as keeping it dry. To prevent the spread of infection, it’s important to keep the infected area clean and to avoid touching or scratching the area.

Additionally, you should also take care when dealing with loose clothing or sheets that may have come in contact with the infection.

Also, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after applying any medications or creams as this helps to reduce further spread of the fungus. Furthermore, if someone you live with also has ringworm, it’s important to keep both areas separate and use separate towels and sheets – this helps prevent cross-infection.

Finally, disinfect surfaces such as shower curtains, towels and clothes hampers regularly to help protect against infection.

Avoid sharing personal items

To prevent the spread of ringworm, it is important to never share personal items such as clothing, combs, towels, or bedding with others. Even if an individual does not show any physical signs of having ringworm, the fungus can still be present and can easily spread from person to person.

In addition to avoiding sharing personal items, make sure that you also wash your hands regularly and after touching any affected skin. Lastly, do your best to clean objects such as combs and brushes that may have come into contact with a person’s infected skin.

Doing these simple steps can help reduce the chances of contracting ringworm or further spreading it.

Wear protective clothing

When it comes to preventing ringworm, wearing protective clothing is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk. This includes wearing lightweight, long-sleeved clothing when outdoors, and keeping cuts and scrapes covered while they heal. Additionally, avoid sharing personal items such as towels, hats, hair brushes and other objects that come into contact with your skin. If your cat is already infected, you can try treating ringworm in cats at home.

It’s also important to keep your hands clean. Wash them often with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer and ensure that any cuts on them are kept covered with a bandage until healed. Lastly, whenever possible keep your feet dry to prevent ringworm from taking hold there.

When to See a Doctor

Ringworm is a common skin infection that can be effectively treated with over-the-counter medications. However, if your symptoms do not improve or worsen, it is important to seek medical attention from a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

In this article, we will discuss when to see a doctor for ringworm:

When symptoms persist

If home remedies are unsuccessful or symptoms persist after a week of treatment, you should see a doctor. It is important to consult a doctor if you have any concerns about your skin condition. Your doctor may perform additional tests, such as a skin scraping or biopsy, to confirm that the rash is indeed ringworm. If you suspect your dog of having worms, make sure to follow the treat worms in dogs advice given by your vet.

The doctor may then prescribe an oral antifungal medication for more severe cases of ringworm. Oral antifungal medications are considered more effective than topical creams and include griseofulvin, terbinafine, and fluconazole. In addition to one of these medications, your doctor may also recommend using topical creams or lotions containing miconazole or clotrimazole for faster relief of the skin lesions.

Therefore, if home remedies fail to improve the condition of your rash after a week of treatment, it’s time to contact your doctor.

When the rash is spreading

If a ringworm rash is spreading rapidly, it’s time to seek medical attention. Spread of the infection can be either due to inadequate topical treatment or the presence of a more resistant strain that requires medical intervention. Symptoms such as fever, enlarged lymph nodes, pus, pain and swelling can also be signs of a more serious infection and should be evaluated by a doctor.

Antifungal medications and creams from your doctor’s office are typically needed to treat ringworm when it spreads. In most cases, these treatments will clear up signs of the infection within two weeks. If symptoms persist for longer than two weeks or if new symptoms appear after treatment begins, contact your doctor right away.

When the rash is very painful

If the rash caused by ringworm is extremely painful and uncomfortable, then it may be time to consult a doctor. Painful rashes can be caused by a variety of factors, and it’s important to rule out serious conditions like bacterial skin infections or shingles. Over-the-counter topical creams may not be able to provide relief if the issue is more serious. But don’t worry, there are some worms in cats that can be treated at home.

A doctor can assess the rash and determine whether or not it is caused by ringworm, as well as what other treatments are necessary for relief. If you experience redness and swelling in addition to the pain, then seeking medical help is especially recommended.

FAQs about: Treating Ringworm At Home

Q: What are the symptoms of ringworm?

A: Ringworm symptoms can include an itchy and scaly rash in a circular shape, as well as patches of baldness or cracked, dry skin.

Q: How can I treat ringworm at home?

A: There are several ways to treat ringworm at home, such as applying antifungal creams or lotions, taking oral antifungal medications, and keeping the affected area clean and dry. Other home remedies may include applying natural ingredients such as garlic, tea tree oil, or apple cider vinegar.

Q: How long does it take for ringworm to go away?

A: Treatment for ringworm typically lasts two to four weeks. However, the length of time can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the type of treatment used.

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