Because of the name, you might have though this condition is caused by worms, but ringworm has no association with worms. The name is derived from its tendency to form worm-like edges. As to its cause, a fungus that breaks down the skin keratin is responsible.
Ringworm can appear on any part of the skin but prefers dark, moist, warm parts. Skin ringworm is most common, followed by athlete’s foot and scalp ringworm. Obese people can develop ringworm under overlapping layers of the skin.
In most cases, ringworm will not lead to serious health conditions such as cancer. In fact, maintaining hygiene such as not sharing shoes and drying your feet after bathing can help get rid of athlete’s foot even without treatment.
All the same, fungal medications and creams can be necessary to get rid of ringworm fast and prevent recurrent outbreaks. Some home remedies can also be used for treatment to soothe scaly and infected skin.
Symptoms of ringworm; when to go for ringworm medications
You can easily take a pimple under the skin as a ringworm infection if you are not familiar with the symptoms of ringworm. They include:
- Silvery or red rash inside a circular border.
- The rash will be itchy and scaly.
- The affected area is usually raised.
- Similar patches may start appearing on adjacent skin areas or other parts of the body. By touching different parts of your body, you can spread the infection.
- The center of the formed patches appears clear from lesions.
- On the borders/edges, you may notice small sores which ooze pus when squeezed.
- The patches can occur on any body part but most likely the legs, thighs, groin, foot, between toes, between fingers, palm, arms, scalp, neck, and face.
If you are not certain whether a rash you are experiencing is one the symptoms of ringworm, have it checked by a doctor in a clinic. Ringworm is not extremely dangerous but can cause discomfort or be passed to other people.
Which are the best ringworm treatment tablets?
Scalp ringworm requires that prescription medications be used to get rid of the fungi that causes it, which develops in the hair follicles. Some oral prescription medicine for ringworm comes in form of liquid while others can be taken as pills and tablets. They include:
- Griseofulvin – this medicine for ringworm has been around for a very long time, since the late 1950s. It comes in liquid forms for easier administration for children. The medicine is fairly safe but is associated with side effects such as nausea and headache. The side effects do not last long.
- Terbinafine –you can find it under the name Lamisil. It is sold in form of tablets which are to be taken once on a daily basis for the duration of 4 weeks. It has shown a lot of effectiveness in the past. Side effects revolving around gastric discomfort are to be expected. They however are short-lived.
- Itraconazole – in people with liver complications, old people and children, Itraconazole medicine for ringworm is not recommended. It is available in pills which are to be taken once a day for 1-2 weeks. Headache and gastric discomfort symptoms such as indigestion and nausea are to be expected when using Itraconazole.
- Antifungal shampoo – it is likely that your doctor will recommend the use of antifungal shampoo when treating scalp ringworm. Although it doesn’t necessary kill the fungi itself, it will keep the same from spreading. Medicine for ringworm and prescription pills work best when used with an antifungal shampoo.
Is over the counter ringworm cream effective
Skin ringworm, athlete’s foot and groin ringworm are mostly treated with an over the counter ringworm cream. Others are also available in ointments, gels or sprays. The market has no deficiency of these medications, so it will be important to get professional advice on which ringworm cream will work best for you.
In most cases, a ringworm cream will need to be applied for a duration of 2 weeks. Application is to be done directly to the affected areas. You can also apply the same to adjacent skin parts to avoid spreading of the ringworm.
All the same, different brands will come with different guidelines on how to use them. Make sure to read the guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
If an over the counter brand of cream for ringworm removal you are using doesn’t work in 2 weeks, have the infection checked in a clinic. You may be prescribed stronger antifungal pills and tablets such as terbinafine. It can also be that you are mistaking different causes of pimples on the skin with ringworm.
Tea tree oil and ringworm symptoms treatment
Tea tree oil and ringworm treatment are closely associated with each other. This is because for years now, tea tree oil has been used as an effective home remedy to get rid of jock itch, foot fungus and nail infections.
Use a 10% solution of tea tree oil for ringworm and other fungal infection treatments. For best results, apply the oil directly to the affected areas. This is to be done 2-3 times in a day. You can go on using the oil until the fungal infection is completely gone.
It is likely that you will come across tea tree oil for warts use. In fact, the oil can also be used to treat boils and vaginal yeast infections. Wounds can also be washed with clean water containing the oil to reduce the risk of bacterial infections.
Tea tree oil as a treatment for ringworm can also mean the oil is used in cleaning floor surfaces, utensils and bedding to reduce contamination with ringworm fungus.
Coconut oil for ringworm symptoms treatment
Coconut oil contains a compound known as Lauric acid. It is from the compound that coconut oil gets all the virus and fungi fighting abilities.
Use of coconut oil for ringworm treatment has not been approved by any notable health body or diseases control association. However, long time use has shown that the oil can treat ringworm and athlete’s foot in a week or two.
To use coconut oil for ringworm removal, just apply it directly to the affected areas. You can consider applying it before going to bed and use a bandage to keep it in position. The basic idea is to have the oil stay as long as possible on the affected part of the skin.
Some people prefer to use coconut oil for ringworm removal together with another home remedy such as tea tree oil. This is a very powerful combination and can actually be used to get rid of a penis skin tag or even moles.
Which are the best ringworm medications or tablets?
The best ringworm medications will depend on the situation you are in and what you want to achieve. For example, scalp ringworm is best treated with prescription pills and tablets. Using creams alone will not get rid of the ringworm fungus from inside the hair follicles.
Ringworm medications in form of creams and gels work effectively for skin ringworm including that occurring on the groin and thighs. Essential oils can be applied just to speed up the recovery process and prevent from bacterial infections.
Home remedies on the other hand are fairly effective ringworm medications for athlete’s foot. They also help achieve better skin health that may have been affected by the scaling caused by ringworm infections. They can also be used for removal of ringworm and skin conditions appearing on sensitive body parts, such as genital white spots.
At the end of the day, your doctor might be the best option you have to help in deciding which ringworm medication is best for you.
When to call a doctor for ringworm medications and pills
You can treat ringworm at home with home remedies but even more successfully with antifungal creams. Call a doctor if any of the following symptoms appear:
- Itchy blisters or a rash that is not responding to over the counter antifungals
- Intense pain or swelling in the affected areas. It can also include tender skin surfaces and reddened patches. These could be symptoms of bacteria.
- Ringworm patches that are spreading, especially after treatment with over the counter ringworm removal products
Normally, significant improvements should be seen by the end of second week. This is even when you are only using an antifungal cream. otherwise, have a doctor check the infection.
You can also get more information on ringworm and other skin conditions, including birthmark meanings, online. In fact, you can take pictures on affected parts and send them to an online doctor for diagnosis if you can’t access a physical clinic.