An Ounce of Prevention
Avoid spreading your ringworm infection or reinfecting yourself with the following tips:
- Bring your own yoga or gym mat to your workout.
- Wipe down gym equipment before you use it, preferably with a disinfectant wipe [source: American Society for Dermatologic Surgery].
- Use a clean towel.
- Don't walk around barefoot in public areas like pools, showers or locker rooms. Instead toss on a pair of flip-flops or sandals [source: National Library Medicine].
- Shower after participating in any contact sports
If you do contract ringworm, you have several options for treatment. First, to be certain that the infection is actually ringworm and not something else, you should check with your doctor for a confirmed diagnosis.
Although ringworm can affect different areas of the body, some of the treatments are similar because it's all the same type of fungus. Your treatment options include:
- Wearing natural fibers. With jock itch, try wearing loose, cotton clothing, and with athlete's foot, wear socks made from natural fibers like cotton.
- Washing and drying yourself thoroughly so that your skin is clean and dry. With athlete's foot, make sure that after you wash your feet, you dry them completely, including in-between your toes, before you apply any antifungal medication [source: Cleveland Clinic].
- Using an over-the-counter antifungal medication, available in creams, lotions and powders. If your infection doesn't clear up, your doctor may give you a prescription antifungal cream.
- Taking an oral antifungal medication. You will need a prescription from your doctor for this kind of treatment. If your ringworm infection spawns a bacterial infection, you also may need an antibiotic [source: National Library Medicine].
Ringworm of the scalp, (tinea capitis), is treated differently than other types of ringworm. If you think you have tinea capitis, don't hesitate to visit your doctor. You may be prescribed an oral medication, a prescription shampoo and/or an over-the-counter shampoo containing selenium sulfide [source: Cleveland Clinic].
Because ringworm is so common, it makes identifying and treating your condition fairly quick and easy. If you follow your treatment plan, you're likely to banish this itchy fungus and keep it from worming its way back into your life. For more information, follow the links on the next page.