Ringworm Treatment: How to Get Rid of Ringworm in humans
Most people have had fungal infections at some point in life or the other. If you have had infections like, yeast infection, jock itch, athlete’s foot, etc. then you have suffered from fungal infections. Fungi live everywhere, in the air, water, in soil, on the plants, and even on and within our body. Not all fungi are harmful, some are indeed helpful to us, but some cause infections on the surface of the body or inside.
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When the immune system is suppressed or is compromised, the fungi in the air can take advantage of the condition and start multiplying causing a fungal infection. Fungi can attack any part of the body. But the most common are the skin, scalp, urogenital tract, lungs, heart, etc.
Though there are many species of fungi that cause infections, one form of fungal infection that is most common is the ringworm. It is a skin condition caused by a group fungus called Dermatophytes. Being fungal in nature, it is extremely contagious and difficult to treat. For a full cure, the treatment may have to be prolonged. Ringworm of the scalp is perhaps the most stubborn of all infections and is hard to get rid of.
All is not gloomy where ringworm treatment for humans is concerned, there are many medicines and home treatments available that are used to treat the problem and eliminate it. There are over the counter nonprescription, creams, lotions and ointments available for topical application, which are helpful in curing mild forms of ringworm. If the problem is more acute, you may have to consider going to a dermatologist for a more thorough exam and treatment, which could include, powders, prescription pills and if you have the ringworm of the scalp, a shampoo. Let us take a look at the various treatments that are available for the many different ringworm infections.
Ringworm Treatment Prescribed by Doctor
The treatment for ringworm on the various parts of the body may not be the same. It varies according to the area of the body that has the infection. Before we look at the treatment as prescribed by Doctors, we should look at the types of Ringworm infections that humans can get. The ringworm infections are classified according to the area of the body that they may affect.
Ringworm of the Skin
Ringworm of the skin includes conditions such as athlete’s foot also called Tinea Pedis, jock itch or Tinea Cruris. Jock itch is most common in men due to moist conditions between the scrotum and the thigh which are perfect breeding ground for fungi. Ringworm of the penis is extremely rare, but does occur sometimes and appears like ringworm infection on other parts of the body. The most common form of all ringworm is Tinea Pedis or Athlete’s Foot, which is caused by sweating in the foot. The moisture gets trapped between the toes and presents a perfect atmosphere for fungal growth.
Drugs Used for Treatment of Skin Ringworm Infections
- Imidazoles: It is an organic coumpound which is colourless and dissolves in water to give an alkaline solution. Many drugs use Imidazole or its derivatives called imidazoles. They are used in treatment of a variety of infections most notably anti-fungal drugs. This is a group of prescription drugs that include:
These drugs are sold under the names: Lotrimin, Nizoral, Spectazole, Monistat-Derm, Exelderm, Eratzco, etc. They can be sold as cream, powders, pessaries, capsules or lotions. It may be essential to get a prescription for some preparations of these drugs.
- Allylamines: It is an organic compound and comes as a colorless liquid. It is also the simplest form of stable unsaturated amine. It is used in pharmaceutical industry especially in migraine drugs and antifungal formulations. Common anti-fungal drugs of this family are:
These drugs are marketed under the name of Naftin and Lamisil for topical use. Can also be presented as creams, powders or sprays.
- Naphthiomates :
The drug is sold under the brand name of Tinactin, Aftate, Absorbine, etc. and is available in spray, lotions, cream or powder form for topical application.
- Substituted pyridines:
It is marketed under the names of Batrafen, Mycoster,Loprox, etc. It is used as a cream or lotion for topical use.
Ringworm of the Scalp
It is known as Tinea Capitis and is generally caused by the species of fungi called Trichophyton. It is one of the most virulent form of ringworm and is most commonly found in children.
Treatment of Scalp Ringworm
There are several drugs that are used in the treatment of Tinea Capitis. These include:
- Griseofulvin: for children, it is to be taken orally for 4 – 6 weeks depending upon the severity of the infection.
- Terbinafine: Is another drug that is given orally to children. It is available in tablet or granular form. This drug is also given to adults. The dosages and the duration of treatment varies for children and adults.
- Itraconazole: Is another oral antifungal drug that is given to adults for treatment of Tinea Capitis. It comes as tablets or capsules and even as a liquid solution.
In children, an antifungal cream or lotion such as Lamisil may be applied to stop the infection from spreading. A selenium sulfide based shampoo should also be used till the infection is fully cured.
In ringworm of adults, if the infection is very serious, the doctors may also prescribe prednisone, a corticosteroid to be taken orally. A Ketaconazole based shampoo may be prescribed to be used twice a week till the infection is cured.
Ringworm of the Body
Ringworm infection on the face, arms, legs, and trunk are included in the ringworm of the body or Tinea corporis. It is usually caused by Trichophyton or Microsporum fungi. It can develop on any part of the body and spread to other parts fairly quickly.
Treatment of Tines Corporis
It is treated by topical antifungal cream, gel or lotion. The drug is applied topically to the infected area twice a day. The treatment is continued for a week or more after the symptoms have disappeared. The drugs used for topical treatment can include:
- Gentian Violet
Sometimes, the infection can be difficult to treat. Under such conditions, the topical treatment may be supported by oral therapy too. The oral treatment should be taken for a minimum of 2-3 weeks. The treatment could include:
As the name suggests it is the ringworm of the beard area on the face and is caused by two fungi – trichophyton mentagrophytes or trychophyton verrucosum. It is also called tinea barbae, and usually causes superficial infections, but sometimes deeper infection may occur.
Treatment of Tinea Barbae
The treatment of tinea barbae includes oral as well as topical treatment. The topical antifungal treatment can include gel, lotions or creams to be applied on the infect area.
Oral treatment is given with antifungal medicines that include:
Sometimes a corticosteroid prednisone may be included to alleviate the symptoms, if the infection is very severe. It also helps to reduce scarring and permanent loss of hair on the face.
Ringworm of the Nail
Nails can also get ringworm. Ringworm of the nails is called Onychomycosis or tinea unguium. The nail infections can occur in anyone but the people more at risk are: diabetics, people who wear artificial nails, use public swimming pools, and work in areas where the hands are moist or under water for extended periods of time.
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Treatment for Nail Ringworm
it is a very stubborn ringworm infection and it is best to go to a doctor for the treatment of the infection as the likelihood of nail ringworm infection recurring are very high. The doctors prescribe drugs such as:
The patient may also be prescribed anti-fungal nail paints such as amorolfine or tioconazole and other topical treatments to control and eliminate the infection. The length of the treatment may last several months depending upon the type of fungus that caused the infection and the severity of the infection.
Home Remedies For Ringworm Treatment
Besides the prescription and over the counter drugs available for ringworm infections, there are several home remedies available for treatment of ringworm. These include:
Garlic: It has excellent anti-fungal qualities and has been used for treatment of ringworm for centuries. Peel some cloves of garlic and slice it into thin slices and apply them on to the infected area. Secure with a bandage and leave overnight. Applying garlic paste or rubbing smashed garlic cloves on to the infected area also helps. Ingesting garlic enhances the potency of the treatment, so eat plenty of garlic while treating the ringworm.
Apple Cider Vinegar: This is another good home remedy for ringworm. Soak a cotton ball in Apple Cider Vinegar, and apply it directly on to the infected area. Repeat 4 – 5 times a day for a minimum of 2 – 3 days for best results.
Tea Tree Oil: It is a good antifungal agent that can be used to treat ringworm. Make a 50% solution in water and apply to the infected area 2 – 3 times a day for up to four weeks to cure the symptom and eliminate the infection.
Turmeric: This is best applied as fresh juice extracted from fresh turmeric root. Apply directly on the affected area 2 -3 times a day till the symptoms disappear.
Vinegar and Salt: one very affective home remedy is a paste of vinegar and salt. Apply directly to the affected area, leave it on for five to ten minutes and then wash off and dry the area. It may take uptp a week for the infection to disappear.
Natural Remedies for Ringworm Treatment
A lot of people prefer natural remedies for treatment of skin rashes and infections. For ringworm treatment the following natural remedies have been found to be very useful:
Aloe Vera: It is a very good skin treatment and is also applied for ringworm. Apply the juice directly on to the affected area for best results. It will take a few days for the infection to disappear.
Coconut Oil: Helps to cut down the itchiness of the infection when applied topically and makes the skin smooth. It is also used for treatment of ringworm of the scalp. Apply to the infected area and leave overnight. This helps to stop the buildup of the infection.
Colloidal Silver: It is a powerful natural antibiotic and is effective in destroying many different microorganisms. It is also a great way to treat ringworm infection naturally. Colloidal Silver is available in gel or liquid form and should be applied directly to the affected area of the skin twice a day till the symptoms disappear.
Jojoba Oil: This is the safest remedy for ringworm and can safely be applied in ringworm infections in babies. Apply a mixture of Jojoba oil with lavender oil on infected area several times a day till the symptom disappear.
Lavender Oil: Lavender oil is known for its antifungal qualities and is also effective in treatment of ringworm. Studies have shown that lavender oil actually kills the fungi thus eliminating it completely. Sit should be applied topically, directly on to the infected area twice a day, till the symptoms completely disappear.
Lemongrass Tea: Lemon grass tea is a good way to fight fungal infections. You can apply the used tea bags on to the infected area for quicker relief.
Mustard Seeds: They should be soaked in water and ground into a paste to be applied directly on to the infected area. Leave it on for relief from itching and irritation.
Myrrh: This is another powerful antifungal agent. Make a paste of half and half myrrh and goldenseal with water, to apply directly on to the infected area. Use twice a day till the infection clears.
Olive Leaf: Olive leaf infusions have anti-fungal qualities and also help to boost the body’s immune system and prevent further infections. Take about 250 mg of the infusion thrice a day to cure ringworm rash.
Ringworm infections can last a long time and may be difficult to treat. If you suspect you have ringworm infection, it is best to consult a doctor to get proper medication. It is highly contagious and all precaution should be taken to prevent it from spreading to other people. While on treatment, it is best not to miss a dose and to continue with the treatment for a few days after all the symptoms have disappeared. Ringworm treatment for humans can be in the form of ringworm ointments, oral medicines, pills, pessaries, capsules, tinctures, solutions, lotions, nail-paints, shampoos and injections depending upon the area which is infected and the severity of the infection. A combination of prescribed, home and natural remedies may help you get rid of ringworm fast.
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