The term ‘ringworm’ is misleading. You might think your skin is crawling with worms. Ringworm is not a monster living inside of you but a rash. It is a fungus similar to athlete’s foot, scalp ringworm, and jock itch. Known as tinea corporis if it arises on your body or tinea capitis if on your scalp. It is contagious. You can catch the fungus from other people or pets. Infected spores on humans, animals, soil, and other surfaces spread the infection. Please see the before and after images.
Types of Ringworm Treatment
The bullseye marks will spread without treatment. Prompt treatment is mandatory, especially if your children are in daycare, kindergarten, or elementary schools. You can buy meds from the pharmacy or seek prescriptions from your child’s pediatrician.
If your cat or dog has ringworm then you must take them to a qualified veterinarian. Ringworm in humans is the same as animals so it is zoonotic disorder.
Using Over the Counter Medicine for Ringworm
A trip to the clinic can cost hundreds so to control expenses try thrifty creams and lotions. Over-the-counter medicine for ringworm is widely available at supermarkets, drugstores, pharmacies, and apothecaries.
Stores like Walmart, Target, Publix, Kmart, Winn Dixie, Safeway, Walgreens, and CVC all stockpile antifungal meds.
Ringworm treatment involves otc:
- Clotrimazole (Brand names Lotrimin and Mycelex)
- Miconazole (a common ingredient in many brands and one of the best)
- Aloe Vesta Antifungal
- Critic Aid Clear
Ringworm on scalp require prescription medication treatments:
- Itraconazole (Brands Onmel or Sporanox)
- Griseofulvin (also called Grifulvin V or Gris-PEG)
- Fluconazole (Brand name Diflucan)
Using Ringworm Cream
Ringworm cream is easy to smooth onto the circular lesions. There might be a slight itch as the area dries out, but ringworm cream does not burn or sting. If the ringworm is on face and close to the eye then take create care not to get the lotion into the eye.
Using Tea Tree Oil for Ringworm
The origins of tea tree oil are traced back to Austrian where indigenous tribesmen would pound the leaves of the tree to form oil which would be used as a holistic treatment option.
Tea tree oil for ringworm is a powerful antifungal. You can buy cream, soaps, gels, and shampoos that contain the plant resin as an active ingredient.
Using Coconut Oil for Ringworm
The antifungal properties of coconut oil are similar to tea tree oil, but not as strong. Coconut oil for ringworm in babies is less strong than other lotions but still effective. It can also be used as a carrier oil in essential oil treatments. There are few, if any, side effects.
Using Natural Remedies for Ringworm
Many people want to return to nature and the basics by abstaining from big pharma. Natural remedies for ringworm have been used for generations.
Garlic: Garlic naturally inhibits the growth of funguses such as Cryptococcus, Candida, Trichophyton, and Torulopsis. Boil it in water and create a poultice. Create a paste using a bit of olive oil or even coconut.
Atmospheric conditions: Fungus thrives in moist humidity so keep your skin cool and dry.
Soap: Never underestimate the power of old-fashioned soap. It dries the fungus and prevents the spread.
Grapefruit Seed Extract: Smooth a drop into the circular lesion once a day.
Children and Ringworm
Your little one is at an increased risk of bringing home ringworm:
- Warm humid climates like Florida, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, and the Carolinas. Also countries close to the equator.
- Frequently play with strange animals such as strays.
- Participate in sports such as wrestling, football, martial arts, or basketball.
- School gym locker rooms
- Shared bathrooms
Adults at risk are often:
- Weakened immune systems
Ringworms and Pets
You might not realize that there are multiple types of ringworm. Microsporum gypseum is a type that you can get from gardening in contaminated soil. Also, Fido or Kitty can dig in the dirt can contract the fungus. Dogs regularly contract Microsporum canis which is shared with their owners and other humans. Parents often think sandboxes are great ideas in the backyard, but neighborhood felines see them as giant litterboxes which spread ringworm. Longhaired cats often carry the fungus without developing symptoms.
Not just your household pets are at risk. Other animals and feathered friends also carry and spread ringworm:
- Mountain lions
How Do Animals Catch Ringworm?
Infected hair and scale transfer are common. Also, bedding, cages, kennels, brushes, clippers, and combs are all origins of contamination at grooming salons and boarding facilities. Digging in the dirt, poor hygiene, lack of good nutrition, and overcrowded housing are also causes. Animals do not show signs for two to four weeks. Then patches of hair start to fall out and round scaly lesions develop. Remember, there is always a telltale ring around the lesion that helps you tell the difference between it and mange. Clean and disinfect all of your pet’s areas with chlorine bleach. Then treat the pet using the prescription medication provided by your vet. Medications used for animals include griseofulvin, terbinafine, and itraconazole.