Getting rid of ringworm isn’t a difficult task at all. It’s the itchiness and the pain of a ringworm infection that’s difficult to deal with. Ringworm, in fact, has nothing to do with worms at all. If anything, ringworm is more closely related to athlete’s foot and jock itch, because it’s a type of fungal infection called “tinea.” Common symptoms of ringworm include: a circular rash inflamed around the edges, itchiness, and scaling skin around the rash. Rarely does a ringworm infection get out of hand, but if it does, and your ringworm isn’t responding to any of the treatments I’ve outlined below, it would be a good idea to go see your doctor and get a prescription medication (topical or oral) that will more effectively cure your ringworm infection. If you don’t feel like you need to see a doctor, and you want to get rid of ringworm yourself, here are some practical suggestions.

Causes of Ringworm

  • Direct skin-to-skin contact with a human infected with ringworm.
  • Contact with an animal infected with ringworm. This can be anything from dogs, cats, and rabbits, to horses, pigs, and even goats.
  • Using another person’s towel or bedding could be the cause of your ringworm. Just like using the socks of someone with an athlete’s foot infection.
  • Playing in the dirt. That’s right. Sometimes you can get ringworm from coming into contact with soil, but it’s rare indeed.

Best Prevention & Treatments for Ringworm

This should be obvious, but if you don’t want to get ringworm, don’t share personal items.

Keep your towels, socks, underwear, and other personal effects to yourself. This of course bars the use of towels as whips in the shower. I know that you may be thinking, “But, Jonathan, I really like running around naked in public showers whipping unsuspecting strangers on their butts with a wet towel!” If this is the case, then I lack the necessary medical licensure to help you with your problems.

Keep cool, dry, and clean to avoid a ringworm infection.

Yes, because it’s a fungal infection, ringworm can be avoided by staying clean and dry. Don’t wear heavy clothing that doesn’t breathe well for very long, and whatever you do, don’t forget to wear flip-flops in the shower if you live in a dormitory. Ringworm thrives in warm, humid places, so it’s best to avoid them or at least protect yourself if you can’t avoid them. Oh, and wash your hands!

Lamisil is a common antifungal cream used to get rid of ringworm.

You’ve seen the commercials. Thank the lord we have things like antifungal creams. As I mentioned before, ringworm, or the fungus that causes it, is quite closely related to athlete’s foot. Thus, anything that will cure the tinea that causes athlete’s foot should cure your average ringworm infection. You can get Lamisil AF from Amazon.

Monistat-Derm is another common antifungal topical lotion used to cure ringworm.

Unbeknownst to a majority of men, Monistat isn’t just for vaginas anymore. Monistat actually makes a pretty good antifungal skin cream that can help wipe out a ringworm infection in less than three weeks. It is suggested that any over-the-counter topical antifungal medicine be applied to the rash 2 times a day for at least 3 weeks to ensure adequate treatment.

I don’t know if I’d do this, but apparently spreading bleach over a ringworm infection with a Q-tip is a common treatment.

Quite a few people I’ve talked to say that using bleach on a ringworm infection will clear it right up. The problem is, you’ll get two different descriptions of what it feels like to put bleach on a skin infection; you’ll either hear that it “sort of stings,” or that it “really, really stings.” Wrestlers who don’t have time for creams and ointments swear by this method. Of course, that might have been the concussions talking.

OTC and Non-OTC Cures for Ringworm

Some of the most common over-the-counter cures for ringworm include such brand name medications as Lamisil, Monistat, Mycelex, and Nizorol, but sometimes over-the-counter topical cures just aren’t enough. That’s when the M to the D to the doctor of pharmacology will issue you prescription for such antifungal creams as Spectazole. Or, if you’re really lucky and that infection has gotten so bad that it’s all over your body, your doctor might prescribe an oral medication (100% guaranteed to cure a ringworm infection) like Sporanox, Diflucan, or, again, Lamisil–they make an oral medication as well as a topical one. Of course, if western medicine for ringworm isn’t up your alley, then perhaps you should try one of the natural alternatives we have listed in the right sidebar.

Natural Ringworm Cures

Tea Tree Oil! Good lord I’ve been pushing the Tea Tree Oil a lot lately, but you know what? If it’s good enough to treat athlete’s foot, it’s good enough to treat ringworm. As I mention in this article, tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic/astringent that will cure just about anything that comes from a fungus or bacteria. We recommend ArtNaturals Tea Tree Oil from Amazon.

Apple cider vinegar is a good natural remedy for ringworm, if you can manage to keep the affected area soaked for 10-15 minutes a night before bedtime. This is usually easier if the ringworm is on your hand or on your feet, but if you can hold your breath long enough, I imagine you could get that ringworm off your chin using the same technique.

Sulfurated Lime Rinses. If’n you gots some ringworm on your pet, sulfurated lime rinses are apparently the most common natural remedy for ringworm on cats. I imagine this works for dogs too, but you never know. I’d go see a veterinarian if I were you.

Ringworm FAQs

Is Ringworm Contagious?

Yes.  Ringworm can be spread from human-to-human.  It is an odd combination of being both a parasite and a fungus. The parasite lives in the outer layer of our skin, and can create a fungus when present. Direct skin-to-skin contact can spread ringworm.

What Does Ringworm Look Like?

Ringworm looks like a scaly rash, with round splotches on the skin’s surface, usually clustered in one area.  It can resemble other rashes.  Ringworm can also cause localized hair loss in the area where it is present.

Do I Need to See a Doctor for Ringworm?

Not always. Ringworm can often be treated with an over-the-counter cream available at your pharmacy.  Sometimes, it is advisable to go to the doctor, though, particular when ringworm affects young children, or if you just can’t seem to get rid of it with creams.

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About the Author

Julianne Ragland

Julianne Ragland