The choice of ringworm treatment cream depends on the overall health of the affected individual as well as the extent to which the infection has spread on the skin, under the nails or on the scalp. In most simple cases, the infection responds well to antifungal ringworm treatment cream by rubbing it once or twice daily. In immunocompetent patients, topical ringworm treatment cream works mainly for Tinea infections affecting the hair, nails and skin. If however, results are not seen after several weeks of using the ringworm treatment cream, then systemic /oral antifungal medicines may be considered.
It is important to note that many of the topical ringworm treatment creams are ineffective on hair and scalp infections. In most of these cases, oral antifugals may be prescribed along with topical lotions and shampoos to ensure minimal shedding of hair. In addition, a topical ringworm treatment cream may be prescribed for treating asymptomatic carriers and preventing re-infection.
Most dermatophytic or ringworm infections affecting the nails are also treated with oral antifungal medicines. Apart from regular use of the ringworm treatment cream, it is important to treat the environment that may be responsible for the infection.
Types of ringworm treatment cream
Many over the counter or non prescription ringworm treatment creams are available in the market. Choose one having Miconazole or Clotrimazole in it. Brand names are Micatin, Tinactin, Desenex, Aftate, Cruex, Lotrimin and Lamisil. An effective shampoo for fungal scalp infections is Nizoral containing Ketoconazole.
How to use the ringworm treatment cream?
In most cases, the ringworm infection will clear within weeks of regular use of the prescribed ringworm treatment cream. In case of severe rashes, an oral medicine may be prescribed. The following measures must be taken to make the ringworm treatment cream more effective:
- Fungus likes moist skin. One must keep the skin dry as far as possible. Wear shower shoes in gyms, and avoid sitting on wet benches. Wash hands before and after a workout and also wipe gym equipment before using it. Change and wash gym clothes after every workout.
- Use the ringworm treatment cream on the affected region as prescribed. Rub the cream well on the infection and do not forget to go beyond the edges (or the border) of the rash.
- In case of scalp infections, make sure to use the prescribed shampoo daily. If possible, cut the hair short to minimize spread of the infection.
- In case of ringworm under the beard, it helps to cut and trim the beard. Apply the ringworm treatment cream on the skin beneath the beard.
- Do not stop treatment just because the rash has disappeared. Continue applying the ringworm treatment cream (for at least 2-4 weeks) or as instructed by the doctor (or the label of the OTC product).
- It is important to treat pets, other family members as well as people in close contact of the infected individual to ensure that the infection does not spread.
- In case of zoonotic dermatophytosis (caused by pets or wild animals) one must minimize contact with animals or at least use gloves and other protective clothing when it is necessary to handle animals.
- In case of athlete’s foot as well as Jock itch, apply the ringworm treatment cream of choice to both these areas, since the fungus can quickly spread from one region to the un-infected region even when wearing the underwear.
Maybe in the future there will be a vaccine to prevent ringworm in humans, but until then, the ringworm treatment cream is an effective therapy that can help combat itching and irritation caused by this fungal infection.