Tinea corporis, commonly known as ringworm, is a fungal infection that affects the top layer of the skin. People suffering from ringworm develop a red itchy circular patch on the skin. You may have one or multiple ringworm patches on the skin at a time.
Ringworm is a highly contagious infection. Exposure to the ringworm fungus from physical contact with a person suffering from the infection or using clothing or other items of the patient contaminated with the fungus causes ringworm.
Ringworm is treated with antifungal medications. Mild to moderate ringworm usually respond to over-the-counter antifungal ointments. Severe infections may require prescription drugs that are either used topically or taken orally to cure the fungal infection.
Medications to Treat Ringworm
Miconazole ointment, lotion, spray liquid or powder is available over-the-counter for treating ringworm. It is usually applied twice a day to the ringworm patches for one to two months or as instructed by your dermatologist.Itching, burning and irritation of the treated skin are some of the common side effects of the drug.
Clotrimazole is used topically to clear the ringworm patches. It is available over-the-counter in the form of ointment, powder and lotion. It is usually applied to the affected area of the skin twice daily for two to eight weeks. Itching, irritation, redness, burning and swelling of the treated area are some possible side effects of the drug. A prescription medicine that combines clotrimazole with corticosteroid betamethasone is sometimes recommended by dermatologists for treating ringworm that causes intense itching and burning and is inflamed. While the antifungal treats the infection, the corticosteroid reduces the inflammation.
Ketoconazole is applied on the ringworm patch to heal the infection. It works by destroying the fungi and inhibiting their growth. As fungal infections heal slowly, it may take several weeks to cure ringworm with the antifungal cream.Your dermatologist may ask you to continue applying the antifungal cream to the affected area even after the ringworm patch clears. Irritation, burning, stinging and itching of the treated area are some common side effects of the drug.
Butenafine cream is applied once or twice a day to the affected area. The duration of the treatment depends upon the severity of the infection. To prevent recurrent ringworm, treatment with butenafine should be continued even when the ringworm patch heals. Possible side effects of the drug include burning, redness and irritation at the site of the treatment.
Ciclopirox is available in the form of lotion, gel or cream for treating ringworm of the foot, body and groin. It is usually used twice a day for treating the fungal infection. Redness at the site of application is a rare side effect of the drug.
Applying econazole cream to the ringworm patch, once or twice a day, for up to six weeks helps to cure the fungal infection of the skin. It may cause itching, irritation, redness and burning at the application site.
Tolnaftate is used topically to cure ringworm. It is usually applied to the ringworm patch twice daily for up to four to six weeks. This topical antifungal medication may cause irritation at the site of the treatment.
Terbinafine is an oral antifungal drug. To treat moderate to severe ringworm, you may take a terbinafine tablet once daily for six to twelve weeks.The duration of treatment and dosage depends upon the severity of the infection. This oral antifungal drug may cause diarrhea, stomach pain, itching, rash and change in taste.
Griseofulvin is taken orally to treat ringworm. The symptoms of the fungal infection usually subside within a few days after taking the drug. However, you must complete the full course of the medication to prevent repeated infections. Stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, dizziness and excess thirst are some of the side effects of the oral antifungal drug.
Itraconazole is an oral antifungal drug. Depending upon the severity of the fungal infection, your dermatologist may ask you to take itraconazole capsule once to thrice a day with full meal for about three months.Itraconazole solution may be taken on empty stomach. Itraconazole is associated with stomach pain, gas, diarrhea or constipation, heartburn, headache, muscle pain, bleeding gums, runny nose, unusual dreams and depression.
Fluconazole comes in the form of tablet and suspension. It is taken with or without food, once each day. Treatment with fluconazole may continue for several weeks. Side effects of the drug include stomach pain, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, change in taste and heartburn.