Ringworm is a contagious skin disease spread by fungi called Dermatophytes. It spreads by forming a ring-shaped pattern on the skin with a circular rash with inflamed edges and a clean center.
Although ringworm is a treatable disease, it should never be underestimated or ignored. If left untreated, it can spread and become chronic. As soon as you notice symptoms such as itching, burning, dryness or circular flaking of the skin, consult your family doctor for immediate treatment.
Regular treatment for ringworm usually takes 2-4 weeks, depending on its intensity. The most common methods of treatment involve applying topical antifungal creams such as miconazole or chloritmazole to the affected areas. These creams and many anti-ringworm ointments are readily available.
Since creams cannot be applied to affected areas such as toenails and scalp, oral medication and ointments specially developed for these body areas can be given. Scalp ringworms are the main cause of hair loss and require aggressive treatment.
If ringworm resists regular treatment, consult a skin specialist. He or she may recommend taking oral medication along with special ointments to control or stop the growth of fungi. Oral medications are often accompanied by side effects such as gastrointestinal upset, abnormal liver function, decreased blood clotting ability. If you are using any medication for ulcer or GERD treatment, you should inform your doctor in advance as they may interfere with this treatment.