What ringworm treatments are there?
There are creams, gels, ointments and powders available to treat ringworm. These are applied to the rash (called topical treatments), but there is also medication that you take orally. Some treatments are available over the counter from a pharmacist, whereas others require a prescription from a doctor. This will depend on where you have ringworm and its severity.
At Superdrug Online Doctor, we recommend an antifungal cream called clotrimazole 2% to treat ringworm. It is sold as a generic medication or under the brand Canesten.
Other topical anti-fungal creams that you can buy over the counter include:
- terbinafine (brand name Lamisil 1%)
- miconazole nitrate (brand name Daktarin 2%)
- ketoconazole (brand name Nizoral 2%)
- econazole nitrate (brand name Pevaryl 1%)
These creams are similar in how you apply them, how effective they are and what the side effects are. As they have different active ingredients, a pharmacist may recommend a specific cream depending on your circumstances.
Studies have shown clotrimazole is effective at clearing up ringworm within 4 weeks in 73.1% of cases, and terbinafine is effective in 93.5% of cases.
Fluconazole (brand name Diflucan) is an oral antifungal medication available over the counter that is usually used to treat thrush but can also be used to treat ringworm, though these require different doses.
Treatments for ringworm on the body that need either a prescription from a doctor or to be administered in the hospital include:
- nystatin (brand name Nystan)
Doctors will prescribe an oral antifungal medication if you have ringworm on the scalp or nails. These include:
Some of these medications have the same active ingredient as topical antifungal medications, but they are taken orally.
What’s the best treatment for ringworm?
There is no single best treatment for ringworm. Which medication is best for you depends on how your body reacts to the different ingredients, how severe the case of ringworm is and your lifestyle.
You can help ensure the treatment you are using is effective by:
- finishing the course of treatment as instructed
- treat all outbreaks of ringworm on your body at the same time
- washing your hands after touching the infected area
- changing your clothes daily
- not sharing towels, bed linen and other personal items with anyone
- disinfecting or throwing away any infected things
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