Developing a red, itchy rash is common especially when we experience insect bites. However, a red, itchy rash could also be indicative of ringworm – a skin infection. In this article, we’ll talk about the different things you can do to cure ringworm fast.
What is a Ringworm Infection?
Despite its name, a ringworm infection doesn’t involve any type of worm. Instead, it’s caused by dermatophytes, a type of fungi.
To identify if you have a ringworm infection, you need to check your skin for “red splotches.” Usually, the circular (ring-shaped) rash is scaly and has a raised or wavy border. It can also be itchy, but in some cases, it’s not.
Where can you find these rashes? Doctors say the rashes can appear anywhere on your body. It can be on your:
- Torso, arms, and legs
- Feet (more known to us as Athlete’s foot)
- Fingernails and toenails
- Groin (this causes Jock itch)
How to Cure Ringworm Fast
First, it is important to know that this infection is highly contagious. It can spread to the different parts of your body or to other people through physical contact. Here are some specific scenarios where you could transmit the fungi:
- You scratch an infected area and then touch another body part.
- You touch an infected area and then touch another person.
It’s also possible to transmit the fungi by using contaminated items, such as socks, shoes, towels, and clothes. Thus, avoid sharing clothing articles and accessories.
Use topical treatment
The best way to cure ringworm fast is through medication. Your doctor will most likely prescribe you an anti-fungal cream or lotion which you can apply directly to the affected area.
Usually, you need to apply the cream or lotion twice a day, morning and evening. Although the rashes will start subsiding in a few days after continued application, the doctor may advise you to keep using the cream for a full month to make sure that the infection will not “reappear.”
Doctors recommend that you need to apply the lotion or cream beyond the border of the rashes. Once you see the rashes subside, experts say the ringworm is no longer contagious.
Note: When applying the topical treatment, use a cotton ball or tissue. This is so you can avoid spreading the infection to other parts of your body.
Clean and dry the rashes thoroughly
Another important remedy to treat a ringworm infection is to keep the affected areas clean and dry. This is because the fungi thrive well in a warm, moist environment.
Clean the rashes using soap and water and then dry them completely.
Here’s a key reminder: You must have a separate towel for the infected area – don’t use the same towel for the rest of your body.
Additionally, the towels you use to dry the rashes should be washed in hot, sudsy water before you use them again.
Keep the infected areas dry
You might feel the need to cover your ringworm rashes so that you will not unknowingly touch or scratch them and spread the infection.
However, experts say that to cure ringworm fast you have to keep the affected area dry and let it “breathe.” This is because bandages often encourage moisture, which can serve as a good breeding ground for the fungi. Moreover, moisture tends to slow down the healing process.
Another way to keep the area dry is to avoid wearing clothes, shoes, or socks that make you sweat. In case you work out, take a shower, dry your body completely (especially the rashes), and change into new clothes.
Treat all the infections at the same time
If you have several rashes on different parts of your body, dermatologists emphasize the need to treat all of them at the same time.
Let’s say you have athlete’s foot and ringworm rashes on your hands. It’s important to treat them both at the same time to prevent further spread.
Avoid spreading the Infection
No matter how good your topical cream or lotion is, it’ll be hard to get rid of the ringworm rashes if you keep on spreading the fungi.
To cure ringworm fast, you must take additional measures to prevent spreading the ringworm by:
- Frequently washing your hands thoroughly, especially after touching the infected areas.
- Washing your clothes, bedsheets, towels, and socks daily.
- Bringing your pets to your trusted veterinarian. This is because humans commonly get the infection from cats and dogs that have ringworm. Hence, it’s possible that if you have ringworm, they have it, too.
- Disinfecting the areas frequented by your pets.
The best way to cure ringworm fast is to head straight to your doctor the minute you see the red splotches. They will give you the appropriate treatment and share with you insights on how to prevent the recurrence of infection.
Aside from the anti-fungal lotion or cream, ringworm treatment for humans also involves keeping the area clean and dry, treating all the rashes at the same time, and preventing the spread of the fungi.
Finally, since it’s normal to see improvement of your rashes in just a few days of treatment, you need to go back to your dermatologist or doctor right away if you notice that your ringworm is not subsiding.
Learn more about Skin Health here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.