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Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Ringworm of the Skin - Treatment Overview

Most cases of ringworm of the skin, including jock itch and ringworm of the hand, can be treated with creams or ointments that you put on your skin to kill fungi. These are called topical antifungals. You can get many topical antifungals without a prescription. Brand names include Micatin, Tinactin, Mycelex, and Lamisil.

You may need to take antifungal pills (oral treatment) if the ringworm does not go away after you have tried different topical antifungals or if the infection is widespread. Oral treatments include azoles such as fluconazole (Diflucan), allylamines such as terbinafine (Lamisil), and griseofulvin (Grifulvin V).

Your rash may start to clear up soon after you begin treatment, but it is important to use the medicine exactly as the label or your doctor says. This will help keep the infection from coming back. You will probably need to continue treatment for 2 to 4 weeks.

If not treated, ringworm can spread and the skin can become irritated and painful. Skin blisters and cracks can become infected with bacteria. If this happens, you may need to take antibiotics.

What to think about

You should treat a fungal infection right away. Severe and widespread infections can be hard to treat.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 21, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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