Treatment for Ringworm
The treatment for ringworm depends on its location on the body and how serious the infection is. Some forms of ringworm can be treated with non-prescription (“over-the-counter”) medications, but other forms of ringworm need treatment with prescription antifungal medication.
- Ringworm on the skin like athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) and jock itch (tinea cruris) can usually be treated with non-prescription antifungal creams, lotions, or powders applied to the skin for 2 to 4 weeks. There are many non-prescription products available to treat ringworm, including:
- Clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex)
- Miconazole (Aloe Vesta Antifungal, Azolen, Baza Antifungal, Carrington Antifungal, Critic Aid Clear, Cruex Prescription Strength, DermaFungal, Desenex, Fungoid Tincture, Micaderm, Micatin, Micro-Guard, Miranel, Mitrazol, Podactin, Remedy Antifungal, Secura Antifungal)
- Terbinafine (Lamisil)
- Ketoconazole (Xolegel)
For non-prescription creams, lotions, or powders, follow the directions on the package label. Contact your healthcare provider if your infection doesn’t go away or gets worse.
- Ringworm on the scalp (tinea capitis) usually needs to be treated with prescription antifungal medication taken by mouth for 1 to 3 months. Creams, lotions, or powders don’t work for ringworm on the scalp. Prescription antifungal medications used to treat ringworm on the scalp include:
- Griseofulvin (Grifulvin V, Gris-PEG)
- Itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox)
- Fluconazole (Diflucan)
You should contact your healthcare provider if:
- Your infection gets worse or doesn’t go away after using non-prescription medications.
- You or your child has ringworm on the scalp. Ringworm on the scalp needs to be treated with prescription antifungal medication.
- Page last reviewed: December 6, 2015
- Page last updated: December 6, 2015
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