What is the Best Treatment for Ringworm on Humans?

A doctor take care of a woman with ringworm


There are several types of treatment available out there to treat ringworm in humans.
This article is about the different treatments that one can resort to when he or she is affected by this contagious skin infection. The type of treatment for ringworm depends on the body part that is infected and also the severity of the infection.

There are home remedies available using natural sources and essential oils.
These natural home remedies can either be consumed or applied on the infected part/s topically.

There are also medicines and creams that can be bought at drugstores, some of which may need a doctor’s prescription, and the rest may be bought over the counter.

Whatever type of treatment you resort to, the most important thing to do is to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. You may resort to natural home remedies, but the doctor can give you the proper doses, amount, and even the frequency of when these natural remedies can be applied to the affected parts of the body.

Different Types of Treatment

Over-the-Counter Cream, Powder, or Lotion

These are most popular anti-fungal cream, lotion, or powder that can be easily be bought over-the-counter without a doctor’s prescription. They can kill the fungus and speed up healing. They are most commonly used for jock’s itch or athlete’s foot. It’s still important to consult with your doctor before buying these items.

  • Ketoconazole
  • Clotrimazole
  • Terbinafine
  • Miconazole
  • Econazole
  • Naftifine
  • Luliconazole – US FDA approved antifungal medication for ringworm in the skin or in the groin

*Any use of a medicine must be with an advice of a doctor

Apply a thin layer of an antifungal medication on the affected are 2 to 3 times a day or as written on the instructions. Spread the medication a little bit beyond the border of the rash or patch and allow it to absorb into your skin. These products can be used for 2 to 4 weeks until the fungi that cause the ringworm is totally killed.

  • Phytozine

Phytozine is an antifungal cream that is made of several FDA approved ingredients that have potent fungicidal properties. This product has proven to treat ringworm with immediate results at different stages and associated symptoms.

Phytozine kills the fungi causing the infection, heals the rashes or sores, boosts the immune system, and restores the appearance of the skin removing the bald patches on the beard and scalp.

Phytozine can be used on all the body parts such as the scalp, face, arms, hands, legs, and feet including sensitive areas like the groin, genitals, breasts, and anal region. This product is safe for children, the elderly, and people who have a compromised immune system.

Apply the antifungal cream on the affected areas covering the edges of the rashes twice a day.

For severe cases of ringworm infection or excessive pain and swelling, this cream can be applied more frequently without having to worry about side effects.

Topical Medications

These are the topical medications for ringworm that are usually prescribed by the doctor if only one or two lesions exist.

  • Oxiconazole
  • Sertaconazole
  • Sulconazole
  • Tolnaftate
  • Ciclopirox

*Any use of a medicine must be with an advice of a doctor.

Common Oral Prescriptions

These are the most popular prescriptions prescribed by doctors to treat ringworm. Some types of ringworm cannot be treated alone with OTC treatments or creams just like ringworm in the scalp and in other body parts. For this matter, doctors usually prescribe anti-fungal medication that needs to be taken in by mouth for 1 to 3 months.

  • Griseofulvin

This needs to be taken for 8 to 10 weeks. It also has a spray form which can be used as an alternative. This is the least expensive oral medicine but has more side effects. This is not suitable for women who are breastfeeding and for those who have severe lupus or liver disease.

Side Effects:





Mild diarrhea


Upset stomach



Sun sensitivity

Allergic reactions

May cause birth defects

Can cause birth control pills not to work

May affect ability to drive

Can enhance effects of alcohol

  • Terbinafine

These tablets should be taken once a day for 4 weeks. This medication is usually prescribed to patients that have ringworm in the scalp. The side effects are mild and short-lived. This is prohibited for patients with lupus or liver disease.

Side Effects:





Upset stomach

Stomach pain




Allergic reactions

May temporarily affect sense of taste

Liver problems in rare cases

  • Itraconazole

These pills should be taken from 7 to 15 days. This type of ringworm medication is not allowed for kids, the elderly, and those who have severe liver illnesses.

Side Effects:






*Any use of a medicine must be with an advice of a doctor

Natural Home Remedies

These products are readily available in the kitchen or in the supermarket as most of these are basic ingredients that are used in the kitchen. Most of these contain ingredients or components that have antibacterial and antifungal properties that make them a perfect ingredient in treating ringworm or other types of skin infection. Several of them help cure ringworm infection by killing the fungi causing it or by inhibiting the growth and spreading of the fungi.

These home remedies are quite simple and very quick to prepare to allow you to treat your infection the soonest possible time.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Salt and Vinegar
  • Aloe Vera
  • Unripe or Green Papaya
  • Mustard Seed Paste
  • Licorice
  • Colloidal Silver
  • Olive Leaf Extract
  • Myrrh
  • Neem
  • Basil
  • Lemongrass Leaf Paste
  • Camphor
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • Goldenseal Tea

Choose any of the products above. Just choose one as mixing different ingredients might cause irritation on the skin or other side effects. Make a paste out of the ingredient and with the use of a cotton ball, dip it into the mixture and gently damp on the affected areas. Leave on the skin for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water afterward. Repeat this three to four times a day for two weeks or until the ringworm infection is gone.

Just remember to always clean and dry the infected area before applying any treatment on it.

Essential Oils

These essential oils have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties making them perfect tools for treating ringworm and other skin infections.

  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Oregano Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Lavender Oil

Simply apply a small amount of any of the oils on the affected area. You can combine any of the oils for more efficient and effective results. Gently massage the oil on the affected areas of the skin. Repeat this three to four times a day for three weeks.

Tea or Infusions for Consumption

Tea is known to have health benefits. Some of them help speed up the healing of the skin from ringworm such as lemongrass tea and turmeric tea. You can drink this tea or infusions along with the topical applications for faster healing and ease the skin of sores and swelling.

  • Lemongrass Tea
  • Turmeric Tea
  • Olive Leaf Extract
  • Oregano Oil

Dilute the tea bags in hot water. As for oregano oil, you need to mix five to ten drops of it into a cup of water. Drink three times a day for 2 to 3 weeks. You can also apply the used tea bags on the affected areas of your skin.

Other Products for Specific Types of Ringworm

  • Antifungal Nail Paint

Antifungal nail paint can treat fungal nail infections but you still need to take antifungal tablets in order to be fully healed of ringworm. They have a better effect than nail paints but they pose side effects such as nausea, headache, and diarrhea.

  • Antifungal Shampoo

Antifungal shampoo can help prevent the spreading of the infection and speed up recovery but it cannot totally cure scalp infections. They are particularly helpful in quickly recovering from kerions or painful swelling in the scalp. You need to take antifungal tablets along with this product to cure the scalp of ringworm. This should be used twice a week during the first two weeks of the treatment.

Examples: Ketoconazole, Nizoral, Selenium sulfide

  • Antifungal Soaps, Body Wash, and Balms

These products are readily available in drugstores or even in department stores. Aside from the antifungal ingredients that these products contain, they also contain essential oils such as tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil promoting faster healing. Also, these products can treat different body parts at the same time.


Ringworm is a contagious disease but can be treated easily. The most important thing to do before applying any treatment on the affected areas is to keep those areas clean and dry. There’s no point in treating ringworm if you will not put an effort in making sure that the affected area is clean because it will just spread to other parts of the body.

Some of these treatments can be combined for quicker and more effective results but always seek advice from the medical professionals to avoid posing risks and side effects.

It is also important to treat all affected areas at the same time. Leaving any area untreated can still spread ringworm on other body parts.

These different types of treatment also pose some risks and side effects. In case you experience some side effects, discomfort, or irritation on your skin, stop the treatment immediately and inform your doctor so that he/she can give you an alternative treatment that has fewer side effects on your body.