Popular Medications Used in the Treatment of Ringworm
There are multiple types of ringworm, each distinctive form of the disease requiring a specific course of treatment. The most commonly used medications in the treatment of ringworm are antifungal creams and gels, which should be applied locally, on the entire surface of the affected skin, until the infection is completely cleared. If the disease is more severe, the doctor may prescribe strong oral medications or combination treatments (antifungal agents both under the form of creams, gels or lotions for local applications and oral tablets or capsules). Regardless of the type of treatment you use, you shouldn’t interrupt the course of medications until the doctor advises you to do so.
Most treatments should be continued for up to 14 days after the disease ceases to produce any visible symptoms. If the antifungal treatment is prematurely stopped, the infection is very likely to reappear, in which case it may also be more difficult to overcome. Thus, it is very important to use the appropriate treatment in the first place and respect the doctor’s or pharmacist’s instructions in order to obtain the best results and minimize the risks of relapse.
When confronted with ringworm, it is very important to maintain proper hygiene and take a set of precautions in order to prevent the infection from spreading to other places on the body (the lesions should be covered with band-aid or a soft, sterile cloth). For instance, ringworm of the foot can spread to the toenails over the course of a few weeks if neglected, causing difficult to treat nail infections called tinea unguium. Similarly, common forms of ringworm of the body may become less responsive to regular treatments if they spread to body areas such as armpits, hands, palms or crotch. By maintaining proper hygiene and avoiding the exposure of the affected regions of the body over the entire course of treatment, you will also minimize the chances of contaminating other persons. In order to avoid spreading the disease to other people, the doctor may even advise you to remain indoors until the infection is pronounced un-contagious.
In case ringworm produces lesions that are covered with a hardened crust, you should soften or even remove that crust by using Fungi-Clear (a pharmaceutical mixture of acetone and tolnaftate) in order to apply the local treatment on the exposed skin, thus enhancing the action of the antifungal agents for external use. After preparing the lesions by wiping them with Fungi-Clear, you should apply a thin layer of Lamisil, gently rubbing the skin until the cream is properly absorbed. The combination of Fungi-Clear (tolnaftate) and Lamisil (terbinafine hydrochloride) is also effective in treating tinea unguium (ringworm of the nails), although the treatment may also include stronger antifungal medications for internal use.
Another effective antifungal agent for external use is Selsun Blue (a pharmaceutical shampoo), product that is most effective in combination with Lamisil gel. The shampoo should be used to clean the affected regions, thus enhancing the efficiency of the antifungal cream (Lamisil). This combination can be used in the treatment of various forms of ringworm, such as ringworm of the body, crotch and foot. However, more severe types of ringworm (ringworm of the scalp, tinea unguium) may require strong oral medications, such as oral Lamisil or griseofulvin. These are prescription-base antifungal medications that are very effective in dealing with most fungal infections characteristic to ringworm. However, long-term treatments with such medications are not recommended, as they can produce pronounced side-effects. When using these medications in the treatment of ringworm, you should respect the doctor’s indications in order to prevent the occurrence of any undesired results.
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