How Long Does Ringworm Last?

Well, how long does ringworm last? If you've ever dealt with ringworm, it's easy to feel as if the unsightly skin infection will never go away. But, with a little patience, time, and the right cures for ringworm, it can be successfully eradicated.

How Do You Get Ringworm?

Ringworm is quite easy to catch. The skin infection is caused by fungi called dermatophytes. Dermatophytes find a way to get in the skin through small cuts or broken skin.

Their presence on the skin causes red, itchy, raised lesions to form. Not only can you get ringworm on your body (arms, legs, and trunk) but also on your scalp.

Ringworm fungi thrive in moist, warm conditions. So, anywhere there is heat, friction, and humidity dermatophytes can grow.

Ringworm is contagious. It can be passed through direct and indirect means. Pets are a potential source of ringworm, especially cats. Sharing towels and clothing can also contribute to ringworm development.

How Do You Get Rid of Ringworm?

The easiest way to get rid of ringworm is by using topical anti-fungal medications. You can buy anti-fungal creams, sprays, and powders over the counter at any drug store.

If you have a severe case of ringworm, you should see your doctor. They will prescribe stronger topical anti-fungals or oral anti-fungal medications.

Oral medications are quite effective. However, like all medicines, they do come with potential side effects.

How Long Does Ringworm Last?

Most ringworm is usually self-limited in healthy people. This means that if you did nothing to treat the infection it would go away on it's own. It make take a few months for ringworm to vanish on its own.

In people with lowered immunity, ringworm must be treated proactively. Again, topical and oral medications are the treatments of choice in this population.

Of course, most healthy individuals do not want to wait months for ringworm clear up by itself. Not only are the lesions ugly and itchy, they can be transmitted to others.

Ringworm fungi reproduce using spores. These spores are survivalists and can live on untreated surfaces for at least a year. By killing these fungal spores, you can spare others the misery of ringworm.

How long does ringworm last once you begin treatment? After applying topical anti-fungal creams, it may take about 2 to 4 weeks for the medication to get rid of ringworm. Oral medications also take a few weeks to work.

Chronic ringworm can be a problem for some people. It seems that no matter what treatments they use the ringworm goes away, then returns, creating a vicious cycle. In this instance, potent anti-fungals are used to keep the infection at bay.

Chronic ringworm also occurs when the full course of medication is not taken as prescribed. It's important to take anti-fungal medications as prescribed particularly oral medications. Stopping medication too soon might not kill all of the ringworm-causing dermatophytes.

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