Infectious Disease Specialist Questions Ringworm

Can ringworm infection be treated?

I am 24 years old and an athlete. I have recently been suffering from the ringworm infection. I have started out on the treatment for the same, but it seems to be rather slow. Can the ringworm infection be treated? Are there chances of recurrence?

5 Answers

The usual case of ringworm can be treated. It's a fungus and therefore keeping the affected areas dry makes the "environment" of the skin areas not conducive to growth. There are both topical (e.g., clotrimazole, econazole, miconazole, terbinafine, fluconazole, ketoconazole, etc.) and oral medications that can be prescribed. I'd suggest getting a dermatologist to look at the affected areas and then convince him/her to be aggressive in therapy. Remember, yeast/fungi have to have heat and moisture to grow. Eliminate those and dry out the areas regularly and you'll go a long way towards control. When I was an athletic trainer, we did everything humanly possible to "air out" areas that are warm and moist. Cornstarch in the groins before and after workouts and bedtime, and now with better anti-fungals, you can be more effective, BUT the key is keeping the affected areas DRY so the fungus can't live! Sometimes the areas itch so much that an anti-inflammatory drug is needed to control the redness, swelling, heat and pain.
Good luck, and don't self-medicate if you can help it. Get a pro to shut it down ASAP! I sympathize!
Yes it is a fungal infection
Ring worm is Tinea Corporis, a fungal infection that involves the superficial part of skin. It take a little long to treat, unlike a bacterial infection such as cellulitis, and if not treated adequately, it may come back. Plus, it is also important to assess risk factors as these infections tend to be contagious among household contacts or other close physical contact, such as contact sports, workout gyms, etc.

Amar Safdar, MD, FACP, FIDSA
Yes, ringworm can be treated, but response is slow and you have to make sure there is nothing else going on. Can I see a picture of it and what you have tried so far?


Ringworm infections are not worms, but rather due to superficial fungal infections (called dermatophytosis). These are very common infections, especially among athletes (athlete's foot and jock rot). Ringworm is acquired by coming into direct contact with the causative fungus, usually contaminated towels, clothes, shower floors, etc. Most cases are readily treated using topical treatments (tinactin, lamicil), while severe and resistant infections may require short course treatment with an oral antifungal medication such as fluconazole. Topical treatment takes up to four weeks to cure the infection and recurrences are common.