Ringworm is a very common skin condition that can be contracted in a variety of ways. Despite its name, it is not caused by any kind of worm, but rather a fungus that lives naturally on our skin, in damp places, in soil, and on pets. It goes by several names other than ‘ringworm on the skin’ depending on the location of the infection, including:
- Athlete’s foot (when on the feet)
- Jock itch (when in the groin)
- Tinea Barbae (when in someone’s beard)
- Tinea Capitis (on the top of the head)
- Tinea Unguium (underneath and around the fingernails and/or toenails)
- Tinea Faciei (anywhere on the face other than in the beard area or on the scalp)
- Tinea Corporis (anywhere else on the body)
This being said, the fungus can affect anyone regardless of hygiene habits, so while frequently washing your hands and body can certainly help your chances of avoiding infection, it doesn’t make you impervious to the fungus.
Can Urgent Care Treat Ringworm?
Urgent care facilities can certainly help you to diagnose a case of ringworm and recommend an over-the-counter medication to treat the infection, but these are both things that can be done on your own or through a primary care physician. However, the symptoms of ringworm can also be indicative of other types of skin infections or rashes, so the best course of action is to see a medical professional and get a proper diagnosis.
Additionally, if you have agitated your case of ringworm by scratching it until there’s pus, you have likely caused bacterial infection and may need oral and/or topical antibiotics to treat it. An urgent care facility would undoubtedly be able to help you in that regard. In other words, an urgent care facility could help you diagnose the ringworm, prescribe or recommend medications, and explain the course of treatment you’ll need to undergo in order to clear your skin of the infection and avoid spreading it. The rash is highly contagious, so it’s important to pay attention to physical contact, both with other areas of your body and with other people.
What Cures Ringworm Fast?
Antifungal creams and ointments are the most common and most effective form of treatment for ringworm. For mild cases, these topical medications can treat the infection within 2 to 4 weeks. However, if the rash persists and doesn’t seem to be responding to over-the-counter treatments, your doctor may need to give you prescription-strength oral and topical medication.
Other things you can do to help it fade quickly are:
- Keep it uncovered as much as possible. Bandaging it or otherwise keeping it covered can help the fungus thrive since it prefers moist areas. Keeping it uncovered will let it dry out while you’re treating it.
- Wash and dry the area frequently to keep is as clean as possible.
- Avoid scratching it as much as you can. The area will be itchy, but scratching can lead to spreading the infection and causing it to elevate from a fungal infection to a bacterial infection.
- Avoid clothing that further irritates the skin.
To keep from spreading the infection to other parts of your body or to others, be sure to practice good hygiene, do not share clothing or towels with others, and wash your hands and body after interacting with pets.
How Long Does It Take for Ringworm to Disappear?
In mild cases, as little as 2 to 4 weeks. However, the more persistent cases have been known to take several months to get fully cleared up. The best thing that you can do for yourself when you notice such an infection is to see a medical professional and follow the guidelines they give you for treatment. Be diligent with cleaning your skin and applying the medication as regularly as directed.
No matter your health needs, trust the medical experts at Village Emergency Centers to provide first-rate care. Open 24/7 with no wait time, our dedicated doctors and staff have all the necessary medical equipment and experience to treat the most critical conditions. Visit us online to learn more or check-in!