Ringworm is a fungal infection easily recognisable by the red, itchy ring-shaped rash that it causes on the surface of the skin. Typically, it can be cured with over-the-counter cream treatments, which usually last two to four weeks. Sometimes, however, ringworm can seem to recur, flaring back up after all signs have been healed. This is known as chronic or recurring ringworm, and could be caused by one of two things. Either the same fungal infection was not cured by the initial treatment and needs further medication, or the patient has become infected a second time. In either case, take steps both to clean up your environment and treat the fungus in order to cure the chronic ringworm and prevent further infection. In some severe cases, if the infection is still persistent, you will need to consult with a physician to receive stronger prescription medication.
Wash your hands thoroughly and often to prevent the infection from spreading.
Separate your belongings from others in your home. Do not share towels, clothes, hairbrushes or other personal belongings.
Wash and sterilise your shower or bath often. Dark, cool, moist places are ideal for fungi growth.
Avoid walking barefoot over any surface that might be contaminated. This especially applies to the gym--always shower with flip-flops to avoid spreading or catching ringworm in the changing room.
Complete your over-the-counter treatment. Often, the physical signs of ringworm--ring-shaped, itchy rashes--will go away after a few days of treatment. However, the fungus still remains under the skin, causing recurring ringworm. To ensure this is the problem, complete the entire cycle of over-the-counter ringworm treatment. These typically last two to four weeks.
Avoid processed carbohydrates (white bread and pasta), which suppress the immune system and prevent your body from fighting off the fungus.
Massage the affected area daily with a small amount of olive oil, which Virender Sodhi, N.D. calls "an antifungal."
Apply Neem spray to the affected area twice daily for two to three months, or take Neem supplements. These also act as antifungals and will help to clear up the infection.
Consult your doctor for prescription medication if these treatments and prevention methods do not clear up ringworm in two to three months, or if the ringworm returns. They will recommend either a topical or oral treatment.