Medical News Today: Ringworm: How long is it contagious?

Treatment typically involves the direct application of an antifungal cream to the ringworm lesion. These creams are available over the counter.

When applying the cream, people should cover the visible lesion and spread the cream out to 2.5 cm beyond the lesion’s borders. People should continue to use the cream for at least 7 days after the lesion has completely cleared.

According to one study, ointments or creams could take about 4 weeks to clear a ringworm infection. However, the exact duration of the infection depends on the location and severity of the lesion.

A lesion that forms on an area of the body with little to no hair may resolve in 2–4 weeks with treatment. If the infection is severe or in an area with a lot of hair, it can take longer to heal.

Ringworm that occurs on the scalp requires prescription medicine, such as oral antifungals. The doctor may also prescribe a medicated shampoo.

Without treatment, ringworm can disappear within a few months. However, the person is contagious to themselves and others during this time.

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