Ringworm, contrary to its name, is actually a fungal infection and appears as a ring-shaped rash with healthy-looking skin in the middle, according to Medline Plus. This contagious disease, with the scientific name Tinea corporis, is commonly spread by contact with another person, an animal or an object contaminated with the fungal spores. Ringworm can occur on any part of the body, including the legs.
Treat ringworm of the legs with self-care initially. Keep the affected skin on your legs clean and dry. Medline Plus recommends that you change and wash bed linens and night clothes every day while infected. This will help to prevent reinfection.
Apply over-the-counter topical antifungal agents in the form of lotions, sprays, creams or gels. The Mayo Clinic suggests agents that contain clotrimazole, miconazole, terbinafine or tolnaftate. Continue to apply this treatment for seven to 10 days after the rash resolves, according to the Merck Manual. Apply corticosteroid creams to relieve itching and promote healing.
See your physician if ringworm occurs on a large area on your legs, becomes more severe, fails to respond to nonprescription treatments or if you have a compromised immune system. Your physician will test for the specific type of fungus causing the problem and may prescribe either an oral medication with itraconazole, fluconazole, ketoconazole or terbinafine or a strong topical treatment, which may include butenafine, ciclopirox, econazole, miconazole, oxiconazole or terbinafine. Use the medication as directed.
Treat any pets that have ringworm infections. Ringworm is contagious and reinfection can occur from pets with the disease.