What Are the Treatments for Facial Ringworm?

Facial ringworm, also known as tinea faciale, is a common fungal infection that can cause a circular rash to occur anywhere on the face. Although not dangerous or life-threatening, facial ringworm occurs on prominent area of the skin and is nearly impossible to cover up. As such, getting treatment is a priority, with many options available to you, depending on how serious the infection is.

A woman is shopping for over the counter medication in the drugstore. (Image: kzenon/iStock/Getty Images)

OTC Antifungal Medications

For mild cases of ringworm on the face, an over-the-counter antifungal medication may be enough to treat the infection. Antifungals target the ringworm infection and kill it, allowing the skin to clear itself up. Common over-the-counter medications for this purpose include clotrimazole, terbinafine and miconazole. Ringworm is contagious, so you should avoid activities that involve touching the facial skin--such as sports or intimate contact--for at least 48 hours after starting treatment.

Prescription Topical Treatments

When over-the-counter products are not strong enough, your doctor may suggest a prescription-strength topical medication such as econazole, oxiconazole or naftifine. Like over-the-counter products, prescription topical treatments target and kill the ringworm fungus, allowing the face to clear up. In general, ringworm should clear up within four weeks, states the National Institutes of Health.

Prescription Oral Treatments

For more serious cases of ringworm, or cases that have not responded to topical treatments, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication. These medications target the fungus from the inside of your body. It is important to try topical medications first, as they target just the infected area, verses an oral medication, which runs through your entire body. Common prescription oral medications for ringworm of the face include itraconazole, griseofulvin, fluconazole and terbinafine.

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