Ringworm, also known as tinea, is a contagious fungal skin infection that causes red, scaly, itchy rashes on the skin. The rash often forms a circle shape, giving it the name “ringworm.” This infection is caused by various types of fungi and can spread through direct contact or by touching objects or surfaces that have the fungus on them. While ringworm is not serious, it is highly contagious and can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Using an antifungal soap is an effective way to treat ringworm and prevent its spread. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use antifungal soap for ringworm.

What to Look for in an Antifungal Soap

When choosing an antifungal soap to treat ringworm, you want to select one that contains ingredients that will kill the fungal infection. Here are some key ingredients to look for:

  • Tea tree oil – This natural oil has powerful antifungal properties and can help treat ringworm and prevent its spread. Look for soaps containing 5% or more tea tree oil.
  • Tolnaftate – This antifungal medication is effective at treating tinea infections. Select a soap with 1% tolnaftate.
  • Miconazole – This ingredient disrupts the fungal cell membrane and inhibits growth. Miconazole nitrate 2% is optimal.
  • Zinc pyrithione – This antibacterial and antifungal agent helps eliminate fungi at the source. Concentrations of 1-2% work best.
  • Selenium sulfide – This compound provides antiseptic and antifungal relief. Levels of 1-2.5% are ideal.

Choose a soap that contains a combination of these antifungal ingredients to maximize effectiveness against ringworm. Check that the product specifically states it treats fungal and ringworm infections.

How to Use Antifungal Soap on Ringworm

Once you’ve selected an effective antifungal soap, follow these steps to properly use it to treat ringworm:

  1. Wash the infected area with antifungal soap and warm water. Lather the soap thoroughly over the affected skin and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. This will allow the antifungal ingredients to penetrate the skin and start combatting the infection.
  2. Gently scrub the infected area with the soapy lather using your fingertips, a soft washcloth, or a loofah. This helps remove scales and dead skin to enable the antifungal agents to better reach the infection. Don’t scrub too harshly.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Make sure all soap residue is removed.
  4. Pat dry with a clean towel. Avoid sharing towels to prevent reinfection or spreading to others.
  5. Apply the antifungal soap to the ringworm 2-3 times daily, or as directed on the product label. Be consistent for maximum effectiveness.
  6. Continue use for 1-4 weeks or until ringworm is completely cleared up. Don’t stop early even if it looks better.
  7. Wash all towels, sheets, and clothes that contacted the infection in hot water to kill any lingering fungus. This prevents reinfection.
  8. Disinfect surfaces, combs, hairbrushes and any other objects that touched the rash using a disinfectant spray. This eliminates fungus contact points.

Tips for Effective Treatment

  • Avoid contact sports and activities that cause sweating until ringworm clears. Sweat encourages fungal growth.
  • Keep the area dry and exposed to air as much as possible to prevent a moist environment fungi thrive in.
  • Use a separate towel only for drying the affected area to avoid spreading spores.
  • Apply antifungal or zinc oxide cream after bathing for added treatment benefits.
  • Take anti-fungal oral medication if rashes cover a large area or do not improve with topical treatment. See a doctor.
  • Be patient. It can take several weeks for ringworm to be fully cured. Stick with the antifungal soap regimen.
  • See a dermatologist if rashes worsen, don’t improve, or you experience hair loss on the scalp. This may indicate a secondary infection.

Using an antifungal soap containing ingredients like tolnaftate, tea tree oil, and miconazole can be an effective way to treat ringworm and prevent its spread. Follow the directions closely and be diligent with treatment until the infection has fully cleared. With the proper use of antifungal soap, you can combat ringworm and get back to being rash-free.


Ringworm is a highly contagious fungal infection of the skin that causes uncomfortable rashes and scaling. Using an over-the-counter antifungal soap is an easy, effective way to treat ringworm and prevent its spread to others. When selecting an antifungal soap, be sure to choose one containing proven antifungal ingredients like tolnaftate, tea tree oil, and miconazole. Apply the soap directly to rashes 2-3 times per day, gently scrubbing to remove scales and allow deeper penetration. Consistent, thorough use for 1-4 weeks can fully clear up ringworm. Combine antifungal soap with other antifungal treatments like creams and oral medications for best results. Follow prevention tips like disinfecting surfaces and washing clothes properly. With diligent cleansing using the right antifungal soap, ringworm can be controlled, managed, and resolved.