Mupirocin For Ringworm

Sold under the brand name Bactroban among others, Mupirocin is a topical antibiotic used to treat superficial skin infections like folliculitis or impetigo. This ointment can also be used to treat bacterial spores and fungal infection on the skin.

A great number of pores and infections on the skin are caused by fungus and bacteria. Fungal infection, for instance, impacts the skin, hair and nails greatly. Chronic fungal infection, also known as tinea versicolor, affects the pores and can greatly impair the skin’s functionality and aesthetic appeal.

What is Mupirocin and how does it work?

As already indicated, Mupirocin is a topical antibiotic (applied on the skin) used to treat impetigo, a bacterial skin disease caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes and beta-hemolytic streptococcus. It is also used inside the nose (intranasally) to eliminate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus that inhabits the nose. Studies have also indicated that Mupirocin can also be used to treat ringworms on the skin.

Unlike other antibiotics that work by interrupting the bacteria’s DNA or cell wall, Mupirocin works by blocking the activity to isoleucyltRNA synthetase enzyme. This is the enzyme responsible for processing the bacteria’s proteins. Thus, it kills bacteria by stopping its ability to synthesize proteins.

Because of Mupirocin’s unique action mechanism, there is very little chance that the bacteria will develop resistance to it. This medication was approved by the FDA in December 1987 and the intranasal use approved in October 1995.

Antifungal activity of Mupirocin

Ringworm, also known as tinea, is caused by a fungal infection onto the skin. It is caused by a fungus known as by dermatophytes, which is a bad form of yeast. Dermatophytes live and feed on the skin’s dead cells. The fungi that cause ringworms thrives in warm, moist surfaces like the human skin. It causes the skin to itch and form red swelling and crusting. Some ringworms also produce ring-like spots.

Fungal infections can be treated using Mupirocin ointment. The treatment for ringworms depends on the location of the infection. Ringworm on the skin like jock itch (tinea cruris) and athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) can be treated by applying Mupirocin onto the affected area for two to four weeks.

How to use Mupirocin

Mupirocin should be used on the skin only. Start by cleaning and drying the affected area. Then, apply Mupirocin ointment to the affected area three times per day or as recommended by your healthcare provider. You may cover the medication with a bandage. Use Mupirocin regularly in order to get the desired outcome.

Stopping the treatment too early may allow the bacteria to continue growing, resulting in a relapse of the infection. Avoid getting this medication into contact with your eyes, mouth, damaged skin or any other opening in the body. Inform your healthcare provider if your condition does not improve after three-five days of use.

Mupirocin dosage

Mupirocin, as already indicated, comes as a cream or ointment that is applied to the skin or inside (nasal formulation). It is important that you use this medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Never use more or less of the medicine than is recommended by your healthcare provider.

Mupirocin topical dosage

Mupirocin topical ointment should be applied three times per day one to two weeks. Wash the area of treatment thoroughly before applying the medication. Then, apply a thin layer of the ointment on the affected area. Next, cover the treated area with a sterile gauze pad. Never apply this Mupirocin onto an open wound or burn unless advised so by your doctor.

Mupirocin nasal dosage

Mupirocin nasal should be applied two times per day for five days. Use one-half of the tube in the left nostril and the other half on the right nostril. The medication should be placed inside the nostril before gently pressing the nostrils to absorb the medicine. Repeat this process for about one minute to help spread the medicine inside your nose.

Some mupirocin side effects

Call your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following side effects while using Mupirocin.

  • Burning or stinging sensation, or pain in the treated area
  • Headache
  • Itching or rashes
  • Mild nausea

Serious Mupirocin side effects

Call your healthcare or the emergency room right away if you experience any of the following side Mupirocin side effects.

  • Allergic reactions such as hives, severe itching or rashes, swelling of the face and tongue, dizziness, or breathing difficulty.
  • Nose bleeding or severe burning sensation inside the nose.

Common Mupirocin FAQs

What are the uses of Mupirocin?

Mupirocin topical is used to treat impetigo and other skin infections caused by Streptococcus pyonenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and beta-hemolytic streptococcus. It can also be used to treat ringworm infection. It is, however, not recommended for treating skin burns because the active agent, polyethylene glycol, when absorbed by the body, can cause kidney damage.

Can expectant or breastfeeding mothers take Mupirocin?

There is no comprehensive study on effects of Mupirocin in pregnant women. However, be sure to consult your healthcare provider before using this medication during pregnancy.

There is no data on the safety of Mupirocin in infants. It has not yet been established if traces of this medication can be transferred to the infant via breast milk. It is advisable that you consult your doctor before using this medication while breastfeeding.

What should I know about Mupirocin storage and disposal?

Like with any medication, it is important that you keep Mupirocin in the container it came with, properly closed, and kept out of reach of pets and children. Keep the medication at room temperature away from moisture and direct sunlight. Expired and unused medication should be disposed of appropriately.

Does Mupirocin interact with other medications?

Your dermatologist or pharmacist should be aware of possible Mupirocin interaction with other medications and should monitor you for these interactions. Do not start, stop or adjust dosage for any medication before consulting your healthcare provider. Before starting Mupirocin, tell your healthcare provider of all medications (both prescription and non-prescription) you are currently taking. Specifically, be sure to inform your doctor if you are using chloramphenicol.

What else should I know about Mupirocin?

Mupirocin ointment is for external use only. Do not ingest or let the ointment get into your eyes, open wounds, or anybody openings. Do not apply cosmetics, dressings, lotion, or other skin care products to the area under Mupirocin treatment without your doctor’s consent. Keep all your appointments with your healthcare provider during the treatment period.

Do not share your medication with anyone else. Ask your chemist any questions you might have about Mupirocin refill. If symptoms persist after finishing your prescription, be sure to call your healthcare provider.


Mupirocin is a prescription ointment used to treat various bacterial infections on the skin. It belongs to a class of medications known as topical antibacterials. It works by stopping the bacteria and ringworm-causing fungi from synthesizing proteins it requires to reproduce. Depending on the form you are using, Mupirocin should be applied two to three times a day for up to five days. It is important to follow the dosing guidelines as recommended by your healthcare provider to prevent recurrence of the bacteria or fungi.