10 Home Remedies for Ringworm
Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin, which creates a lesion that resembles a worm in the shape of a ring. Luckily, ringworm has nothing to do with actual worms, but regardless it’s not a pleasant condition to have. The infection usually appears as red spots or patches on the skin and it can spread to other parts of the body.
Ringworm can affect your nails, your scalp, your feet or anywhere in between. Your entire body can be impacted by this infection. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of ringworm early on, as it will help you fight it more quickly and effectively. Depending on where the infection is on your body, the symptoms may be different. The most common symptoms to help you recognize ringworm are:
* Defined edge patches, slightly raised above the level of your skin
* Patches which turn into or develop blisters and/or pustules
* Patches which are more red on the outside, resembling a ring
* Red, itchy, raised areas, scaly patches
Most skin issues usually come with some sort of stigma, so it’s also quite important to note that anyone can contract ringworm and it has little to do with personal hygiene. Ringworm is most commonly contracted by:
* Human to human contact – ringworm spreads by skin to skin and direct contact with an infected person
* Object to human – It’s entirely possible for ringworm to be spread by contact with things that an infected person previously had contact with. The most common objects are towels, toilets, bedsheets, linens and hairbrushes
* Animal to human – ringworm can be spread from an infected animal to a human, dogs and cats are often responsible for spreading ringworm
* Soil to human – The ringworm fungus can be found in soil, and with prolonged contact can be transferred to humans
There are a few things you can do to avoid contracting ringworm, keeping your hands clean, staying dry, avoid sharing personal objects with other people, wear gloves while gardening, and avoid contact with animals that aren’t your own.
#1 – Apple Cider Vinegar Apple cider vinegar is a very good anti-fungal agent, so it can help treat ringworm. It’s best used by soaking a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and brushing it over the affected areas of your skin, repeat this three times per day.
This is a very commonly recommended treatment for ringworm, but some people do report irritation with the use of apple cider vinegar. If you experience any adverse effects, stop using it externally right away. Using it internally can be continued.
#2 – Tea Tree Oil Tea tree oil has been used by native peoples for centuries to treat various illnesses including various types of fungus. It is known for being very effective in treating fungal infections of the skin. You can apply the oil directly to the affected areas, or if your skin is too sensitive you can dilute the tea tree oil with coconut oil to reduce its potency, coconut oil is also known to have anti-fungal properties.
#3 – Let the Affected Area Breathe The best thing you can do for ringworm is to keep the affected areas dry and able to breathe. It’s a good idea to wear loose-fitting and breathable clothing to keep you dry. Avoid bandaging the affected areas as this will promote moisture, which will only make your ringworm worse.
#4 – Wash and Change Your Bedding Every Day This might be a big ask for most people, but going to sleep in the same sheets which you’d slept in the night before can undo the progress you might have made during the day fighting ringworm. While sleeping you transfer some of that fungus over to your sheets and you don’t want to be going to sleep in sheets which have the potential of spreading ringworm to other parts of your body.
Make sure to wash your bedding in over 60’C or 140’F. It’s important to note that lower temperatures will not kill the fungus, and can make the situation worse by transferring the ringworm spores over your entire laundry.
#5 – Change Clothing During the Day This is important, especially if you’re a person who happens to sweat a lot. Carry a few changes of underwear and socks with you. When you feel that the area has become moist with sweat, clean up with some antifungal soap and change your socks and/or your underwear when possible. This might seem like a bit of a hassle, but it’ll go a long way to prevent the further spread of ringworm.
#6 – Use Anti-Fungal Shampoo Even if ringworm hasn’t spread to your scalp, you’ll want to do whatever you can to stop it spreading there. Replace your regular shampoo with an antifungal one and use that until you manage to bring your condition under control.
#7 – Aloe Vera This works quite similarly to tea tree oil as aloe vera is very well known for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and there are numerous scientific studies which back this up. The best way to do this is to rub the actual aloe leaf on the area of skin which is affected. Natural aloe may be a little difficult to obtain in some areas, so you can buy some aloe vera gel instead.
#8 – Keep Yourself Clean When you have ringworm, it’s not only important to keep the areas impacted dry, but as clean as possible. It’s a good idea to take a shower a few times a day if you can find the time, using antifungal soap. Just make sure not to use the same towel more than once.
#9 – Tumeric Turmeric is very popular at the moment, it’s being used in many treatments from arthritis to skin conditions. It has strong antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. Turmeric may also be used in two ways, internally and externally:
* Externally – mix a teaspoon of ground turmeric with the right amount of water to turn it into a paste, apply it to your skin and leave until it dries.
* Internally – You can also drink turmeric mixed with water, with tea, or add it to your favorite foods as a spice. It’s important to note that turmeric has a very strong yellowish color, and will temporarily stain your skin.
There is nothing to worry about, as this will wash off fairly quickly.
#10 – Oregano Oil Oregano is known to have very strong antifungal properties, how strong? Some say it’s a stronger antifungal agent than many commercial products available4. Oregano oil is easy to find online and it’s best used slightly diluted with a carrier like coconut or olive oil to dilute its strength. Apply it directly to the impacted areas on your skin, three times per day.
Ringworm is not easy to get rid of and carries the possibility of spreading to other parts of your body. This can be embarrassing and very inhibiting to many people, so it’s recommended that these home remedies are done alongside any products or medicines your doctor recommends. Natural remedies are usually the healthiest and most long term solutions to ailments, but it’s a good idea to attack any skin fungus with everything you have at your disposal.
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Ringworm References and Ringworm Information
Healthline Magazine: https://www.healthline.com/health/ringworm#symptoms
Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ringworm-body/symptoms-causes/syc-20353780#:~:text=Ringworm%20often%20spreads%20by%20direct%2C%20skin%2Dto%2Dskin%20contact,or%20grooming%20dogs%20or%20cats.
Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323721
Healthline Magazine: https://www.healthline.com/health/home-remedies-for-ringworm#oregano-oil