In spite of its name, ringworm isn’t caused by any kind of living parasite or worm. Instead, it’s a skin condition caused by a kind of fungus known as tinea or Trichophyton rubrum. Trichophyton rubrum fungus thrives well in moist, warm areas and infects several skin areas from the feet (athlete’s foot) to the scalp. It also affects the groin and everything in between (better identified as jock itch). Ringworm infections result in red, scaly, itchy patches on the skin surface. After some time, it forms the shape of a ring, hence the name “ringworm.” The patches are not only unsightly but also uncomfortable.
Dermatophytes feed on keratin produced by your body. Keratin is found in hair shafts, the outermost surface of the skin and the nails. Ringworm fungi are present in tanning beds, locker rooms, showers, pools, hair brushes, towels; clothing, etc. coming into direct contact with an infected person is a sure way of infection. To prevent contacting ringworms, always maintain your skin by keeping it clean and dry. Wear shoes in public showers, and avoid physical contact with an infected person.
Because it’s particularly a stubborn and contagious infection, it can be challenging to eliminate it especially if it has affected fingernails, toenails or the scalp. However, before running to unkind chemical treatments, there are various effective natural home preparations for ringworm which are worth trying. To home treat ringworm, you need to keep the affected surface dry and clean between treatments. Avoid any further irritation. Wash all sheets, towels, and items of clothing that have been used by the infected person. Below is a summary of the most effective home remedies.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is one among the best-known ringworm natural remedy. This Oil works well for ringworm touching the feet (athlete’s foot). It contains anti-fungal and antiseptic properties which decrease the infection efficiently. Ensure to use 100% tea tree oil in the treatment. Apply using a cotton wool soaked in the oil three or four times in a day. It’s important to test your skin for sensitivity before starting the treatment. If the oil is undiluted, then its effectiveness might be compromised.
Mustard Seed Paste
These seeds help in reducing inflammation, itchiness and redness caused ringworm infection. Applying mustard seed paste on the area helps reduce the itchy urge which is essential in preventing its spread. Scratching the ringworm does not only cause it to spread, but it also damages the skin. To make mustard seeds paste, combined with water and stirred to mix well. Apply it directly to the surface, cover using a bandage for not less than one hour. Repeat twice in a day throughout the infection.
Coconut oil works as a curative natural remedy for ringworm infection. It is also safe and highly effective. This is made possible by the presence of Lauric Acid present which is a potent anti-fungal agent. Lauric acid(1) present in coconut oil kills the ringworm fungi and also soothes your skin. This gives a gentle and quick healing process making it safe for children and pets. Gently apply a small amount of coconut oil on the affected surface directly. Massage for two to three minutes, three-four times daily for three weeks.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is well known for its effective natural remedy in many different health conditions. Ringworm falls among these health conditions. Apple cider vinegar has probiotics and natural acids which are very effective in fighting fungal infections. Apple cider has been proved lethal to a fungi known as Candida Spp. To apply, dip a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, dab the infected area gently twice or thrice a day until the infection heals completely. It is advisable to star with a small amount if you have a sensitive skin.
Use of Oregano Oil
Oregano oil has been proved to have same medicinal effects as anti-fungal and antibiotic treatments in various instances. It is made possible by the presence of powerful components present in oregano oil like carvacrol(2). Carvacrol has anti-fungal powers. When topically applied for ringworm, it clears up the infection very fast. However, Oregano oil is potent. Therefore it must be diluted with a carrier oil. Only a drop or two is needed for a ringworm area. In case of stubborn ringworm, a combination of 3 drops of Oregano oil, a small quantity of coconut oil and 2-drops of tea tree oil is very effective. Here coconut oil and tea tree oil works a carrier oils.
Garlic has various medicinal values. These values make it effectual against ringworm infected areas. Due to the presence of ajoene (3)which is an anti-fungal component. Ajoene works against Tinea fungus(4) which causes ringworm. With three to four cloves, make a thin paste and apply over the affected area. Adding a few drops of honey and olive oil gives better results.
Use of Turmeric
Turmeric has several health benefits which include anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It’s also a potent anti-fungal which inhibits growth. Grind fresh turmeric and combine it with water to make a paste. Apply onto the affected skin and leave it to dry. Drinking turmeric tea or water daily also gives some great health benefits.
Licorice is well known for its effective microbial properties. However, research was done recently showed that the extracts of licorice could be used to treat fungal infections. To get good results; take eight teaspoons of licorice powder, mix with water and boil. Once it’s boiled simmer, reducing the heat to 10 minutes. Stir to make a good paste then keep it to cool. Apply it topically and leave it for not less than ten minutes. Repeat this exercise twice daily.
Use of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is an all-natural medication for various types of skin infections. Aloe Vera is rich in antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Its soothing effects are effectual on ringworm too. Aloe Vera also antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which support healing and removal of scars left behind by ringworm. It also relieves itchiness and discomfort caused by ringworm. Application of fresh Aloe Vera gel on the affected area is more efficient than use of aloe Vera ointments. Apply two or three times in a day until full treatment is achieved.
Colloidal Silver is a good option when looking for natural ringworm treatment. Research has proven that Colloidal Silver (5) contains effective anti-fungal abilities. You need to first clean the ringworm area before using colloidal silver. Next, apply by spraying the infected area and leave to dry. It comes in gel or liquid form. Repeat this two or three times in a day until the ringworm healed completely. Colloidal Silver is colorless and odorless which makes it a definite non-messy option. Colloidal Silver is also gentle therefore safe for use on kids and pets.
Vinegar and Salt Paste
Form a paste with white vinegar and salt and use it topically on the affected area. It helps in bringing your PH level to normal. Normal skin PH helps to soothe the itchy skin and enables faster healing time. This paste does not only help in relieving symptoms, but it also heals the infection. It takes approximately seven days to clear the infections completely.
Lavender Oil and Jojoba Oil
Use of Jojoba and Lavender oil is the best, soothing and safest remedy for treating ringworm. Lavender oil has powerful anti-fungal effects. Experts have proved that Lavender oil not only stops further development of the fungi, but it also kills it completely. Therefore it helps you get entirely rid of the infection. Application of a few drops of Lavender oils on your skin clears the ringworm extremely. A single drop of lavender oil with one teaspoon of jojoba oil mixture is enough. Apply using a cotton ball and leave it on. Lavender and jojoba oil mixture is safe for both children and pets.
Use of Olive Leaf
Almost every part of the olive tree has adequate health benefits. It is an old-age method that offers anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It aids in the external and internal treatment of a broad range of afflictions. Olive leaves help in boosting body’s immune system enhancing the healing process. To make a good paste, combine one tablespoon of olive leaf extract powder with a ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Mix well until the dough is formed. Apply directly to the affected area. Repeat this twice or thrice daily for seven days or until the symptoms subside.
Myrrh has been used for a long time in treating fungal infections. It is an ancient medicinal herb that contains powerful anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-viral and astringent properties that help in healing several ailments. Myrrh solution can be used alone or combined with goldenseal to make a paste.
When you get infected with ringworm infection, home remedies should be the primary place to turn for treatment. Home remedies for ringworm are not the only natural; they are also highly efficient, safe, and fast. A few of these natural remedies can be combined to give quicker and more effective results.