Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a fungus, which grows into red rashes with a characteristic ring shape (1). It is medically called tinea or dermatophytosis. It looks ungainly and feels terrible, but it is definitely not uncommon. Studies suggest that two out of every 10 persons are tormented by this infection and go pillar to post looking for a remedy that works. Ringworm can occur virtually on any part of the body, such as the hands, feet, groin, and even the torso. A person who has contracted ringworm exhibits rashes on his skin. The rashes are red, circular, and flaky and cause the skin to itch. This, at times, is coupled with a burning sensation.
People who share locker rooms or swimming pools or have pets stand a greater risk of contracting the infection. But, don’t worry! Ringworm can be cured by using simple ingredients available around the house. We have compiled a list of the top 15 ringworm home remedies that can treat the infection effectively.
How To Get Rid Of Ringworms In Humans
1. Tea Tree Oil For Ringworm
- Tea tree oil
- Cotton ball
Soak the cotton ball in pure tea tree oil and apply it on the rash.
Repeat this a few times during the day.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar For Ringworm
- Apple cider vinegar
- Cotton ball
- Dip the cotton ball in the vinegar and squeeze out the excess.
- Place this cotton ball on the affected area and leave it on for 15 minutes.
- You can use some tape to hold the cotton in place.
Do this several times a day for a whole week and you will be rid of those pesky ringworm patches.
Apple cider vinegar contains antifungal agents that will kill the infection-causing fungus and heal the ringworm (3).
3. Bleach For Ringworm
- 1 part bleach
- 1 part water
- Cotton swab
- Mix the bleach and water.
- Dip the cotton swab in this and apply the solution on the affected area. Be careful to not get the bleach on the surrounding area.
- Let it dry naturally. Do not rinse the area immediately unless you feel any discomfort.
Reapply this once every day after washing off the previous day’s bleach with soap and water. Continue this until the ringworm is gone.
Bleach is an antimicrobial that is commonly used to disinfect surfaces around the house. When applied to the ringworm, it will kill the fungus and heal the infection (4).
Do not use this remedy if you have sensitive skin as bleach can easily irritate the skin.
4. Coconut Oil For Ringworm
Virgin coconut oil
Apply the oil on the ringworm with your fingertips and massage it for a few minutes.
Reapply the oil three to four times in a day.
The antifungal property of coconut oil helps in treating the ringworm infection (6).
5. Garlic For Ringworm
1-2 garlic cloves
- Finely crush the garlic and rub it over the rashes.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse it off.
Follow the remedy diligently every day until the rash disappears completely.
Garlic has incredible antifungal properties (7). Be it rashes or a bad case of nausea, a small clove of garlic is sure to work wonders.
6. Oregano Oil For Ringworm
Apply a few drops of the oil directly on the ringworm. Leave it on.
Do this thrice a day. You will start noticing results in just a few days.
This essential oil helps you to get rid of even those adamant ringworms that just won’t budge. Oregano oil possesses strong antifungal properties due to the presence of carvacrol (8).
7. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver (liquid or gel)
Spray it on or apply it on the affected area and leave it on.
Apply it twice a day till the problem is completely solved.
The silver penetrates into the fungal cells and denatures the key enzymes, causing the death of the fungi (9).
8. Lavender Essential Oil
- 8-10 drops lavender oil
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Mix the essential and carrier oils.
- Apply the mixture on the affected areas and leave it on.
Apply this thrice a day.
Lavender oil has strong antifungal properties. This oil not just stops the development but also kills the fungus that causes the infection (10). It is an effective ringworm treatment.
9. Neem Oil For Ringworm
Apply one to two drops of neem oil to the ringworm.
Repeat this thrice a day. The ringworm will start healing after a couple of applications, and completely disappear in about 10 days.
Neem is certainly God’s gift to mankind. Every part of the neem tree, be it the roots, the leaves, or the bark, has medicinal properties and is used extensively to treat a myriad of health ailments. Enriched with antifungal and antibiotic properties, the neem will begin its work in barely a few minutes (11). But be patient, for even neem takes time to tackle ringworm.
10. Turmeric For Ringworm
- 1-2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- Take the powdered turmeric and add a few drops of water to it. Mix well to make a thick paste.
- Gently rub the paste over the rash. Leave it on for 15 minutes, and wash it off.
You can also use an extractor to extract some fresh turmeric juice. Apply this on the infected area till the fungus is cleared.
Turmeric paste can be applied twice a day.
This is one antiseptic favored by most cultures across the world, owing to its ability to cure most skin ailments. This seasoning works great for ringworm and does not leave your skin dry unlike other over-the-counter ointments. Turmeric has been shown to have a fungicidal effect on 29 different strains of dermatophytes (12). It is an excellent and powerful home treatment option for ringworms.
Turmeric stains easily, so make sure to wear dark colored clothes.
11. Aloe Vera
- You Will Need
- An aloe leaf
- A spoon
1. Cut the leaf of the aloe plant and extract the gel by scraping it with a spoon.
2. Apply the gel on the rashes for immediate relief from itching and burning, which are the most common and nagging symptoms of a ringworm infection.
Apply aloe gel twice or thrice a day on the ringworm.
This spiny cactus that adorns your garden has magical abilities and is used to treat burns and other skin conditions. Loaded with antifungal and antiseptic properties, this remedy is a godsend for those afflicted with ringworm. It also hastens the healing process of the skin once the infection has cleared (13).
12. Epsom Salt For Ringworm
- 1/4 cup Epsom salt
- A tub of warm water
- Mix the salt in the water and soak the affected area like the arm, leg, hand, or foot in this for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Rinse the area with clean water after soaking.
Do this twice a day, preferably once in the morning and once at night.
The antifungal property of Epsom salt will treat the fungal infection, and its hygroscopic nature will draw out excess moisture from the affected area that might be helping the fungus to thrive (15).
13. Castor Oil
Apply a few drops of castor oil on the ringworm affected area and gently massage for a few minutes.
Repeat the application thrice a day.
Castor oil has been used to purge the system for several decades, and now, it has been found to be useful in treating ringworm too. Castor oil is rich in antifungal agents. When placed in contact with ringworm patches, it can miraculously heal them (16). This remedy works well even for ringworms on the scalp. You can just apply the oil all over your scalp and leave it on overnight.
14. Fingernail Polish For Ringworm
- Clear nail polish
- Nail polish remover
- Clean the affected area with soap and water and pat dry.
- Apply a layer of the clear nail polish, ensuring that the entire infected area is covered.
- Leave it on for seven to eight hours.
- Remove the nail polish using the nail polish remover and cotton.
- Reapply after 20 minutes and repeat the above steps.
Keep repeating the steps above until the ringworm infection is healed.
Applying nail polish will cut off the air supply for the fungus and cause its death. Eventually, the infection will start clearing up, and the ring-like scar will start healing.
15. Eucalyptus Essential Oil For Ringworm
- 1 part eucalyptus oil
- 1 part water
- Mix the oil well in the water.
- Dip the gauze in this and place it on the affected area. Tie it around so that it doesn’t move.
- Leave this on overnight.
Repeat this for a few nights. You will begin to notice that the ringworm is healing.
Eucalyptus oil exerts a germicidal effect on different bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Applying eucalyptus oil will clear the infection and also soothe the skin (17).
Now that you know how to get rid of ringworm, what are you waitng for? Try these remedies. Ringworm infection can be difficult to get rid of if it has been present for a long duration. Some home remedies may take time to work, and based on the severity, sometimes, they might not work. If any remedy doesn’t work, you need to visit a dermatologist to get prescribed antifungal medications to completely treat this condition. Home remedies are, however, ideal solutions if you have managed to spot this infection in the early stages.
1. What Causes Ringworm In Humans?
The fungus Trichophyton causes ringworm. It thrives by coming in direct contact with keratin, which is a tissue on our skin, nails, and hair, and spreads because of the spores that the fungus produces. These spores can exist for months before they trigger the infection. Some may become resistant to the fungus and become carriers of the infection without showing any signs of symptoms (18).
2. Symptoms Of Ringworm
Symptoms of ringworm include raised, red, and scaly 19).
3. Ringworm Stages
Ringworm, also known as tinea, can develop on different parts of the body. The types of ringworm are as follows:
- Ringworm on the hand or arm is called tinea manus
- Ringworm on the foot is called tinea pedis or athlete’s foot
- Ringworm on the scalp is called tinea capitis
- Ringworm on the face is called tinea faciei
- Ringworm in the beard is called tinea barbae
- Ringworm on the body is called tinea corporis. This can develop anywhere on the body, such as the back, breasts, thighs, etc.
- Ringworm of the fingernails is called tinea unguium
- Ringworm in the groin area is called tinea cruris
In the initial stages, the ringworm is a pink-colored patch in pale skinned people, and a brown-colored patch in dark skinned people. This patch or rash usually develops into a ring-like structure and itches. The skin starts to become flaky and may also peel. As the infection progresses, small bumps or blisters develop at the site of infection. The skin is inflamed, red, and very itchy. In the case of ringworm of the fingernails, the nail becomes green, brown, or black (21).
4. Does Ringworm Itch?
Yes, it does! Itching is one of the first symptoms of ringworm infection.
5. Is Ringworm Contagious? If Yes, Then For How Long?
This infection can occur in people of all age groups. However, children are particularly more prone to this because of the activities they are involved in, e.g. swimming, or getting in contact with animals that already have it. It is also very contagious. You may contract the infection if you touch someone who is infected or share items that are contaminated with this fungus.
The incubation period of the ringworm fungus is one to two weeks. However, the fungus can survive as a spore for many months (22).
6. Can I Use Iodine To Kill/Treat Ringworm?
Yes! A 7% tincture of iodine can be used to treat ringworm as it possesses antifungal properties (23). Just dab on some of it on the ringworm with a cotton ball thrice a day. You will start noticing results in a few days.
7. Foods To Eat And Not To Eat When You Have Ringworm?
- Include vitamin E-rich foods also strengthen the immune response to the infection. Examples include olive oil, lentils, hazelnuts, whole grain bread, and almonds.
- Include garlic and ginger in your diet as they possess antimicrobial properties.
Avoid these in your diet when combating a ringworm infection:
- Sugary foods
- Fried food
- Fermented food products such as cheese and vinegar
- Yeast-containing foods such as mushrooms
- Refined carbohydrates such as white rice and pasta
8. Is Ringworm Dangerous For Pregnant Women?
Do not worry if you have a ringworm infection during your pregnancy. The fungus has only infected the top, dead layer of your skin, and will have no effect on the baby. It is always better to treat any of type infection immediately during pregnancy.
9. How To Prevent Ringworm?
It is difficult to not be exposed to the ringworm fungus. However, you can definitely reduce your risk of contracting the infection by following these tips:
- Do not share clothing, towels, sheets, and sports gear with anyone
- Do not enter public locker rooms or swimming pool areas without wearing slippers
- Shower after playing any sport
- Keep your skin dry
- Change your underwear and socks every day
- Wear clean clothes
In severe cases, i.e. when your infection recurs or lasts for a longer time, it can be treated topically (externally) or systematically (with oral medications) with chemical compounds that are more potent. Make sure to keep the affected area clean and dry. Wear loose and airy clothing that does not irritate or rub against the affected area. Wash your clothes, bed sheets, and nightwear every day.
Although this infection is very contagious, the good news about this infection is that it can be easily treated when diagnosed in the early stages. These simple ringworm home remedies have been tried and tested by several men and women who will testify to their potency.
We do hope that you found these tips helpful. Follow the one that works best for you until the rashes disappear completely. Stay clean, stay healthy!