Ringworm is a universal skin infection that comes in the shape of a ring. Unlike its name, it is formed by a variety of fungi and not worms. The fungi also are known as tinea is found in soil and is known to cause dermatophytosis.
Dermatophytosis infects one part of the skin and then gradually spreads to all other parts of the body like feet, hands, hair, and groin among other areas. It also affects both animals and humans to the same degree.
When it comes to ringworm treatment, I’m inclined to recommend the conventional methods using an over-the-counter or doctor-prescribed medication. However, I’m also aware that there are several methods of natural remedies for ringworm that may also work for those who have tried them.
Causes of Ringworm
Ringworm can be passed from one person to the other by direct skin-to-skin contact or by contact with contaminated articles such as unwashed clothing, and shower or pool surfaces. Pets like dogs and cats that carry fungus can cause ringworm. The other causes of ringworm are prolonged wetness of the skin and the minor injuries to the skin and nails.
Depending on what part of your body is infected with ringworm will determine the length of time it takes to fully cure yourself. Scalp ringworm can take up to ten weeks to cure with a conventional treatment that is prescribed by your doctor. A scalp ringworm cure from your doctor is a shampoo and an oral antifungal drug.
The oral antifungal is needed because the shampoo in ineffective on its own for the reason it cannot penetrate your scalp to fully cure the infection.
Who is at Risk of Contracting Ringworms?
There is no defined age in which a person suffers from ringworms. However, it usually attacks children and youngsters as they are likely to venture into ringworm prone areas. People who are in contact with water and work in pool areas or public showers mostly suffer from the fungi attack. On the other hand, those who own pets are the highest percentage of people who report ringworm infections.
If one is also susceptible to minor injuries, the chances of contracting ringworms are also high. On the other hand, people who are unclean also suffer from fungi infections, even though they are usually dry in nature.
Signs and Symptoms
There are a number of signs usually present itself when they are infected with ringworms. The most common are:
- Red patches on the skin
- An itchy feeling in a specified area of the body
- blistered patches that ooze water like liquid
- Inflation on skin, beard or scalp
- Patches with very defined edges
- Flaking of scalp
- Scaring of skin after long periods of time
In this case, symptoms are seen medical attention should be sort for immediately to prevent further infection to other parts of the body.
The 15 Natural Home Remedies For Ringworm
Papaya is one of the most recommended for treating ringworm naturally mainly for its anti-bacterial and wound-healing medicinal properties. Some of the suggested methods of application are:
- rubbing slices of the unripe fruit into the affected area 3-4 times a day. Irritation or inflammation of the skin has been observed in some cases.
- applying a paste made of ground papaya seeds
- using the papaya peels as a poultice equivalent to the affected area and keeping it in place using the bandage. This is said to provide a cooling effect and reduce itching.
- extracting or squeezing the juices from unripe papaya and applying it on the lesion.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has been demonstrated to have very strong antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. It is also one of the most recommended natural remedies for ringworm. The suggested method of application is to mix 1 part of tea tree oil to 1 part of water and rub the mixture on the affected area using a cotton ball. Undiluted tea tree oil may be harsh on sensitive skin. Some individuals may also be allergic to tea tree oil.
Turmeric is another highly recommended natural ringworm remedy mainly for its antibacterial qualities and as antiseptic for cuts, burns, and bruises. Some of the suggested methods of application are:
- raw turmeric juice applied to the infected area directly.
- a paste of turmeric powder dissolved in water applied to the lesion.
- turmeric juice mixed with an equal amount of honey (another natural antiseptic) can be applied as topical (external) treatment or can be taken orally (1 teaspoon turmeric juice mixed with 1 teaspoon of honey).
Please note that, as a precaution, honey should not be administered to infants because of the presence of botulinum endospores in honey which may cause botulism in children below one year of age.
The initial studies conducted on virgin coconut oil (VCO) found it to possess anti-viral & anti-microbial properties as well as healing and nourishment benefits for the skin, hair, and scalp. It is mainly because of these properties that coconut oil is recommended as a natural remedy for ringworm.
Applying 3-4 drops of coconut oil to the affected area is suggested. This is said to soothe the infected area, keep the skin soft and supple, prevent or minimize itching, and prevent eruptions and bleeding.
Butea, also known as “Palash” or “Flame of the Forest” is a plant that’s native to India and Southeast Asia. It is famous for its medicinal properties and is being used to treat skin diseases like ringworm and eczema, among myriad other medicinal application. The suggested method to use this plant as a natural antifungal medicine is to grind the seeds to a fine powder and mix it with water to produce the paste. Apply the Butea paste into the infected skin area 3 to 4 times daily until the ringworm symptoms clear up.
Holy Basil or Tulsi (Hindi) is one of the most revered herbs in traditional, organic, or Ayurvedic medicine. This plant is recommended as a natural cure for ringworm for its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects.
To use as a natural home remedy, extract the juice from about 20 holy Bringwasil leaves and apply it to the ringworm spot. This needs to be done 3 to 4 times every day. The lesion is said to start healing within 2-3 days.
Although studies have yet to be conducted on the full effects of holy basil on embryos, there are some reports suggesting that holy basil might be toxic to embryos. There’s no conclusive evidence on this, but if you’re pregnant or planning to be pregnant, it’s best to avoid using this herb without supervision by a medical professional.
According to Dr. Gary L. Huber of the Texas Nutrition Institute, garlic has been used by more cultures over the course of centuries as a highly medicinal source, more than any other plant in history. Many prominent herbalists, like James Duke, author of “The Green Pharmacy,” recommend the use of garlic as a natural ringworm remedy because of its anti-fungal and antibiotic properties.
The suggested application is by soaking garlic cloves in oil for 1-3 days and applying the liniment on the ringworm lesion 2 times per day.
Crushed garlic can also be applied to the infected area as a poultice kept in place with a bandage.
Lemongrass is a very popular ingredient in most Asian cuisine. Beyond the kitchen, however, the medicinal properties of lemongrass are also well-known, particularly its fungicidal effect. Lemongrass can be used externally to treat a variety of skin disorders including ringworm, athlete’s foot, scabies, dandruff, and other similar conditions.
Treatment of ringworm can be done by applying a paste made of lemongrass leaves mixed with buttermilk into the affected area.
The cassia tree, also known as the “Golden Shower Tree” is the national flower of Thailand, its yellow petals symbolize Thai royalty. Though it is widely grown as an ornamental plant, the cassia tree is also well-known for its medicinal properties. Its leaves are suggested to be an effective natural ringworm remedy. The juice or paste from grounded leaves has to be applied directly to the ringworm patch for best results.
Bay leaf is another commonly used kitchen condiment that has been found to possess anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. It is recommended as a natural ringworm remedy. Suggested use is to ground the leaves into a pulp and mix with water to create the paste which has to be applied directly to the affected area. This has been observed to soothe the skin and reduce swelling of lesions.
Lemon is another inexpensive home remedies for ringworm. In many online discussions, lemon has been noted to produce one of the fastest healing effects when used on ringworm. Cut a lemon into a few slices and rub a slice on the infected skin. Salt can be sprinkled on the slices before applying these to the lesion.
Rub the lemon juice into the lesion or symptoms clear up. inflammation to kill off the fungi and sanitize the area. Lemon juice contains natural acid and may burn or irritate the skin, so caution is advised when applying lemon to skin breakage or open wounds. Wash the affected area with soap and water after treatment and pat dry with a clean towel.
Castor oil has been used for years to treat various ailments ranging from constipation, lymphatic disorders, skin problems, neurological conditions. It is also one of the recommended organic treatment for ringworm.
According to Dr. David William, “amazing results” are observed by applying castor oil directly on the infected skin, helping to treat such skin diseases as ringworm, skin keratosis, fungal and bacterial infections, wounds, bursitis, sebaceous cysts, warts, and other skin ailments.
In alternative medicine, the gel from the Aloe Vera plant is often used both internally (to treat digestive disorders) and externally to cure ringworm and eczema. The colorless gel or fluid from the broken-off aloe leaf is said to produce a fast and soothing effect on the skin and will minimize irritation or itchiness.
Carrot juice has been popular for years now and has been recommended by many alternative health practitioners in treating or preventing several diseases and conditions. Carrot juice, in combination with spinach juice, is said to be very effective in curing ringworm and other fungal infections naturally.
A regular drink of 500 ml mixture (300 ml carrot juice and 200 ml spinach juice) is recommended.
Mustard or Sarson Seeds
The use of mustard seeds is said to be one of the most effective alternative natural remedies for ringworm. The suggested method of application is to apply a paste of mustard seed (mustard seed powder mixed with water) on the ringworm lesion 3-4 times a day. A tingling sensation may be observed but it’s said that this indicates that the infection is starting to heal. The continued application is recommended until the fungal infection is treated completely.
Other suggested remedies are mudpack, leadwort (plumbago), and echinacea to enhance the antifungal properties of the plants listed above.
People with sensitive skin, are allergic to any of these plants or their ingredients, pregnant women, and nursing mothers should not use these methods without their doctors’ approval and supervision. Make sure that you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients in these products before trying it on your skin.
If the ringworm patch appears to worsen, or if you feel any excessive irritation or discomfort, discontinue use and see your doctor immediately.
Prevention of Ringworms
There are a number of ways a person can prevent contracting ringworms. Wearing of shoes and avoiding walking barefoot is one of the most important things to do. Protective gear such as boots and gloves should be worn when in contact with a person who is suffering from ringworms or when cleaning of public areas.
However since ringworms are highly contagious, children suffering from ringworms should be kept out of reach of other children. On the other hand, adults should keep the places covered so as not to come into contact with another person skin and pass it onto them.
Bleach For Ringworms
Bleach for ringworms is the most common method advocated when it comes to how to kill ringworms. Clean the affected area thoroughly using soap and water and dry completely before application of bleach.
Wait a few minutes to ensure it is completely dry. This works by soaking a generous amount of bleach on the area, it should comprise of one part bleach and 6 parts water, on a piece of cloth or a paper towel or cotton balls. Place it on the affected area for not more than 15 minutes at a time. Do this twice daily. This should be patted in place covering the whole area in the process.
However, care should be taken when using this as rubbing will cause bursting and only aggravate the ringworms causing them to spread even further. It should take 3 -7 days to completely clear up. On the other hand mixing of bleach and water in equal amounts is usually also given as a remedy on how to kill ringworms.
This should be applied twice a day. It takes 2-3 days to clear up completely. However since bleach is poisonous and this concentration is very high, it should be used for a maximum of 3 days after which another remedy should be used in case it does not clear up.
What are the best natural remedies for ringworm which you have tried before? Please feel free to share your experience or review of any of the items listed above or of any other natural ringworm cure that you’ve tried before and found to be effective that’s not listed here. Thanks.