HOW TO GET RID OF RINGWORM

Ringworm is a kind of fungal infection of the skin. It is also known as “dermatophytosis.” This condition is contagious and has very visible symptoms which lead to its easy identification. The fungus which causes ringworm lives on the skin and even on the surface of non-living objects through which it comes in contact with animals or human beings. Ringworm can affect multiple areas of the body like the scalp, the feet, genital areas and the skin in general. 

HOME REMEDIES FOR TREATING RINGWORM

Aloe Vera

The aloe Vera leaf (from which the gel is extracted) is a very effective remedy to heal the skin and treat any fungal infections. It also helps in treating symptoms of ringworm. It reduces skin itching and redness. The swelling due to constant itching and flaring infection is also reduced from the first use itself.

It is best to use naturally extracted aloe vera gel for doing this remedy.

You will need:

  • A fresh aloe Vera leaf.
  • A knife
  • Tea tree essential oil
  • Coconut oil

How to:

  1. Cut the aloe vera leaf into two halves and collect the fresh gel in a bowl.
  2. To this gel, add 5-6 drops of tea tree oil.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.
  4. Mix well until the gel is combined with the oils.
  5. Pour this mixture into an ice cube tray.
  6. Place in the refrigerator until the gel turns solid.

Before applying the gel, clean the infected area with water.

  • Take out the aloe Vera gel (the frozen gel) and rub it on the infected area. Do not wash the gel. 
  • The cooling sensation will help to soothe the skin while working against the fungal infection.
  • Repeat this remedy at least 3-4 times a day.

You may have to do this remedy for a few weeks to get rid of the infection completely.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has been used for the past many decades for treating skin conditions effectively. This is primarily because tea tree oil has very strong anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. It kills the microbes or fungus present on the skin and also prevents the infection from coming back. 

To use tea tree oil, 

  1. Clean the affected area with plain water.
  2. Take two-three drops of tea tree essential oil on a cotton ball.
  3. Dab the cotton ball on the infected area. 
  4. Let the tea tree oil stay. There is no need to wash it.
  5. Repeat this remedy 2 times a day (morning and evening), until the infection begins to disappear.
  6. If you have sensitive skin, then do not apply tea tree oil directly. Mix 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil (olive/coconut oil). Apply this mixture onto the infected area in the same way as instructed in the above steps.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a very beneficial spice which helps in treating internal as well as external infections. It has anti-fungal properties and can be very helpful when trying to get rid of a fungal infection.

For using turmeric as a remedy, you will need:

  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard oil
  • Wrapping gauze

How to:

  1. Mix the turmeric powder with mustard oil.
  2. Make sure there are no lumps of turmeric in the oil.
  3. Transfer this mixture into a metal bowl.
  4. Place the bowl in a double boiler and warm up the oil.
  5. Make sure the oil and turmeric mixture is warm. Remove the bowl carefully from the double boiler.
  6. Now clean the skin (with plain water) where the fungal infection has occurred.
  7. Using a cotton ball, apply the warm oil mixture onto the affected area.
  8. Cover the area with the gauze and let it stay overnight.
  9. Wash the area with a mild soap in the morning to remove the oil. 
  10. Be careful while using this remedy as the turmeric and mustard oil mix leaves a stain. Make sure you cover the area very well with the gauze.
  11. This remedy can be repeated every night.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is used as a remedy for many infections. It is known to detoxify the body when consumed internally. When applied externally, it helps to nourish the skin while eliminating any bacteria or fungal spores present on the epidermis of the skin. This is due to the fact that coconut oil contains lauric acid which is an anti-fungal compound.

You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil

How to:

  1. Clean the infected area with warm water and pat dry.
  2. Apply the coconut oil onto the area and massage for a few minutes.
  3. Do not wash the coconut oil.
  4. Reapply the coconut oil once every few hours. Repeat this remedy at least 2-3 times in one day.
  5. You will notice the infection disappearing within a few days of use of this remedy.

Colloidal silver

Colloidal silver is extremely effective against any microorganisms which cause skin infections. Using it directly onto the skin will provide the fastest results. Colloidal silver kills the fungus on the skin and can also be used on children.

It is mostly available in gel or liquid form.

You will need:

  • Colloidal silver gel or liquid

How to:

  1. If using the gel form, then apply it directly onto the infected area.
  2. Massage the gel until it is absorbed.
  3. Repeat this remedy at least twice a day.
  4. If using the liquid, then use a cotton ball to apply colloidal silver on the skin. Let the silver stay on the skin. Do not wash it off.
  5. Repeat this remedy twice a day to see fast and effective results.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can help with many skin conditions including ringworm. It contains acids and probiotics which help can kill the fungus and thus get rid of the infection. To use apple cider vinegar for treating ringworm,

  1. Begin by cleaning the infected area with plain water
  2. Take a cotton ball and dip it in some apple cider vinegar. 
  3. Dab the cotton ball over the infected area. Do not wash it. 
  4. Repeat this two to three times a day until the infection goes away completely.
  5. If you have sensitive skins then use apple cider vinegar carefully. Begin by using a small amount. The infection should go away in 4-5 days.

To treat the scalp,

  1. Mix ½ cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water
  2. Pour this mixture onto your scalp slowly and massage it into your scalp for a minute. 
  3. Wrap your hair in a bun. 
  4. Let the vinegar stay on the scalp for 20 minutes.
  5. Rinse your hair normally with plain water.
  6. You should repeat this remedy every day to get rid of ringworm on the scalp.

Oregano oil

Oregano oil is very potent and has immense anti-fungal properties. It contains a compound known as carvacrol which helps to kill fungus. Oregano oil can help to get rid of the infection completely in a few days. To use oregano oil, 

You will need:

  • 3-4 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

How to:

  1. Mix the two oils together.
  2. Now clean the affected area with plain water and let it dry.
  3. Apply the mixture of oils onto the infected area.
  4. Let the oil work on the infection. Do not wash the skin.
  5. Repeat this remedy once a day until the infection is gone.
  6. Oregano oil must not be used on the scalp or other sensitive areas.

Garlic

Garlic has strong anti fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It contains sulphur which kills the fungus and prevents it from spreading further. Using garlic as a remedy will help to get rid of the infection very quickly.

You will need:

  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Wrapping gauze

How to:

  1. Peel the garlic cloves.
  2. Mash them into a paste using the mortar and pestle.
  3. Apply this paste on the affected area.
  4. Cover the area with the gauze and let the garlic paste stay on the skin for at least 6-8 hours.
  5. It is best to apply this paste during the night and wash it off in the morning using plain water and mild soap.
  6. Repeat this remedy every night before going to bed.

Causes & Symptoms

This fungal infection is caused by a type of fungi known as dermatophytes. This fungus feeds on a tissue known as keratin. Keratin can be found in various parts of the body such as the skin, hair and nails. This is why ringworm mostly occurs on the skin and scalp area.

The symptoms of ringworm include:

  • Red or silver-coloured skin rash
  • Dry patch around the rash
  • Swelling
  • Extreme itching
  • Redness
  • Experiencing a burning sensation over the rash. 

PRECAUTIONS

  • Ringworm is highly contagious. If you are suffering from it then it is best to keep others away from the items you regularly touch. Such items include clothes, towels, comb and soap.
  • Refrain from touching the infected area frequently. This could aggravate the itching and also increase the risk of infecting others.
  • Do not use oregano oil, garlic and tea tree oil on the sensitive area of the body.
  • When using a remedy, you are likely to see results within a few days. Keep using the remedy even after the infection seems to have healed. This is to make sure the fungus is completely gone and the infection will not return.
  • Do not use garlic, oregano oil and turmeric onto the scalp. It is best to use aloe vera gel to treat ringworm present on the scalp.
  • If the infection does not go away within two weeks then you must consult your doctor.

MYTHS AND FACTS

MYTHS FACTS
Ringworm heals on its own. Ringworm will not heal on its own and can get much severe if left untreated. It is important to use the recommended remedies or prescribed medicines to eliminate the infection completely.
Ringworm only affects adults. Ringworm can affect people from any age group if they are exposed to fungal spores.
Ringworm goes away within two weeks of treatment.  The infection will begin to get affected within two weeks of treatment. The skin may look clearer but it is important to continue the treatment for at least 4 weeks to make sure that there are no more fungal spores left on the skin.
Ringworm of the scalp is much easier to treat. Ringworm present on the scalp is comparatively harder to eliminate as the scalp is constantly exposed to sweat and heat. Many effective remedies may be too harsh on the hair and can lead to hair fall. 

OTC PRODUCTS

Antifungal powders

These powders contain Tolnaftate and Miconazole which help to provide instant relief and dry out the infected area.  Powders are best suited for treating ringworm present on sensitive areas of the body.

Some popular antifungal powders are:

  • Clocip dusting powder
  • Candid 1% dusting powder

Ringworm creams

These creams generally contain 1% clotrimazole. These creams work best for areas like the neck and feet. They can also be used on the exposed parts of the skin

Some popular anti-fungal creams for ringworm are:

  • Ketonext cream
  • Clonate-f cream
  • Xologel
  • Micaderm
  • DermaFungal cream
  • Ring guard

Antifungal shampoos

These are easily available in pharmacies and are targeted for areas like the scalp and beard. Some anti fungal shampoos are:

  • Arcolane 2% scalp solution
  • Cipla ketocip treatment shampoo
  • Nizoral shampoo

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are some people at a higher risk of getting infected by ringworm?

People with type 2 diabetes and immunity disorders are at a higher risk of getting infected.

Can animals transmit the fungus responsible for causing ringworm?

Yes, animals can get affected and spread the fungal spores to human beings as well. 

Can the spores spread through contact with soil?

Although this is rare, fungal spores may be present in the soil. If the soil remains stuck in the nails or in the hair, the infection may occur. Hence children and animals are at a higher risk of contracting the infection from the soil.

Why is it important to keep the infected area dry?

Fungus tends to grow in moisture. The ideal conditions for the infection to thrive are dampness and warmth. Hence, in order to get rid of ringworm, it is essential to keep the infected area dry and exposed to air. 

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