Ringworm, also known as “Tinea Corporis” in medical terms, is a common and superficial skin infection caused by fungal growth on the skin. It leads to a pimple or a soar, which then develops into an oval-shaped red scaly patch of skin.
Ringworm is common in children and old age people. It is rampant in India owning to the tropical humid climate. Also, due to overcrowding and cramped places.
Obese and diabetic patients are at high risk. Ringworm reoccurs when people stop treatment once results are seen. Continue the whole course of treatment for the best results.
Topic to be covered:
- Causes of ringworm
- Symptoms of ringworm
- Affect areas
- Risk factors
- Home remedies to cure ringworm
- Tips for ringworm
- Final words
Cause of Ringworm
Ringworm is not caused by any worm, as the name suggests. It is a fungus infection of the skin. When the fungus Tinea grows on the skin, ringworm starts. It transmits from direct skin contact. May be from people, animals, sand soil, fomites, or other infected sites.
Some of the causative organisms are:
Trichophyton RubrumIt is the most common organism.
- Other Trichophyton Species
Like trichophyton mentagrophytes and trichophyton tonsurans
- Microsporum Species
Microsporum canis from dogs and cats.
Symptoms of Ringworm
First, you need to identify if the rash is ringworm. Check its appearance to determine it. Whether it is scaly, raised itchily, or it has round and oval patches? Is the area of skin raised and defined from the rest of the skin?
Ringworm in nails may be thicker or cracked or have discolored nail beds. If it doesn’t go away, realize it to be a different condition or lack of treatment.
Ringworm mostly affects the following areas :
1. Hugh humidity and warm/hot environment.
2. Tight-fitting clothes.
3. Children and old age people.
4. Immuno suppressed patients.
5. Genetic predisposition
(Ex. Defensin beta 4)
6. Systemic disease
Home remedies to cure ringworm
Garlic is very useful in treating infection. Its wide range of organic compounds and antioxidants makes the gut intolerable for these pathogens.
To make remedy with garlic, you need to take some 2-3 garlic cloves, as required. Peel it and crush it to make a paste. When the paste is ready, add one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of oil, either coconut or olive oil. Mix it well and apply it on the infected area and leave it at least for two hours. Wash it off with lukewarm water. Do this process twice a day until rashes disappear.
Turmeric can be blindly used for any kind of infection. It has been used to treat conditions including colds, digestive problems, inflammation, bacterial infection, and many more. It has excellent antibacterial and anti-fungal properties which destroy all kind of fungi without any scope of reoccurrence.
To make the remedy, take one tablespoon of turmeric powder and add enough water/milk to make a paste. You can also use turmeric root instead of turmeric powder. You can blend it in a mixer with water. Make sure the paste is a little thick. Apply it and wash it off after 20 minutes. Repeat this process twice a day until the patch gets cleared.
Alovera is an excellent candidate to eliminate ringworm, known for its potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. It has direct anti-fungal abilities for a wide variety of potential pathogens and saponins. A concentrated gel is excellent in relieving pain and discomfort.
To make the remedy take a leaf from the aloe vera plant. Cut out the gel from within the leaf and apply it directly onto the affected areas.
Wash it off after 20 – 30 minutes with lukewarm water. Do this process diligently till rashes disappear.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is closely associated with the health and wellness of hair and scalp. The natural anti-fungal and rejuvenating properties of coconut oil will work quickly to relieve itching and infection.
Apply it directly on hair and leave overnight. Wash it off with anti-fungal shampoo. Do the same procedure for three weeks for better results.
You can use coconut oil as a moisturizing lotion as well. It will protect you from further infections.
Salt may sound like a basic remedy, but it is immensely effective in the case of ringworm. It has astringent properties that are excellent for disinfecting the areas. Salt sucks the moisture due to which inflammation reduces and healing speeds up.
Salt can be used with vinegar or used as a thick paste with water.
Apply it 3 times a day and wash it off after 40 minutes with lukewarm water.
Vinegar has anti-fungal properties which help disinfect the areas.
To make the remedy, take one tablespoon of vinegar, add some salt to make a paste. Once paste is formed, apply on rash and leave for 5 minutes. Wash with lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft cotton towel. Do this process three times a day until you get rid of those pasty ringworm patches.
7. Holy Basil (Tulsi)
Holy basil has various properties, including antibacterial and anti-fungal, that help reduces infection and rashes.
To make the remedy, gently crush tulsi leaves. Crush it till the juice is formed. Collect the juice, apply on rashes, and let it dry. Rinse it off after 45 minutes with warm water. Do this procedure several times a day.
Papaya is very helpful at sloughing off dead skin cells. It holds many impressive compounds and benefits that many people overlook, particularly papain, the active ingredient. Viral and fungal infections are break down by enzymes present in papaya, and it also reduces pain, irritation, and inflammation.
To make the remedy, peel off papaya and cut it into pieces. Blend it in a blender until it forms a paste. Apply it on affected areas and wash it off with lukewarm water after 20 minutes. Apply it several times a day.
9. Tea Tree Oil
Anti-septic, anti-fungal, and known to heal wounds, tea tree oil is an excellent option to treat ringworm.
Dilute tea tree oil with water and dab it onto the affected area. Repeat the procedure 2-3 times a day until you get rid of ringworm patches.
Camphor, scientific name Cinnamomum camphor, is widely used in traditional medicine for killing bacteria and fungus. It is the best natural remedy that is in practice.
To make the remedy, take one tablespoon of camphor powder. Add one tablespoon of oil (coconut or olive). Mix it well and apply it on rashes. Wash it off after 30 minutes. Apply it twice a day for best results.
Mustard has fantastic anti-fungal properties that are very effective in curing even the toughest case of ringworm.
To make the remedy, take two teaspoons of mustard seeds powder. Add half a cup of water. Mix it well to make a thick paste. Apply it for at least 30-40 minutes and then rinse. Apply this remedy until the infection clears.
12. Olive Leaf Extract
This somewhat unusual herbal remedy is praised because of its prominent anti-fungal properties and its effect on the immune system.
You can apply this extract several times a day, and within 1-2 weeks, the fungal infection will be evident.
Tips for ringworm
- Please do not share your towel, bedding, or clothes with an infected person, and they wash frequently.
- Avoid scratching or touching the infected area. Wash hand if touched to prevent spread from one to another.
- Keep your skin clean and dry, and take care of your hygiene.
- Disinfect your home and avoid any physical contact.
- Use waterproof or flip flops shoes in the pool area, public showers, and locker room.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What are the best anti-fungal creams for ringworm?
Some of the best anti-fungal creams which cure ringworm easily are Mycelex, Micatin, and Tinactin.
Clotrimazole lotion or cream, terbinafine cream or gel, miconazole cream, and zinc pyrithione soap are some topical agents or ointments which respond well to most fungal infection like ringworm.
Q2. How long does ringworm last?
Most cases for ringworm usually last for 2-4 weeks. Treatment can last for 2-3 months in a severe infection case or if it affects the scalp or the nails.
Q3. What can cure ringworm fast?
Over the counter, anti-fungal ointments and medicines can cure ringworm fast and promote healing. Some of the effective anti-fungal medications are Cruex, Lamisil, and Desenex. Clean the infected area and apply a fine layer of anti-fungal ointment to the affected area. Apply it 2-3 times a day as prescribed by the doctor.
Q4. Can ringworm go away on its own?
Ringworm may go or may not go on its own, without treatment. It is dependent on the health of the affected person. No time limit is set for the cure of ringworm infection. Ringworm is usually treated with home remedies or with anti-fungal ointments and mediation.
Q5. Can ringworm last for years?
Most of the cases of ringworm would disappear after several weeks or months without treatment. But it can become chronic then.
People do not adhere to treatment. They become non-compliant because of which it keeps happening. There is a vicious cycle; you start the treatment then stop the treatment when symptoms of ringworm disappear. Due to which it comes back because you have not completed the whole course. So, continue the entire period of 2-4 weeks to eliminate ringworm from the root.
Q6. What should you not eat when you have ringworm?
One should not eat food that contains any carbohydrates (especially refined) and sugar. It is also believed that ringworm thrives on moldy, yeasty, and fermented food like bread, cheese, etc.
Q7. What will happen if ringworm is not treated?
If ringworm is not treated, then it will become aching. Blisters and cracks on the skin can become infected with bacteria. Ringworm can spread to other parts of the body comprising the neck, arms, feet, beard, and nails. It can also spread from an infected person to a non-infected person with direct contact.
Q8. What looks like ringworm, but is not?
Eczema, Granuloma annulare, Lyme disease, Pityriasis rosea, Psoriasis, and Contact dermatitis are some fungal infection which looks like ringworm but is not. They all have different symptoms other than ringworm but somewhat look like ringworm. Consult a doctor if you are not able to identify the kind and signs of infection.
This article has tried to give you every detail related to ringworm and homemade remedies to cure it. Try to follow preventive measures; many natural substances like holy basil, amla, etc. help prevent fungal infections and safeguard you from its effect. Just be healthy and add some healthy food in your daily meal, so you don’t need to regret it!