Dermatophytosis is known as the common term ringworm, and is a fungal infection rather than caused by a worm. Ringworm can affect both humans and animals. Infestation with ringworm appears as red circular patches on the skin that may become dry and scaley. While ringworm is not dangerous, it is highly contagious. The fungus lives in spores in soil where humans and animals may come in direct contact and develop the ringworm infection, then potentially spread it through contact with others. It is commonly spread among children who may not thoroughly wash their hands and share unclean toys. While there are prescription medications, there also are many home remedies for ringworm that are all-natural, chemical-free and scientifically proven to eliminate the fungal infection.
Here are 12 of them, complete with instructions on how to use them:
While garlic is a common seasoning, it also has a history of medicinal use by Ancient Egyptians. Garlic is an antifungal, anti-inflammatory and strengthens the immune system, resulting in improved overall health and longevity. As a treatment to fight ringworm, simply grind a fresh garlic clove and mix with olive oil and honey for form a paste. Apply to the infected area, cover and leave the mixture on overnight. Rinse with warm water the following morning, and continue daily until the ringworm has cleared completely. Do not heat the garlic as the high temperature will kill the antifungal benefits.
• Honey – 3 tablespoons
• Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
• Garlic clove – 1-2
2. Tea Tree Oil
While tea tree oil is a popular ingredient in cosmetics, body cleansers and shampoos, it also helps heal cuts and burns, serves as an antiseptic and fights against infections. As one of the most effective home remedies for ringworm, mix one tablespoon of 100% pure tea tree oil with one cup of warm water. Wash the infected area and let it dry completely. Using a clean cotton ball, apply the tea tree oil mixture directly to the infected area twice a day. With consistent use, noticeable improvement should be achieved in about four weeks. Tea tree oil often causes some skin tingling, but lasting irritation is rare.
• Warm water – 1 cup
• 100% pure tea tree oil – 1 tablespoon
Turmeric is a spice as well as a natural antibiotic that fights bacteria and fungus. Simply mix one tablespoon of water with 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to create a paste. Apply to the infected area of the skin and allow it to remain for 20 minutes. Rinse with area with soap and water and dry the skin thoroughly. Apply the mixture daily until the ringworm clears and completely disappears.
• Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
• Water – 1 tablespoon
4. Aloe Vera
Not only is the Aloe Vera plant a beautiful addition to an indoor or outdoor space in a warm climate, but the gel found inside the plant’s leaves is an antibacterial agent, making it one of the most effective home remedies for ringworm. It has successfully been used for ages to treat cuts, burns and skin irritations and infections. Slice an Aloe Vera leaf and remove the gel from inside the leaf. Apply the gel to the ringworm area and allow it to dry. With daily application, three times a day, the affected area should begin to clear up within one week. Be sure to apply fresh gel rather than saving gel for future use as the properties may begin to dilute when not applied immediately after removal from the leaf.
• Aloe Vera leaves
Lemongrass is an all-natural herb with many purposes such as repelling mosquitoes, fighting bacteria, preventing diarrhea and providing antioxidant benefits. It is commonly used in Asian and South American countries for its medicinal benefits. Lemongrass tea is popular as an antioxidant and often consumed by those with an upset stomach. The oil is often applied directly to the skin to fight and prevent infections such as athletes’ foot and ringworm. Treat ringworm by making a paste with buttermilk and lemongrass leaves. Grind one cup of lemongrass leaves and mix with one cup of buttermilk to form the paste. Apply directly to the skin, leave it on the infected area for 30 minutes and then rinse with warm water. Repeat this process daily until the ringworm has completely disappeared.
• Buttermilk – 1 cup
• Lemongrass leaves – 1 cup
6. Grapefruit Extract
Grapefruit seed extract comes from the pulp and seeds of the grapefruit. The acidic elements of the grapefruit extract make it an antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral. Some ingest the grapefruit seed extract to boost their immune system. You can also apply it directly to skin rashes, irritations and fungal infections like ringworm. Being one of many natural home remedies for ringworm, the grapefruit seed extract can be applied in full strength directly to the affected area; however, those with sensitive skin may want to dilute the grapefruit seed extract with three tablespoons of warm water before applying. Apply the oil three times a day for one week to clear ringworm.
• Lukewarm water- 3 tablespoons (optional)
• Grapefruit Seed Extract – 4 to 5 drops
7. Oregano Oil
This plant’s leaves provide a natural oil that includes a variety of botanic acids that actively fight bacteria and fungus. Oregano oil can be consumed orally and is a natural remedy for respiratory infections, persistent cough and sore throat. It also can be applied directly to skin infections. When taken internally, five to 10 drops of the oil can be added to six to eight ounces of water before drinking. When applying the oil externally to the skin, mix three to five drops of oregano essential oil with two to three tablespoons of sweet almond oil, one to two drops of wild thyme oil and three to five drops of rosemary essential oil. Apply the oil mixture onto the infected skin three times a day for one week. There should be noticeable clearing of the ringworm in this time.
• Sweet almond oil – 2 to 3 tablespoons
• Wild thyme oil – 1 to 2 drops
• Rosemary essential oil – 3 to 5 drops
• Oregano essential oil – 3 to 5 drops
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a common food item, but it also effectively reduces blood pressure and works as an antibacterial and anti-fungal. Its ability to break down the properties of fungus makes it an effective treatment against ringworm. First, thoroughly clean the skin with soap and water and allow the area to dry completely. Apply undiluted apple cider vinegar with a clean cotton ball and allow it to dry onto the area for one of the best home remedies for ringworm. Repeat this process three to five times per day for up to three days when the ringworm should clear.
• Apple cider vinegar
9. Rice Vinegar And Salt
Rice vinegar, different from rice wine vinegar, offers multiple health benefits. This vinegar improves digestive health, liver function and heart health; boosts the immune system and energy levels, aids in weight loss and serves as an antibacterial. Its ability to fight bacteria and eliminate it from the body makes it one of the strongest home remedies for ringworm. Simply dissolve one teaspoon of salt in 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar. Apply directly to the skin area infected with the ringworm and leave on for five minutes. The salt may cause the area to burn and itch, especially if there is inflammation in the area. After the mixture has set on the area for five minutes, rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly. Continue to apply the mixture daily for seven days to rid the area of the ringworm infection.
• Rice vinegar – 1 tablespoon
• Salt – 1 teaspoon
10. Lavender Oil
Many are aware of the relaxing and calming effects of lavender oil as it is often used in bath salts and candles, but research has also shown that lavender is an effective treatment for anxiety, depression and insomnia. Lavender oil is also an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, making it a good natural choice for treatment of minor burns and insect bites. It also is among the most effective home remedies for skin infections like ringworm and athletes’ foot. Three to four drops of lavender essential oil can be applied directly to the ringworm infection or it can be mixed with a teaspoon of jojoba or olive oil. Apply daily until the infected area clears.
• Jojoba oil or olive oil – 1 teaspoon (optional)
• Lavender essential oil – 3 to 4 drops
11. Olive Oil
Olive oil derived from the olive leaf was used in Ancient Egyptian medicine, and has continued into modern day natural health for its many health benefits. Research has shown that olive oil boosts the immune system. It is an antiviral that fights infection through its ability to block the production of amino acids in the virus, making it inactive. The anti-fungal qualities of olive oil place it among the most active home remedies for ringworm. To treat a ringworm infection, mix one tablespoon of olive oil with one teaspoon of olive leaf extract powder and apply to the skin. Apply duct tape to keep the area covered and prevent the oil from rubbing onto clothing. Do not substitute duct tape with a bandage as it will soak up the olive oil rather than allowing it to remain on the skin. Apply daily until the ringworm infection has cleared.
• Duct tape (optional)
• Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
• Olive leaf extract (powder) – 1 teaspoon
12. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is among one of the most effective home remedies for ringworm due to what is known as Medium Chain Fatty Acids, which includes lauric acid. As a proven antiviral, lauric acid eliminates several varieties of fungi, including ringworm, by dissolving the outer layer of the organisms, rendering it inactive. To treat ringworm with coconut oil, use non-hydrogenated, mostly unrefined, coconut oil and apply in full strength directly to the skin with a clean cotton ball. Continue to apply daily until the ringworm infection disappears. While many people with tree nut allergies are able to consume and come into contact with coconut, the Food and Drug Association classifies coconuts as a tree nut so care should be taken to avoid an allergic reaction.
• Coconut oil (non-hydrogenated)
There are many all-natural home remedies for ringworm that are safe, fast and effective. Best of all, many of the ingredients needed for these home remedies are already in the kitchen pantry. Regardless of the chosen remedy, if symptoms persist without noticeable improvement within seven days, it is advisable to visit a physician as ongoing issues may signify a more serious issue. Tell us about your experience with one of these home remedies or share your own home remedy for ringworm.