Ringworm isn’t caused by a worm actually, but it is a kind of skin infection. A fungus living on your skin’s dead tissues of hair, skin, and nails causes ringworm. It can happen anywhere on your body, including your scalp. Most importantly, when it occurs in between the toes, it is called as athlete’s foot and as jock itch when ringworm spreads to the groin. Usually, home remedies for ringworm are sufficient to treat it, but when it gets worse, it’s best to see a doctor immediately.
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Symptoms of ringworm
The tell-tale and most common sign of ringworm is a scaly bump or patch mostly red in color that itches. Gradually, this itchy bump acquires the shape of a ring or circle patch. Several rings can be formed, and inside of this patch is either scaly or clear, whereas the outer part can be bumpy or rose slightly.
Besides, occurring on skin, ringworm can develop in the scalp. Initially, it looks like a small sore or a bump. Over time, it turns scaly or flaky, and you may feel soreness or tenderness on your scalp while touching. Also, hair patches begin to fall out.
Causes of ringworm
Ringworm is a highly contagious skin infection. So here are the following reasons behind it:
- Often, ringworm is caused by an already infected person. It spreads quickly by contact of skin to skin.
- Other than skin contact, ringworm can be a result of grooming or rubbing your beloved pets. Never forget washing your hands after you are done with the grooming or rubbing them. It is quite ordinary in cows too.
- The fungus responsible for ringworm lingers on clothes, surfaces, towels, brushes, and combs. So, it’s better to stay off from using the objects of an infected person. In general, also, we should never use personal objects of a person.
- It happens from the soil too. While standing or working barefooted inland having a fungal infection, you may end up getting ringworm due to that soil.
When to seek a doctor’s consultation
If you have ringworm on the skin and there is no improvement even after using an antifungal medication, see the doctor immediately. He may prescribe medications stronger than the previous ones you would have taken.
In the case of ringworm on the scalp, Over the counter medication will not work. Seek the specialist doctor so that he can prescribe medication to be taken orally. However, numerous skin infection conditions are appearing to be ringworm, but they aren’t in reality. If your scalp is scaly or itchy along with hair fall, get a check-up. Your doctor will find the underlying cause of the same and give you the treatment accordingly.
In the beginning, a person should try healing it with home remedies for ringworm. Otherwise, there are some signs to look for, allowing you to get proper consultation.
- To ensure that it is ringworm, it is necessary to see the doctor because many skin infections look-alike ringworm, but not all of them are ringworm.
- Your specialist doctor might need some of the scrapes from the scaly and itchy areas. He will examine the skin samples under a microscope to know the real issue and cause behind it.
Treatment of ringworm
At the initial stage, home remedies for ringworm can be used to treat the condition, and they’re quite useful. When the condition worsens, the affected individual should seek professional assistance without any delay.
Treatment solely depends on the intensity of the infection and the place where the disease has occurred. Your doctor will decide treatment only after examining the severity of the disease. In most of the cases, over-the-counter drugs available at your nearest drugstore can be recommended. Other conditions may require a proper prescription by your doctor.
For instance, skin infection like jock itch or athlete’s foot, the doctor may suggest an antifungal cream, powder, or lotion. Some of the popular antifungal creams include:
In the majority of cases, the application of medicine is needed for up to 2-4 weeks. It is for ensuring the complete killing of the fungus that caused ringworm. Requests for this extended period will also prevent it from happening again.
For ringworm of the scalp, OTC medicines aren’t enough. Doctors suggest a prescription for antifungal medications that you will require to take orally for 1-3 months. For scalp infection, an antifungal shampoo will also be very beneficial.
Some of the oral medications for ringworm are:
Prevention of ringworm
Ringworm home treatment will help you to prevent them from occurring. Some of them are:
- Always keep the skin dry and clean
- In public showers and locker rooms, wear flip-flops
- Every day, change innerwear and socks
- Never share your towel or clothes with a person having ringworm
- For sportspersons, they should keep their uniform and gear clean. Also, they shouldn’t share the same with anyone else.
- After having a good time with your pets, wash hand properly. Take your pet to the vet if he has ringworm.
Home remedies for ringworm
Despite the name ‘ringworm,’ any living parasite or any worm isn’t the cause behind it. Instead of that, it’s a condition in which infection is occurred due to a fungus known as ‘Tinea.’ It lives off the dead tissues of the skin alongside hair and nails.
It causes patches or skin looks scaly where the infection happens. With passing time, it turns into a circle or ring-shaped appearance, and that is where the term ‘ringworm’ has come from. It can happen on the nails and skin.
The most common body areas where ringworm occurs is the scalp and the arms. However, it can develop on any of your body parts comprising your face too. It has different names depending upon the area it has grown in. Fortunately, there are some highly effective home remedies for ringworm to which it responds quite well. Usually, it takes two weeks for ringworm to heal completely.
Here is a detailed description of natural remedies for ringworm:
There are various essential oils which are discussed further in this article, to give proper ringworm home treatment. However, one needs to stay cautious before using them and test them to know if you are allergic to any of them.
For the allergy test, take essential oil and dilute it with 3-5 drops of any carrier oil like mineral oil or olive oil. Afterward, rub the diluted solution onto your skin area, which is healthy and free from any infections. If there’s no reaction occurrence within 12 to 24 hours, it is safe for further use.
Cleaning with Soap-Water
To prevent the ringworm from further spreading, it is mandatory to keep the affected clean and dry as much as possible. It will not only prevent the infection from spreading but will also keep the infected part under control.
For this, wash the contaminated skin part with anti-bacterial soap and water before the application of home remedies for ringworm on it. After showering, thoroughly dry the affected area since moisture will make the spreading of the fungus convenient. Among some old and tested home remedies, is coal-tar and pine soap. However, they can irritate your skin.
Having active and preventive antifungal properties, apple cider vinegar helps in the treatment of ringworm when you apply it on the affected skin part. For using it as one of the natural remedies for ringworm, take a cotton ball and soak it with apple cider vinegar. Brush the soaked cotton ball over the infected skin. Results will be visible after repeating the process thrice a day for some days.
Tea Tree Oil has antibacterial and antifungal. It has been used for many purposes traditionally by Native Australians. It is highly effective for the treatment of skin infections caused by fungus.
To use it for ringworm, soak a cotton ball or cotton swab in tea tree oil and apply it twice or thrice a day over the affected area. In case your skin is sensitive, it would be better to use s diluted tea tree oil. You can use a carrier oil to dilute tea tree oil, such as coconut oil. It has antifungal benefits of its own.
It is one of the best and most effective home remedies for ringworm as it has both antifungal and microbial properties. Both of the features work well in the treatment of ringworm infections.
An effective topical medication, coconut oil, treats skin infections too other than ringworm infections caused due to fungi likewise candida. Since it is convenient to apply on the scalp, it could be an ultimate ringworm home treatment. Other than that, it can also work as a natural hair conditioner.
For using coconut oil, warm it with rubbing it in your hands or directly in a microwave until it gets in liquid form. You can directly apply coconut oil on the affected areas. It is quickly absorbed by the skin and use to thrice a day for effective results.
Turmeric is known for its manifold benefits for health comprising anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It’s a quite effective antifungal home remedy that constrains the growth of infection.
To use it as one of the home remedies for ringworm, mix freshly rounded turmeric with some water to make a consistent paste. Apply in on the affected skin area and leave the paste to dry. Drinking turmeric water or tea is beneficial for getting internal health benefits.
For much long time, people have been using aloe vera as a natural home remedy to treat fungal as well as bacterial skin infections and ringworm without any exception. It soothes the itchy skin and treats ringworm efficiently.
All the discomfort and inflammation due to ringworm wears off soon with constant use of aloe Vera. There are many ointments available in the markets that contain aloe Vera.
If you want to go natural, you can use it gets straight to the affected part. For fast results and reduction in inflammation and discomfort, use aloe Vera gel thrice every day.
Oregano is one of the essential oils that contain highly influential antifungal properties as compared to the various commercial products available in the stores near you. It can successfully inhibit skin infections and treat them fast, including ringworm and athlete’s foot. To use it, mix some drops of oregano oil with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil. Further, apply it thrice a day over your affected skin area.
Lemongrass Tea or Lemongrass oil
Both Lemongrass tea and Lemongrass extract contain antifungal properties that are helpful in the treatment of skin infections caused by a fungus. For using it, mix its few drops with some carrier oil and apply the mixture directly over the skin twice every day. Apart from the oil, you can put a brewed lemongrass tea bag on the ringworm directly.
Licorice contains powerful antimicrobial properties. Various researches have claimed that licorice extracts can be used as an alternative treatment to better fungal skin infections.
To use it as a ringworm home treatment, take eight teaspoons of licorice powder and boil it with one cup of water. Once the mixture begins to boil, simmer the heat for 10 minutes.
Keep stirring until it becomes a paste. After the mixture is cooled enough that you can touch it, apply its paste on the affected skin area twice a day. Leave it used for 10 minutes minimum.
Over-the-counter antifungals (OTC)
Though natural remedies for ringworm are high, when can’t be much useful, there is a need for something stronger. OTC antifungal remedies are helpful for the treatment of mild ringworm. You can easily find them in the nearest drug store.
While buying them, check out the ingredients like Terbinafine and Clotrimazole. You can use these ointments twice or thrice every day with better results. Don’t forget to keep the affected area clean and dry.
This way, the cream will treat the infection effectively. If neither the home remedies for ringworm nor the OTC is working, see your doctor immediately for a better diagnosis of the problem and treatment.