Ringworm is a form of highly contagious skin infection. Although the name is Ringworm, it has nothing to do with worms. Ringworm is, in fact, a type of fungi known as Tinea. It spreads easily and is hard to get rid of. Ringworm appears as a patch of red or white spots in a circular formation. Common symptoms include itchiness and scaly skin. It may take several weeks to completely get rid of it, but you can use the following methods to reduce the redness of the scar. Ringworm can infect skin, nails, and areas of the body which are prone to be moist. There are different types of ringworm infections classified by the area it effects.
- Tinea Corporis
Tinea Corporis infects arms, legs, and trunk. The infection appears as a scaly patch of red skin. It can also be prone to blisters.
- Tinea Capitis
Tinea Capitis affects the scalp. The ringworm infection appears as a bald spot on the scalp. It is more common in children.
- Tinea Barbae
Tinea Barbae affects the facial hair. It can appear as a patch on the skin, causing the facial hair on that spot to fall off.
- Tinea Cruris
Tinea Cruris infects the groins. It can appear as reddish spots leading to the inside of the groin. The spots can be itchy and can cause mild pain. The symptoms can be confused with yeast infections.
- Tinea Pedis / Tinea Unguium
Tinea Pedis infects the feet. It is also called as ‘Athlete’s feet’. It can also infect the nails. The infection can lead to discoloration of the nails. In extreme cases, it can destroy the nail.
Ringworm can be treated by use of external applications like creams or oral applications. There are also a number of home remedies that you can use to treat it.
10. Anti-fungal Creams
Topical anti-fungal creams clear ringworm scars completely in about two weeks. You can notice the difference from the first application itself. Look for creams that contain amorolfine, clotrimazole, miconazole, ketoconazole, econazole, naftifine, and terbinafine.
Turmeric is known for it’s antiseptic and antibiotic properties. You can mix turmeric with an equal part of honey. This mixture can be consumed as well as applied externally. Take the required amount of the mixture and gently rub it on the affected area. This can be done 2-3 times a day depending on the severity of the problem. Alternatively, you can consume 1 tsp of the mixture two times a day.
Raw papaya has enzymes which reduce inflammation an itchiness. These enzymes penetrate and break down the layers of the infection. You can apply green papaya directly to he infected area or grind papaya to make a fine paste and apply it to the scar. Repeat this procedure 2-3 times a day.
7. Aloe vera
Aloe Vera is known for its soothing properties. It has antioxidants and possesses antibacterial properties. Cut the leaf of aloe vera and apply the gel directly to the patch. You can also use organic aloe vera gel if you do not have access to fresh aloe vera.
garlic has antifungal, antibacterial and antibiotic properties. You need to cut garlic cloves into pieces and put them on the infected area and cover it with a bandage. To get maximum results, keep it overnight. You can also make a paste of garlic and apply it to the scar. Garlic can sting a little, you can reduce this effect by mixing the garlic paste with honey or olive oil.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil possesses antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. Heat the oil for a few second so that it gets a little warm, put a few drops on a cotton ball. Apply the oil by dabbing the cotton ball on the affected area. Alternatively, you can dilute the tea tree oil with warm water and soak cotton balls in the diluted mixture. Squeeze out the excess oil and apply it to the infected spot.
Camphor is a great anti-fungal aid. You can use camphor powder or camphor oil. Apply camphor powder or oil directly to the ringworm. In case of absence of camphor oil, you can mix camphor powder with sesame oil. Apply this mixture to a cotton ball and dab it on the skin. If camphor powder is not available, you can crush camphor balls till you get a coarse powder. Camphor is poisonous therefore care should be taken as to avoid ingestion.
3. Nail Polish
As bizarre as it sounds, nail polish is an excellent method of eliminating ringworm. Make sure to get a clear nail lacquer free of Formaldehyde. This is a tricky procedure, so make sure you follow the instructions properly.
- Take a backlight to identify the fungus. It generally appears as a green circle.
- Next, apply clear nail polish to the affected area.
- Keep it on for 7-8 hours.
- Remove the nail polish.
- Repeat the procedure till ringworm is completely eliminated.
Nail lacquer essentially blocks the pores of your skin. Thus, blocking the ringworm. This helps to stop the infection from spreading and eventually the ringworm dries out.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil helps eliminate the flakes and dryness. It removes the outer protective membrane of the ringworm, thus stopping the risk of spreading the infection. Apply coconut oil directly to the skin and rub it gently for 3-5 minutes. Let it stay overnight. Rinse this off properly, as the oil tends to stay on the skin making it extra oily.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a naturally obtained antifungal acid. It is mildly acidic, so it is safe for children as well as animals. If you have a highly sensitive skin, apple cider vinegar is the best choice. Apple cider creates an acidic layer, which makes it impossible for the fungus t survive. As a result, it dies. Put undiluted apple cider vinegar on a piece of cloth and place it on the affected area. You can also use cotton balls. Place the cotton ball on the skin for 30 minutes. Rinse the acid off with cold water. Repeat this procedure 4-5 times a day.
In addition to the treatments, it is essential to take care of one’s personal hygiene in order to keep the infection under control and stop it from being passed on to someone else. Some of the steps include:
- Keeping the affected area as dry as possible
- Washing beddings, towels regularly
- Using antifungal shampoos or soaps.
- Avoid touching the infected area.
- Having a healthy diet and having an adequate amount of water.
- Reduce intake of sugary and oily food
- Avoid using public washrooms
In case of an extreme case of ringworm, do not be embarrassed to see a doctor. Follow the precautions and complete the course of medicines.