Ringworm is a very common fungal infection that occurs in the scalp, nails, or groin area. The fungus can be transferred to other parts of the body through contact with infected skin or hair. Ringworm may also cause an infection in the mouth or throat if it is touched by hands with ringworm on them.
Effective Ringworm Home Remedies
Despite its name, ringworm isn’t actually caused by a worm or any type of living parasite. Instead, it’s a skin condition that’s caused by a type of fungus called tinea. It lives on the dead tissues of skin, including your nails and hair.
Ringworm causes a red, scaly, itchy patch on your skin. Over time, it takes the shape of a circle or a ring (or several rings). This is where the name “ringworm” comes from.
What is Ringworm?
Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a fungus. Ringworm can affect the skin on your body (tinea corporis), scalp (tinea capitis), groin area (tinea cruris, also called jock itch), or feet (tinea pedis, also called athlete’s foot). Often, there are several patches of ringworm on your skin at once.
Tinea versicolor infection can happen to anyone, irrespective of age or gender. The infection is commonly seen in thighs, trunks, shoulders, and back. In minor cases tinea can be treated with simple home remedies, however, to prevent recurrence it is necessary to get medicine root-cause treatment of the infection without delay.
Tinea Treatment from Ayurveda
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, this problem is diagnosed as “dadru”. The involved dosha is Kapha- Vata. Kapha is Ayurvedic humour, which symbolizes mucus. It is cold, heavy, dense, and sticky. Vata is another Ayurvedic humour, which symbolizes air or wind. It is cold, dry, subtle, and mobile. Kapha and Vata dosha manifest in the skin and cause an accumulation of toxins. These toxins accumulate in deeper tissues of skin like rasa (nutrient plasma), rakta, (blood), Mansa (muscles), and Alaska (lymphatic). These toxins cause contamination of deeper tissues. Contamination of deeper tissues and aggravation of Kapha/Vata dosha leads to ringworm.
The third involved dosha is pitta. Pitta is the third dosha that symbolizes heat or fire. Thus, it is tridoshaj disease, in which the prime involved doshas are Kapha and Vata.
7 Home Remedies for Skin Fungal Infections
Ringworm, also known as Dermatophytosis, is a highly contagious form of skin fungus, and according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 700,000 people visit the doctor annually with concerns regarding ringworm. Thousands of those infected do not seek treatment, so keep on reading to make sure that you know what to do if you should ever come across this kind of situation in the future.
At healthcare nt sickcare, we’ve gathered a list of some remedies you can use right at home. It’s important to keep in mind that although each of these remedies is well-researched, you should still consult a doctor before you treat ringworm at home. If you have a history of skin or fungal infections, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.
Total Time: 30 minutes
Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. A component present in turmeric called curcumin is believed to have anti-microbial properties.
How to use: Use the turmeric in tea or use it in your meal preparation. Using turmeric directly will be more effective on the fungal infections. Mix it with water or coconut oil and apply the paste to the infected area. Leave it for as long as possible before rinsing it off.
Note: The application of turmeric can make your skin appear yellow, but don’t worry as it fades away in a few days.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The anti-fungal properties of apple cider vinegar can help you treat the itchiness and dryness of your ringworm. The content in the unfiltered apple cider vinegar regulates the yeast growth by neutralizing the pH.
How to use: Apply the apple cider vinegar on the infected area using a cotton ball soaked in it. Repeat the process up to 3 times daily. Rinse it off after 15 minutes if you’re going out or if the infection is in an area that gets sweaty.
Neem Leaf Extracts
Azadirachta indica, also known as “Neem” by the native Indians, has been considered being the ultimate antifungal and natural detoxifier in India for hundreds of years. The extract of the Azadirachta indica can remove major pathogens and dermatophytes from your skin.
How to use: Boil the neem leaves in water for a few minutes. Wash the infected area using the water. Do not boil it for too long or use the neem leaves directly on the infection as it might cause irritation on the skin.
Coconut oil contains a certain amount of fatty acids that help with the infection by damaging the cell membranes of the fungus. Coconut oil can be an effective remedy only with moderate skin infections.
How to use: Apply the coconut oil to the infected area 3 times per day. Use it for some weeks even after the infection is gone and applying the coconut oil as a moisturizer may be an effective way to prevent any future infections.
Oregano oil (specifically wild oregano (Origanum vulgare) contains thymol and carvacrol that can stop the growth of fungus.
How to use: Always use the diluted oregano oil on the infected area. Apply it up to 3 times daily.
Note: Make sure you get wild oregano (Origanum Vulgare) oil as a majority of the oregano oil on the market has common oregano (Origanum marjoram).
Garlic is the most common idea for treating infections in almost every household. Garlic can be effective against ringworm, as well as against Trichophyton, Torulopsis, Candida, Cryptococcus.
How to use: Do not apply the raw garlic paste directly on the fungus. It can cause irritation for hours. Mix the garlic paste with olive oil or coconut oil. Apply a thin coating of the paste to the infected area using a cotton ball or a clean piece of clothing. Keep it on for 2 hours before you rinse it off. Repeat it twice daily until you see improvement.
Tea Tree Oil
Native Australians have believed in the antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of tea tree oil for a century now. Nowadays, it’s a commonly used product that’s effective in the treatment of fungal infection. It detoxifies the infected area and reduces inflammation.
How to use: Make a 2% dilution of tea tree oil with coconut oil. Apply it 3 times daily to the infected area.
Note: If you do not have sensitive skin, you can use it directly in the infected area.
How can I prevent ringworm?
- Keep your skin clean and dry.
- Wear shoes that allow air to circulate freely around your feet.
- Don’t walk barefoot in areas like locker rooms or public showers.
- Clip your fingernails and toenails short and keep them clean.
- Change your socks and underwear at least once a day.
- Don’t share clothing, towels, sheets, or other personal items with someone who has ringworm.
- Wash your hands with soap, and running water after playing with pets. If you suspect your pet has ringworm, take it to see a veterinarian.
- If you’re an athlete involved in close contact sports, shower immediately after your practice session or match, and keep all of your sports gear and uniform clean. Don’t share sports gear (helmet, etc.) With other players.
What to do if you’re already infected with ringworm?
- Try to keep the skin dry and as clean. Use a soft towel to clean it and make sure you don’t use that same towel again on any other body parts.
- Avoid wearing tight jeans, pants, or underwear. Use a fabric that doesn’t irritate the skin. Loose clothes and higher quality fabric reduces friction if the infection is between the thighs or in the armpits.
- In case you can’t avoid wearing tight jeans or suitable fabric, put handmade cotton pads between the thighs or under the armpits. It reduces friction and irritation.
- We know it itches a lot but try to avoid any sort of scratching since it worsens the infection.
- Don’t use perfumes or washing agents on your clothes when you’re infected, as they might irritate your skin even more.
- Change your clothes daily and clean the infected area twice or three times a day at least.
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Even in the most severe cases of the ringworm, it goes away in 2 weeks to 20 days. But if it doesn’t go away even after the suggested time period, see a doctor immediately.
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