21 Home Remedies for Ringworm
The name, ringworm would make most people think the rash caused by the condition is caused by worms or a parasite. In fact, it’s caused by a fungus called tinea. It lives on dead skin tissue and causes a red, itchy patch of skin which eventually takes the form of several rings – hence the term, ringworm. Ringworm can develop on your skin or nails but is most common on your arms or scalp. Luckily, home remedies for ringworm are easy to use and quick to work!
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of ringworm differ depending on each individual, but there are some signs and symptoms which are more common than others. These can include the following.
- Red, scaly or itchy patches of raised skin
- Skin patches which get redder on the outside edge to resemble a ring shape
- Patches of skin which start to blister
- Blisters which may start to ooze
As with many conditions, preventing ringworm is much easier than treating a full-blown infection. It’s also highly contagious, so preventing an outbreak is so important! Some of the home remedies for ringworm in this article can also help to prevent a breakout of ringworm.
To prevent an outbreak of ringworm you should do the following.
- Keep your skin dry and clean
- Avoid being barefoot in communal areas
- Allow air to circulate around your feet by wearing loose or open shoes
- Change socks and underwear on a daily basis
- Keep your toe and fingernails short and clean
- Avoid sharing clothes or towels or even bed linen with someone who has an active ringworm infection.
- Practice good hygiene by washing your hands with warm water and soap regularly
- Shower immediately after exercising
- Wash your sports gear regularly
Home Remedies for Ringworm
One important thing to remember is that both animals and humans can be carriers of the condition, without displaying symptoms so even non-symptom carrying individuals can be contagious. Stay away from non-infected people until the home remedies for ringworm have completed healed you.
Garlic can be made into a paste by crushing a fresh clove and mixing it with a little water. Apply this paste to the area of skin with your ringworm infection and it should help the infection clear up. Leave the bandage in place for around two hours and repeat twice a day. If you start to feel any stinging or swelling, rinse the garlic paste off and don’t reapply.
To prevent ringworm from spreading to more people, practicing good personal hygiene is key. It’ll also help keep your skin clean and help clear up any existing infection. After washing with warm soapy water, make sure you dry your skin thoroughly as the fungus will always grow best in moist conditions. Remember to wash your towel after drying too.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another great home remedy for ringworm because of its antifungal properties. Soak a cotton pad or ball in some apple cider vinegar and dab it over the infected skin. Apply the vinegar three times a day to see a result.
According to research, aloe vera contains six antiseptic agents. These give it antibacterial and antifungal properties. Apply a small amount of aloe vera gel to your skin and let it sink in. It’ll help treat the infection and will help to soothe the itchy and swollen skin.
Some of the fatty acids in coconut oil have the ability to kill fungus cells by damaging their membranes. In fact, many studies have shown that coconut oil has the ability to calm a number of skin infections – ringworm included.
Apply a little liquid coconut oil to the affected area, use it like you would a moisturizer or lotion. This can help to quell existing infections and preventing future infections from developing if used regularly.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Evidence suggests that grapefruit seed extracts can be used to treat fungal infections such as ringworm. Mix a drop of the extract with a tablespoon of water and wash it over the infected skin twice a day. Over time, this should help to clear your infection.
Turmeric is a popular spice which has featured in a number of our home remedy lists thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. This is thanks to a particular compound in turmeric called curcumin.
You can add turmeric to a number of recipes or use it to create a tea which can be drunk to help your body fight fungal infections.
You can also mix it with some water or coconut oil. This should form a paste with can be applied directly to the infected skin. The yellow color of the turmeric may stain your skin a little, but it should go down after a few days.
You can mix powdered licorice with a little water to make a paste. This paste makes a great home remedy for ringworm. Thanks to the antifungal properties of licorice it can be applied directly to the skin where your ringworm infection is present to relieve symptoms and banish the infection. Once applied, let the paste sit on your skin for ten minutes before wiping it off. Repeat once a day until your infection has cleared.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another home remedy which has featured in a number of our previous articles. In fact, it’s been used in home remedies for centuries. Adding a few drops to your bathwater can really help to clear up a ringworm infection.
You can also apply it directly to the skin by mixing twelve drops with around once ounce of coconut oil. Apply this mixture to your skin at least three times a day and let it soak into the skin. If your skin is sensitive, make sure you dilute the tea tree oil before applying it to your skin.
Oregano oil has a number of antifungal compounds which make it a great home remedy for fungal infections like ringworm. Like tea tree oil, it should always be diluted before it’s applied directly to your skin. Once diluted using water or a carrier oil like coconut oil, apply the oregano oil directly to your skin three times a day.
Lemongrass oil is another essential oil that makes a great fungal treatment. Again, it should be mixed with a carrier oil before being applied directly to the skin. Once you’ve diluted it, you can wipe lemongrass oil over the infected area using a cotton pad or ball. Do this twice a day until your infection clears. has been shown to reduce the activity of several types of fungus.
Let Your Skin Breathe
Though you might think it wise to keep your ringworm infection covered, this could actually delay its healing or even make it worse. This is because bandaging the rash up can trap moisture against your skin and slow down the healing process. Remember, fungus thrives in moist conditions, so making sure air can get to the infected skin and keep it from remaining overly moist. You should try wearing loose clothing around the infected area.
Wash Your Bedding Daily
Because the fungus which causes ringworm is highly contagious, washing your bedsheets is crucial to preventing it from spreading- especially if you’re sharing a bed with someone else who hasn’t developed the infection. If you don’t wash your sheets, fungal spores may stick in the linen and transfer back onto your skin, or the skin of someone else in the bed. This can spread the infection and slow down the healing of your own infection. Make sure you use hot water and strong detergent to kill any lingering fungal spores.
Colloidal silver is a great option for a home remedy for ringworm. In fact, many studies have identified its antifungal abilities. Make sure you clean the affected area thoroughly and spray it with some colloidal silver. Let the area dry naturally so the spray soak into the skin. Do this three times a day until the infection has cleared. The major benefits of using the remedy are that it’s clear and odorless so it’s great if you don’t want to make a mess.
A recent study suggests that lavender oil can help fight the fungus which causes ringworm. Apply it in the same way you would apply other essential oils and see if it makes a difference to your infection.
The Brazilian Journal of Microbiology noted that calendula flower extracts were able to tackle around 23 different strains of fungus. One of which is the fungus responsible for ringworm.
Neem oil is full of medicinal properties, which makes it a great home remedy for many ailments, including ringworm. In fact, its antifungal properties are so potent, that many people claim they’ve seen an improvement in just a few minutes, although it’s more likely to take around ten days to fully heal your ringworm infection. Apply two drops three times a day and you should start to notice a healing effect in a few days.
Epsom salts are also anti-fungal which makes them a great home remedy for ringworm. More than this, they’re also great at drawing excess moisture from the skin, making it harder for the fungus to thrive.
Mix some Epsom salt with some water in equal parts and soak the infected area of skin. You should aim to soak your infected skin for twenty to thirty minutes before rinsing with clean water. Do this every morning and night until the infection has cleared.
Castor oil is yet another oil which makes it onto our list of home remedies on a regular basis. This is thanks to its rich anti-fungal qualities which help it fight off fungal infections like ringworm. You can even use it to treat infections on your scalp. Just apply three drops to the affected area and massage into the skin. Apply the oil three times a day until your infection clears. If using it on your scalp, you can apply the oil to your hair and leave it to sit overnight before rinsing it in the morning.
Clear Nail Varnish
Applying a thin layer of nail varnish over the top of your ringworm rash will prevent the fungus from getting the oxygen it needs to thrive. This will help your infection to heal up a little quicker. Make sure you clean the affected area and dry it thoroughly before applying the nail varnish. You should also remember to wash the towel after drying and don’t use the nail varnish brush after the infection has cleared in order to prevent a recurrence of the infection. Leave the nail varnish on your skin overnight and remove it with nail varnish remover in the morning. You can apply a fresh layer twenty minutes after removing the first. Repeat this method until the infection has healed.
Eucalyptus oil is an effective home remedy against bacterial viral and fungal infections. This makes it a regular home remedy component. It also has soothing qualities which can help to relieve some of the itching caused by ringworm.
Just mix a few drops of the oil with some water and soak a cotton pad of some gauze in the mixture. Secure the pad or gauze to your rash using medical tape and leave it there overnight. In the morning wash your skin with some warm soapy water. You should do this for a few nights in order to see an improvement in your condition.
When to See A Doctor
If your symptoms persist for more than two weeks of using home remedies you should go to see a doctor. They will be able to prescribe you an over the counter medicine which may have stronger antifungal properties and other medicinal qualities.
If your job involved regular contact with others, such as nursing or teaching, you should see a doctor immediately to prevent the infection from spreading to others.
Ringworm picture by Project Manhattan.