Ringworm and 10 natural remedies
Ringworm is an infection that is caused by a fungus. The fungi that result in ringworm dwell and spread on the outer layer of skin. Ringworm is not caused by any kind of worm or other parasite bur is called ringworm because of the ring-like shape it takes in the affected areas of your body.
Ringworm is commonly found on various body parts like legs, arms, chest, back and stomach. However, it can also develop in areas that include the hands and feet, nails, scalp and face. The fungus dwells in warm and moist places, so you can even catch it when you are walking barefoot in communal showers and pool areas.
A ringworm infection is not something that will take your life, but, it is highly contagious. Due to this, it is a great challenge to get rid of the fungus once it has built a home on your body. Since it lives on skin cells, it can continue to survive on surfaces such as Bathroom counters, clothing, and bedding and linens.
- 1 Causes of ringworm
- 2 Types of Ringworm
- 3 Methods of transmission
- 4 Natural Remedies of ringworm
- 5 Tips for Preventing Ringworm
Causes of ringworm
Ringworm is caused by one of the several varieties of fungi which are also referred to as dermatophytes. This type of fungi irritates the skin. These fungi live off the dead tissues of your hair, skin, and nails. Dermatophytes dwell in warm, moist areas like the groin areas, between the toes, and skin folds. If you sweat excessively and have wounds in your scalp, nail, or skin, you’re more prone to getting ringworms.
Ringworm is circular with flat middle portion and raised borders. This is why it’s common name is “ringworm”. It is not actually caused by worms.
Types of Ringworm
The fungi responsible for ringworm of the scalp can result in other infections in your body. The infections are usually classified based on the body parts they affect.
- Tinea Corporis (ringworm in the body): This infection results in scaly, red circle or ring of rash on the top layer of your skin.
- Tinea Pedis (Athlete’s foot): This infection usually affects the sweaty areas between your toes. Sometimes, it affects the foot itself.
- Tinea Cruris (Jock Itch): This form of infection affects your genital area, buttocks, and inner upper thighs.
Methods of transmission
Ringworm is communicable and following are some ways in which these infections spread:
- Human to human: Ringworm usually spreads when you come in a direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.
- Object to human: Ringworm can spread if you come in contact with objects or surfaces that had been touched by an infected person or animal. The objects can include combs, towels, clothes, toothbrush, and so on.
- Animal to human: Domestic animals like dogs and cats, especially puppies and kittens are carriers of the infectious fungi. Cows, pigs, horses, and goats are some other animals that carry these fungi. You or your child can get ringworm by petting or grooming animals carrying ringworm.
Natural Remedies of ringworm
Wash the infected areas with a solution of apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and water. For making the solution, mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide, apple cider vinegar and 10 parts water. Repeat this process every night until the infection fully fades.
Apple cider vinegar:
You can apply this directly on the rashes for them to heal faster. Wash the area with rashes and then apply the vinegar. It will leave a stinging sensation but the infection usually goes away within a few days. For better results, you can apply toothpaste over the vinegar. Since, fungus needs moist places to survive; this will cause the skin to dry out and the fungus to die faster.
Garlic and vinegar wash:
Garlic is rich in anti fungal properties. Draw the juice from garlic and mix it with vinegar. Wash the affected area at least three times a day with this mixture. You can even add garlic in your food, or even eat it directly to fight the infection from within your body.
You can mix bleach and water in equal ratios and apply the mixture directly to the rash. Leave it on as long as possible and then wash it off. The infection might take two days or more to clear. Bleach is strong and can scar your skin so you have to be careful in properly diluting the bleach.
Tea tree oil:
Mix tea tree oil with different oils like lavender or coconut. Wash the affected areas and apply the oil in those areas. Repeat it twice a day until the rash disappears.
Coconut oil is regarded as holy for skin and hair rejuvenation. Additional used for the treatment of various scalp and hair problems and for various skin issues as well. Coconut oil is rich with healing properties and they are extremely effective for treating ringworm infections.
It is a simple ingredient and can be found easily at home or in any shops nearby you. The oil rids you from itchy skin and makes the area soft and smooth. Coconut oil is mostly used for treating scalp ring worms. You should apply the oil on the areas overnight. This will help to eliminate build-up and residue of the infection.
Jojoba Oil and Lavender Oil:
It is regarded as the safest, soothing remedy for the treatment of ring worms. It can be used to heal the infection in children. Take a teaspoon of jojoba oil and add a drop of lavender oil in it. Apply this mixture to the affected areas with a cotton ball. Leave it on overnight on the ring worm. Lavender oil alone can be applied in the affected area to get rid of the ring worm as it consists of great deal of anti fungal properties. There have been studies that prove that lavender oil not only stops the infection from spreading further, but actually kills the fungi completely. So, applying the oil on the affected area will be of utmost use to cure your ring worms completely.
Mustard seeds are another natural remedy for curing ring worms. Take mustard seeds and soak them in the water for 30 minutes. After the seeds are properly soaked, grind them and make a thick paste. Apply the paste on the affected areas properly. Rinse it after 20-30 minutes. You can repeat it daily. It will help you get rid of itching and irritation of the skin.
This is not only a great spice to make your food taste like heaven, but it also has a great amount of antifungal and healing properties. It is popularly called holy powder and this holy powder can help you get rid of not only ringworms but also all other kinds of bacterial and fungal infections. Take fresh turmeric and blend it along with water to make fresh turmeric juice. Apply it on the affected areas with a cotton ball. Apply it thrice every day until your infection completely disappears.
Aloe Vera is a popular ingredient for various types of beauty remedies. Most people use it as a hair mask for hair conditioning. It is not only great for your hair, but also a great natural remedy for getting rid of skin infections. Aloe Vera is a wonderful remedy for ringworm and many other skin problems. Extract the gel from aloe vera plant and apply it directly on the skin. Leave it on for a night and wash the affected area the next day. Apply it every day until your rashes heal.
Tips for Preventing Ringworm
Ringworm is highly contagious and thus, difficult to prevent, but you can use these tips to reduce your risk:
- Educate yourself and those you can: Make yourself aware of the risks of getting ringworms from infected persons or pets. Educate your children about the infections and teach them how to avoid infections and what to look out for.
- Bath regularly: Wash your child’s scalp on a regular basis. After haircuts or after you’ve played some sports that include skin-to-skin contact make sure you take proper baths really well. This will cleanse you and may stop the infection from setting in.
- Cleanliness: Make sure you and your child wash your hands to avoid the spread of infection. The shared areas must kept clean. Keeping areas in and around child care centers, schools, locker rooms, communal pools, and gyms is important.
- Avoid coming in contact infected animals: In case your pet has a patch of skin showing and where the fur has fallen off, suggests the it might have the infection. There may be cases where you may not notice any signs of the disease. You should get your pets checked up on a regular basis. Your veterinarian will give you advices on what is to be done.
- Stop sharing personal items: Teach your children not to borrow any items from their friends and not to lend any of their items to their friends. Teach them of the risks involved in sharing personal items like combs, towels, clothes, and so on. If you are habituated to sharing items, stop doing so.