Ringworm, also known as Dermatophytosis, is fungal contamination that grows on the skin. The infection is characterized by a circular rash (often red in color) in the middle. Sometimes it will itch. This infection got its name from its appearance; there aren’t any actual worms.
The medical name for ringworm is Tinea. This condition is not life threatening unless the scalp is affected. It is a common problem in children across all races although African American kids have a higher risk of infection . Note that there are different types of ringworm. In this article we shall discuss everything you need to know about these parasites.
Symptoms of Ringworm
Ringworm usually starts as a scaly area on an individual’s skin, and it can be red and itchy. The patch grows into a slightly raised boarder which expands outward. This forms a rough circular ring. The ring contours can be irregular, looking like a worm’s wavy outline. The interior part is often scaly, clear or marked with scattered red bumps. In some cases, various rings can develop at once and can even overlap.
Below are different types of ringworm:
- Tinea manus (Hand): The ringworm affects palms as well as the spaces between fingers.
- Tinea capitis (scalp): The ringworm starts with tiny lumps on the scalp which keep growing while forming a circular pattern.
- Tinea pedis (Feet): This kind of ringworm causes scaling on the toe spaces. It is also known for causing scaling and thickening on the soles and heels too.
- Tinea unguium (Nail): When affected by ringworm, the toenails and figure nails become crumbly, thick and yellow.
- Tinea faciei (Face): This kind of ringworm affects the face and causes scaly, red patches on the skin.
- Tinea cruris (Groin): With this ringworm, the groin area experiences a chafed, reddish, itchy and painful rash.
- Tinea corporis (Body): This ringworm will produce round, flat and scaly spots on the affected skin.
Note: The symptoms appear on the body after 4-10 days after being exposed. The scalp ringworm symptoms appear after ten days.
Mold-like parasites are responsible for causing this contagious fungal infection. The parasites live in the skin’s outer layer cells and are spread in various ways.
• Human – human. The ringworm will spread directly when an uninfected person’s skin comes into contact with an affected one.
• Animal – human. It is possible for you to contact ringworm when you touch an infected animal. The infection can spread while a person is grooming or petting cats or dogs. Ringworm is also common in cows.
• Object – human. Ringworm also spreads when you come into contact with a surface or an object that an affected animal or person rubbed against or touched recently. This includes objects such as towels, combs, clothing, bedding and linens and brushes.
• Soil – human. Although this rarely happens, ringworm can be contacted when a person comes into contact with infected soil. The infection only occurs when one has a prolonged contact with the soil that’s highly infected.
You’ll be at a high risk of getting a ringworm infection if you:
• Have a weak immune system
• Wear restrictive or tight clothing
• Take part is sports featuring skin to skin contact
• Share your bedding, clothing or towels with an infected person
• Experience warm climate where you live
• Come in touch with an infected individual or object
When ringworm isn’t treated properly, various complications can occur. It can spread all over the body since it’s a fungal infection. Although you can opt to visit a doctor to get medication for your condition, there are natural options you can explore; essential oils. Discussed below are essential oils you can use to treat ringworm.
Best Essential Oils for Ringworm
Tea Tree Oil
This essential oil is widely used because of its efficiency in treating ringworm. A powerful anti-fungal, Terpenoid, helps in destroying the fungi responsible for causing ringworm. A little amount of Tea Tree oil should be mixed with fractionated coconut oil and then applied on the patches of the ringworm. It’s recommended that you apply the oil three times a day to get the best results.
It takes about ten days to get rid of the ringworm on regular application completely. Even after the treatment, it’s always good to keep using the combination regularly over the areas that were impacted. This oil is powerful and shouldn’t be used internally as it may irritate the stomach lining.
Neem is an essential oil that has been used since the ancient times because of its exceptional healing abilities. The oil contains numerous strong compounds with high medicinal and insecticidal qualities. Moreover, the oil also functions as an excellent fungicide, and this makes it critical for ringworm treatment.
A small amount of the essential oil is applied throughout the impacted area at least three times each day. You are to continue using Neem Oil for about ten days so that the infection can be eradicated. Neem also has great antioxidant qualities. This means that Neem will also limit the dryness and itching caused by the ringworm.
This oil is mildly aromatic and can sooth the skin. Because of its capabilities in permeating deep into the skin, Lavender Oil can fight ringworm effectively. This, in turn, assists the skin to heal faster. The ringworm causes scratchy, inflamed, dry and scaly skin. The oil will reduce the inflammation and itching caused by the ringworm.
Lavender oil can be used to treat this condition in two different ways:
• Add some drops of the oil into your bath water and then soak your body for about a half an hour. This will help in soothing the skin.
• Dilute about ten drops of this essential oil with one teaspoonful of olive oil and then apply the mixture on the affected area. Be sure to do this three times a day to get rid of the infection completely.
Lemongrass oil contains natural antiseptic qualities. Although it helps in healing the wounds faster, it also has antibacterial qualities that assist in preventing a ringworm infection from affection other parts of your body.
Three drops of the oil are to be mixed with Almond oil. Apply the mix on the impacted area three times a day. The regimen needs to be followed until the infection is healed completely.
Oregano oil is an essential oil containing excellent anti-fungal qualities. This makes it very effective when it comes to handling ringworm infection. Massage the affected area with some drops of the oil. Ensure you repeat the process at least three times a day, and you’ll begin to notice some changes in two-three days. It’ll take almost a week for the infection to clear as long as you use it regularly.
Coconut oil is known for many uses including treating hair and scalp problems. The healing properties of this oil are also effective at dealing with ringworm infections. What’s more, this is an ingredient you can get at your home. Coconut oil will offer great relief from itchy skin and make the area smooth and soft. You can use it to treat all kinds of ringworm including the scalp ringworm. Consider applying it to the infected area overnight. This eliminates the build-up as well as the infection residue.
Other Alternative Natural Remedies for Ringworm
Other than essential oils, other natural remedies can be used to treat ringworm. Most of them are safe, although you will need to take the severity of the infection into consideration. No matter the affected body part, you could make use of these natural remedies to get rid of ringworm.
Garlic contains a natural anti-fungal agent known as ajoene. It can be used to cure different types of fungal infections, such as ringworm. As long as garlic is regularly used, this agent will treat the ringworm. Besides, many studies have also proved that ajoene is good at healing this fungal infection.
Peel the clove and cut it into various slim slices. The slices are to be placed on the affected area. Wrap them around using a bandage. It’s best to leave the slices overnight to get the best results. You can also opt to make a thick paste and then apply it on the affected area.
Apple vinegar is one of the greatest home remedies for weight loss, especially when used to dress salads. When used in the food, this solution helps in dealing with blood pressure issues. What you may not know is that Apple cider vinegar has natural anti-fungal properties that you can use to get rid of ringworm infection.
To use it effectively, apply undiluted apple cider vinegar to the affected area using a clean cotton ball numerous times each day. You’ll have to do this until all the patches are gone. Dermatologists recommend that you apply it 3-5 times for at least three days. This will give you the best results. Apple vinegar will eliminate the fungal infection completely.
Aloe Vera has proved its usefulness in most beauty circles especially when it comes to natural hair conditioning. What’s more, it’s a great remedy for curing skin infections too. Extract the gel from the plant and apply it on the skin directly. Allow it to stay all night and clean it up the next day. You will need to apply it each day until the infection clears.
Colloidal silver is a natural antibiotic. It can help you to destroy dangerous microorganisms. This means you can use it to treat ringworm. For the best results, apply colloidal silver on the infected area twice each day. The remedy can be in liquid or gel form. Be sure to repeat the procedure until the infection is gone.
Other than using Lemongrass oil, Lemongrass tea is another remedy you can rely on to cure ringworm infection. You will be required to drink one glass of lemongrass tea three times a day. The used tea bags are to be applied on the ringworm simultaneously. You can rely on this remedy as it will bring relief to your life.
Although mustard seeds are tiny in size, they are great at curing ringworm. For the best results, soak the seeds for approximately 30 minutes and then grind them. The thick paste you will make should be applied on the infected skin. It will offer relief from irritation and itching.
This is a simple spice used by many each day. Turmeric has excellent antibiotic qualities that make many to call it the holy powder. This remedy will assist you to get rid of any kind of fungal or bacterial infections such as ringworm. Fresh turmeric juice is ideal in this case. Use a cotton ball to apply the turmeric juice on the ringworm. Apply it three times daily until the infection disappears.
Vinegar and Salt
Vinegar is great for treating this infection. Make a paste with vinegar and salt and apply it onto the ringworm. Leave it on for five minutes. Most people who have used this natural remedy agree that it takes around seven days for a ringworm infection to vanish.
Myrrh is also an anti-fungal treatment. Make a paste by mixing myrrh and goldenseal components. Add some drops of water to the mixture and then mix it well. Apply your mixture on the ringworm. Consider doing this three times each day.
Do you know that almost all parts of an olive tree have health benefits? Olive oil happens to be the best massage oil for the body while the olive leaf is an exceptional remedy for ringworm. The leaves contain anti-fungal qualities that help to boost the immune system of your body. Consume a leaf three times daily until your infection heals and you feel alright again.
You don’t need to suffer anymore because of ringworm. All the natural remedies we have discussed as well as the essential oils will help you to clear ringworm infection. Besides, the products are easily available at home meaning you won’t need to spend a lot of money to get a cure. Just follow the instructions we have offered, and ringworm won’t be a problem anymore.