Ringworm (Dermatophytosis) is a misnomer as it is not caused by worms but by various fungi. However, one thing in its name is typically true and that is the formation of a ring-like structure on the skin with a defined border by fungus and intact skin in the middle of this scaly ring. So, if you have a reddish brownish ring-shaped rash on your skin, nails, scalp etc. you may want to treat this contagious fungal infection with some truly effective home remedies for ringworm. You may also want to know that the medical term for ringworm is Tinea, which, in Latin means growing worm. If you went to see the doctor with your fungal infection on your skin and he says it is tinea capitis, it means it is a scalp ringworm and if it is tinea corporis, it is a body ringworm, if tinea pedis, its a feet ringworm which is also often referred to as athlete’s foot and so on. Here are some home remedies for ringworm that can get you rid of this very common fungal infection of the skin.
Herbal Remedies for Ringworm
1. Tea Tree Oil for Ringworm
The excellent anti-fungal and antiseptic tea tree oil extracted from the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is one of the best remedies for ringworm. You just need to use 100% pure tea tree oil because if you use the one diluted with other oils, it may not be able to cure your ringworm. Although it is very strong oil, you should first apply undiluted tea tree oil to your fungal infection and if your skin irritates a lot, then only dilute it with warm water. Here’s a step-by-step instruction on how to use tea tree oil for ringworm cure at home.
- 100% pure tea tree oil- 1 – ½ tbsp
- A cotton swab or ball (sterilized)
- Warm water (optional)- 1 cup
- Clean your skin affected with ringworm and dry it completely.
- Take the cotton swab and pour few drops of tea tree oil on it.
- Apply this oil to your ringworm affected area and properly cover the rash with the oil.
- Repeat three-four times a day.
- However, if you feel, undiluted oil irritates your skin a lot, dilute it with warm water.
- Mix one and a half tablespoons of tea tree oil into a cup of warm water.
- Soak a cotton ball into this solution and apply this to your ringworm.
- Repeat 3-4 times a day for about 3-4 weeks.
If however, you don’t notice any improvement, you must see your doctor.
2. Garlic for Ringworm
Garlic with all its good for health is also considered to be an effective remedy for ringworm. The antifungal ajoene in garlic may cure a variety of fungal infections of the skin. The fungus that causes your ringworm can also be treated by garlic then. While you may always use a clove of pressed or crushed garlic to apply on your ringworm directly, here is a remedy that also uses olive oil and honey to make this remedy more effective.
- Garlic clove- 1-2
- Olive oil- 3 tbsp
- Honey- 3 tbsp
- Crush the garlic cloves using a mortar and pestle.
- Add the garlic paste with olive oil and honey.
- Apply this paste on your ringworm affected skin.
- Leave for about one hour.
- Wash off with warm water.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day for at least 2 weeks.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar for Ringworm
Apple cider vinegar’s anti-fungal properties are granted by its highly acidic qualities. As fungi cannot thrive in highly acidic environments, ACV can lead to their complete elimination provided you use it regularly for an extended period of time. It is also safe to be used for kids and pets due to its non-toxic nature.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Cotton ball or hand towel
- Clean the ringworm affected skin area and pat dry.
- Before applying apple cider vinegar on your rashes, do a patch test to see if your skin is sensitive to ACV. First use may give you a stinging sensation but if it burns a lot, you may be sensitive to ACV use.
- If you are all right with the test and your skin doesn’t burn a lot due to the high acidic property of vinegar, apply some vinegar using a cotton ball on your ringworm rashes. Repeat 3-4 times a day.
- You may also soak a towel in apple cider vinegar and leave it on your rashes for half an hour. Do this twice a day.
- You may need to use this remedy for 3-4 weeks for curing your skin infection.
4. Raw Papaya for Ringworm
Raw or the green papaya can destroy old dead cells from the outer layers of your skin, the place where ringworm fungi dwell and grow. Your young skin cells are left unharmed. This may be due to many enzymes found in papaya, especially papain and chymopapain. These enzymes destroy the defence shields of viruses, yeasts, and various types of fungus. Both papain and chymopapain enzymes also cure inflammation and heal burns. Thus papaya may prove to be a soothing remedy for your ringworm infection.
- Raw papaya
- Cut some pieces from a green raw papaya.
- Rub these papaya pieces on your ringworm rashes.
- You may also make a paste of raw papaya by grinding it.
- Apply this paste on your ringworm affected area.
- Leave it on for about 15-20 minutes.
- Wash off with warm water.
- Do this 2-3 times a day.
5. Coconut Oil for Ringworm
Coconut oil is one of the safe and most effective remedies for ringworm as it can completely eliminate a host of fungi that cause this infection on your skin. The magic ingredient in coconut oil is its Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA), especially, the Lauric acid. This acid is capable of killing many species of fungi and thus there is high chance that coconut oil would work to cure your ringworm infection if nothing else helps. The antiviral and anti-fungal Lauric acid will dissolve the fatty outer membranes of the microbes thus killing them.
- Coconut oil- get the one which is mostly unrefined and not hydrogenated
- Just take some amount of coconut oil and liberally apply to your ringworm.
- Gently massage for a couple of minutes and leave.
- Repeat this 3-4 times a day.
- Also, apply some coconut oil before going to bed and leave this on your ringworm affected area overnight.
- Do this daily for a couple of weeks and you’ll see your ringworms being cured. Do not stop applying coconut oil for another week or so after your ringworm disappears just to ensure they do not come back.
6. Salt for Ringworm
Saltwater is an excellent astringent which speeds up healing of wounds. When you soak in salt water, it disinfects the affected area and dries up the rash patches. You may also use sea salt paste to apply on your infected skin if you don’t like to soak in salt water. Some people even use vinegar and salt paste for ringworm. Here are some ways to use salt for ringworm.
Ways to Use Salt for Ringworm
- Add ¼ to ½ cup of salt to a basin filled with warm water. Soak the ringworm affected area in this salty warm water for half an hour.
- Take some sea salt and using a little water, moisten it a little. Use this salt scrub to rub into your ringworm with the help of a washcloth. Do this about 15-20 minutes daily.
- Take 1tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Mix them together to make a salt-vinegar paste. Apply this paste to the ringworm affected area and leave for 5-10 minutes. Repeat thrice a day for at least a week.
7. Lemongrass for Ringworm
Lemongrass herb is naturally anti-bacterial and antiseptic. In countries like India, Sri Lanka, China, and even Brazil, this herb has been used medicinally since ancient times. It is consumed internally in form of lemongrass tea and applied topically in the form of lemongrass oil as well as a paste directly made with the lemongrass herb. Its natural antiseptic properties heal wounds perfectly and the natural antibacterial properties prevent infections. For ringworm and athletes foot, its better to apply lemongrass paste or lemongrass oil.
Make Lemongrass Paste for Ringworm
- Lemongrass leaves
- Grind or crush the lemongrass leaves.
- Use buttermilk in place of water to help you make its paste.
- Apply this lemongrass-buttermilk paste on your ringworm rashes.
- Leave for 20-30 minutes before washing off.
Use Lemongrass Oil for Ringworm
- Lemongrass essential oil- 3-5 drops
- Carrier oil (sweet almond oil or jojoba oil)- 2 tbsp
- Mix lemongrass oil with your choice of carrier oil.
- Apply this oil mix to your ringworm infection.
- Repeat 4-5 times a day till your infection disappears completely.
8. Aloe Vera for Ringworm
Anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties of Aloe Vera are now well known by all of us. It is a great herb for skin and its infections. The saponins or the gel-like plant substance of aloe vera leaves with its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties brings relief to you by curing your ringworm infection.
- Aloe Vera leaves
- Cut a slice from the aloe vera leaf.
- Now cut open the leaf to find its gel within the leaf.
- Take some of this gel and apply to your ringworm.
- Leave it there for about 20-30 minutes.
- Wash off with water.
- Repeat twice or thrice a day.
9. Turmeric and its Oil for Ringworm
Thai traditional medicine extensively uses turmeric oil for treating skin infections and rashes including ringworm. Ayurveda, Indian traditional medicine also uses turmeric for its anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties for treating various skin diseases. The active constituents of turmeric volatile oil, turmerone, atlantone, and zingiberone, give it its antifungal and anti-microbial properties against ringworm. You can either use fresh turmeric roots or turmeric oil on your ringworm skin infection.
• Turmeric root or turmeric powder
• Turmeric oil
- Crush or grind the turmeric root to make its paste. Use some water if required.
- If using turmeric powder, mix it with some water to make its paste.
- Apply the turmeric paste on your ringworm.
- Leave for 15-20 minutes.
- Wash off with mild soap and warm water as turmeric tends to stain.
- If using turmeric oil, simply apply few drops of this oil on your infection.
10. Grapefruit Seed Extract for Ringworm
Grapefruit Seed Extract or GSE is derived from the seeds, pulp and white membranes of grapefruit and is a fine antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial agent. You can take grapefruit seed extract internally to boost your immune system as ringworm or any other infection indicates a compromised immune system. Alternatively, you may also topically apply GSE on your rashes to get it treated. You can either use undiluted GSE and apply it directly on your skin or dilute it with water if you have a sensitive skin.
- Grapefruit Seed Extract- 4-5 drops
- Lukewarm water- 3 tbsp
- Mix grapefruit seed extract with lukewarm water.
- Apply this on your ringworm with the help of a cotton pad.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day at least for a week or two to see the positive result.
11. Olive Leaf Extract for Ringworm
Olive leaf had been used in Egypt medicinally for ages. Modern health professionals started using olive leaf extract about 20 years back when its excellent therapeutic properties were unveiled by various researches. Apart from may other health benefits, researches show that olive leaf extract may have such anti-viral properties that can selectively block an entire virus-specific system in an infected host. It interferes with critical amino acid production for viruses making them inactive. Not only does olive leaf extract has antifungal properties but it also helps boost your immune system when taken internally.
- Olive leaf extract (powder)
- Olive oil
- Duct tape (optional)
- Mix olive leave extract powder with olive oil to make a paste.
- Apply this to your ringworm.
- You may also use a duct tape to hold the paste on your rashes.
12. Oregano Oil for Ringworm
Oregano leaves are composed of a wide variety of chemical compounds like leanolic acids, ursolic acids, and phenolic glycosides. The compounds carvacrol, thymol, cymene, and terpinine present in oregano leaves make it therapeutic in nature and an effective natural anti-fungal treatment that can immensely help you in treating your ringworm naturally. Oregano oil contains about 40 -64 percent thymol which makes it one of the best remedies for ringworm. You can take oregano oil internally as well as apply it externally. If taking internally, take 5-10 drops of prediluted oregano oil mixed in some water 3 times a day. If using externally, follow the below instructions.
- Oregano essential oil- 3-5 drops
- Rosemary essential oil- 3-5 drops
- Wild thyme oil- 1-2 drops
- Sweet almond oil- 2-3 tbsp
- Combine all the oils
- Apply this oil mixture to your ringworm.
- Repeat 3-4 times a day.
13. Camphor for Ringworm
Camphor, the white, transparent solid pieces having strong odor are derived from the bark and wood of camphor tree, native to Asia. It has been used medicinally by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as well as Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicine for treating fungal infections and also to repel insects. Its anti-fungal properties make it one of the best remedies for ringworm.
Ways to Use Camphor for Ringworm
- Take a pinch of camphor powder and apply it daily to your ringworm.
- If this doesn’t go well with you, mix this camphor powder with some sesame oil and rub your rashes with this oil. Repeat twice a day.
- You may also use camphor oil for ringworm. Just dilute 2-3 drops of camphor oil 1-2 tbsp of some carrier oil like sweet almond or olive oil and apply to your ringworm 2-3 times a day.
Precaution: Camphor is poisonous when ingested. Never use it internally and use only a small quantity even when using externally.
14. Myrrh for Ringworm
Myrrh, obtained from the Commiphora Mukul is an ancient medicinal herb extensively used by Egyptians since as long as 1550 BC. They not only used as an antiseptic and a fleas repellent but also to embalm the dead! The excellent antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-viral, astringent, and many other such medicinal properties of myrrh has made it one of the favorite ingredients of modern skin creams, toothpaste and other cosmetic products along with herbal ointments for skin diseases.
Ways to Use Myrrh for Ringworm
- Rinse your ringworm rashes with myrrh solution. Take about 8-10 drops of myrrh oil and mix it with about ½ -1 cup of water. You may either soak a cotton pad and apply this to your rashes or wash your ringworm rashes with this myrrh treated water.
- Take equal parts of myrrh and goldenseal powder. Use some water to make a paste of these two herbs. Apply this paste to your ringworm rashes thrice a day.
15. Goldenseal for Ringworm
The rhizome and root of goldenseal plant is used to make the herb that has been used since ancient times by Native Americans for various medical conditions including skin diseases. Goldenseal is a natural astringent along with having anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. These qualities of the herb make it suitable for treating ringworm infections.
Ways to Use Goldenseal for Ringworm
- Take 5-6 tsp of dried goldenseal herb and add with 1- ½ cups of water. Simmer this for about 15-20 minutes. Strain the tea. aka cotton ball into this and apply to your ringworm rashes 2-3 times a day.
- • If you have a tendency to catch ringworm infection on feet, make a habit of dusting your socks and shoes with goldenseal powder to cure as well as prevent ringworm.
- Mix 5-6 drops of goldenseal tincture in your choice of juice and drink thrice a day.
Precaution: Avoid using this remedy with goldenseal if you are pregnant.
16. Lavender Oil for Ringworm
The antidepressant and relaxing lavender oil have far more benefits than just being soothing to your nerves. The antifungal property of lavender oil makes it one of the best essential oils to treat skin infections including ringworm.
- Lavender essential oil- 3-4 drops
- Carrier oil – olive or jojoba oil- (optional) – 1 tsp
- Apply lavender oil to your ringworm affected skin and let it absorb the whole of it.
- If your skin is very sensitive or you are applying the oil on a baby’s skin, dilute it with a carrier oil and then apply.
17. Neem for Ringworm
Neem is a proven anti-fungal and anti-bacterial herb used in Ayurveda to treat various skin infections. The leaves of the neem tree, though bitter, can even be chewed for overall health. However, for your ringworm, you can easily find neem leaf powder or neem oil that can cure even the stubborn ringworm infections.
Ways to Use Neem for Ringworm
- Take ¼ to ½ tsp of neem leaf powder. Mix it with a little water to make a paste. Apply this neem paste to your rashes many times a day.
- Get neem oil and apply this to your ringworm 1-2 times a day.
- You can even dilute 1 tsp of neem oil with ½ a cup of aloe vera gel and apply this to your ringworm 2-3 times a day.
Hope you find your best home remedy for ringworm soon and get rid of your painful skin infection even sooner than that!