Ringworm is a fungal skin infection characterized by red circular rashes with clear skin in the center. Ringworm got its name because of the pattern it forms, which is a ring shape.
Also known as tinea corpus, this itchy condition is closely related to athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis), and jock itch (tinea cruris). Ringworm often spreads by direct contact with an infected individual or animal. While there is no actual worm present in the skin, it is important to know how to get rid of ringworm as quickly as possible.
Symptoms and Causes of Ringworm
Ringworm usually begins as a flat scaly area, which is itchy and reddened. The patches develop a raised border and expand, forming a rough ring. The center of the ring may be clear, red, or scaly. This condition is a contagious fungal infection caused by mold-like microorganisms that thrive on the outer layer of the skin. The infection can spread by:
- Skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.
- Touching or petting an infected animal. Ringworm is fairly common in cows.
- In some cases, prolonged contact with infected soil.
- The infection can also spread by contact with surfaces or objects that an infected person has rubbed against or touched, such as clothes, bedsheets, and towels.
If not treated immediately, it can spread to other skin, nails, and scalp areas. You can use over-the-counter treatments such as antifungal lotions, creams, or soap. Your doctor may prescribe antifungal pills to get rid of ringworm in case of severe or extensive infection. For mild conditions, you can try natural remedies to treat the problem.
14 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Ringworm Fast
Here are some of the effective ways for treating ringworm.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains antifungal and antiseptic properties that can kill ringworm. It is also useful for treating other skin conditions, such as toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, jock itch, and eczema. For sensitive skin, dilute tea tree oil with water to prevent irritation.
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a clean cotton ball. Apply it to the affected areas two to three times a day until you notice improvements.
- Alternatively, dilute tea tree oil with an equal amount of carrier oil or water before application. Follow this treatment two to three times a day.
2. Neem or Indian Lilac
One of the best natural remedies for ringworm and other related skin conditions is neem or Indian lilac. This herb contains antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties useful for treating scabies, ringworm, and various skin infections. You can find neem in different forms, such as extract, oil, or fresh leaves.
- In a small bowl, combine ½ teaspoon of neem powder and 1 teaspoon of water. Stir to create a paste. Apply this paste to affected areas. Follow this treatment three to four times a day.
- Apply neem oil to ringworm once daily to clear the infection. Alternatively, mix ½ teaspoon of neem oil with 1 cup of aloe vera gel.
- Another option is to combine equal amounts of crushed neem leaves, sesame oil, and turmeric powder to make a paste. Apply this to ringworm.
Garlic is a common home remedy for different types of fungal infections due to its powerful antifungal properties. Here’s how to get rid of ringworm with garlic.
- Peel and chop a few garlic cloves. Place the slices on the affected area. Use gauze to wrap the garlic and leave it on overnight. In the morning, replace the garlic and gauze. Follow this treatment until the infection clears up.
- Another option is to combine crushed garlic with olive oil and honey. Stir it well to make a paste and apply this to the affected areas. Cover it with gauze or bandage and let it sit for 1 hour. Remove the bandage and rinse with warm water. Repeat this treatment two to three times a day.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the best natural remedies when it comes to skin problems. It contains antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties that accelerate the healing of various skin conditions, such as ringworm, dry skin, eczema, acne, and more. It also provides soothing effects that reduce itchiness and irritation.
- Cut a fresh aloe vera leaf in half.
- Scoop out its gel and apply directly to the ringworm.
- Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Rinse the area with water.
- Follow this treatment three times daily.
If aloe vera gel is not available, you can also use aloe vera juice to treat the infection.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
No home remedies list is complete without the inclusion of ACV. Apple cider vinegar is known for its powerful antifungal properties. When applied topically, it creates an acidic environment in which fungi that cause infection cannot survive. Regular application of apple cider vinegar can get rid of fungi effectively.
- Clean the area and dry it.
- Soak gauze in a bowl of undiluted apple cider vinegar.
- Apply it to the infected skin and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Follow this treatment 4 to 5 times a day.
Consider adding apple cider vinegar when washing clothes to disinfect them properly.
Turmeric contains potent and natural healing properties that can fight ringworm and other skin problems efficiently. This ingredient stops the spreading and growth of ringworm. It treats and soothes the skin with its antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.
Aside from its anti-fungal properties, this is also known to boost your immune system. Taking this will strengthen your immune system so that your body can fight off various diseases easier.
- Grate a turmeric root to extract its juice.
- Mix the turmeric juice with ½ teaspoon of water.
- Using a cotton ball, apply the juice to the ringworm.
- Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water and mild soap.
- Repeat the application three times a day to clear the infection.
Alternatively, you can apply 2 to 3 drops of turmeric oil directly onto the rashes. Follow this process three times a day.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the safest treatments and highly effective remedies for ringworm, toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, jock itch, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. It contains Lauric Acid that acts as a strong anti-fungal agent and kills the fungus while hydrating the skin. This method provides a fast and gentle treatment process, making it safe to use on children and animals.
- Apply a few drops of coconut oil to the affected skin.
- Massage the area for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Follow this process three to four times a day.
- Apply coconut oil before going to bed and leave it on overnight.
For best results, use organic, unrefined coconut oil.
Lemongrass has a lot of properties that can effectively get rid of ringworm. If you would check many anti-fungal creams available in local drugstores, you will see that lemongrass is always one of the ingredients.
Lemongrass contains powerful anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, making it an effective treatment for ringworm. It also a natural anti-itch agent and fights the symptoms of ringworm from the inside. It also helps flush out unwanted toxins from the body.
- Add a lemongrass tea bag to hot water. Let it steep for 3 minutes, and enjoy this tea. Save the teabag as you can use it to apply directly to the ringworm. Drink at least 3 cups of lemongrass tea daily. You can also combine it with chamomile tea for additional benefits.
- Apply used lemongrass teabags to the affected areas for about 10 minutes.
You can also apply a paste of lemongrass leaves mixed with buttermilk or lemon essential oil on the affected area.
9. Jojoba and Lavender Oils
The combination of lavender and jojoba oils is highly effective against ringworm. These oils are gentle and soothing enough and can also be used for babies. Both contain antifungal, antimicrobial, and moisturizing properties that accelerate the healing process of the skin.
- In a small bowl, mix 1 to 2 drops of lavender oil and 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil.
- Soak a cotton ball into the mixture.
- Apply the oils to the affected area.
- Repeat the application 3 to 4 times a day until the infection is gone.
Lavender oil, when used alone, is effective enough to purge the ringworm. Mixing it with jojoba oil makes the treatment and healing fast.
10. Olive Leaves
Since ancient times, olive leaves have been used for treating various conditions due to their antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. When taken internally, it strengthens the immune system and aids in healing the process of the skin.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of powdered olive leaf extract with ½ tablespoon of olive oil to make a paste.
- Apply this paste to ringworms.
- Follow this treatment 2 to 3 times a day to get rid of the fungus.
You can also consume an olive leaf 3 times daily to help your body fight the infection from within.
Myrrh is an ancient medicinal herb that has been around for a long period of time. In fact, Egyptians have used this to embalm the mummies that we are familiar with today. Aside from being used to embalm the dead, myrrh is also used to get rid of fleas and prevent flea bites. The medicinal properties of this home remedy are not only used for ringworms but other types of skin disorders.
Myrrh contains powerful antifungal, astringent, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. Myrrh can also be combined with goldenseal for additional benefits. Here’s how to get rid of ringworm with myrrh.
- Combine 8 to 10 drops of myrrh oil with ½ cup of water.
- Using a cotton ball, apply the mixture directly to the ringworm.
- Follow this treatment 2 to 3 times daily until the infection is gone.
If goldenseal is also available, you can create a paste by combining equal parts of goldenseal and myrrh. Apply this paste three times a day to treat the skin.
The papain and chymopapain enzymes in green or raw papaya help eliminate dead layers of the skin, which stops the growth and spreading of the infection. It also alleviates itching and inflammation while destroying the fungus present on the skin. Papaya or raw papaya is powerful against ringworm but gentle enough to be used on children and pets.
- Grind raw papaya and make a paste.
- Apply this paste directly to the affected areas.
- Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes before washing off with water.
- Follow this treatment up to three times a day.
You can also rub a slice of raw papaya on the skin and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and repeat at least two times daily.
13. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil has been shown to work like antibiotics and antifungal treatments. It contains powerful components that can help in clearing up infections, including ringworm. Oregano oil provides a quick and gentle healing process. You can use it alone or combine it with other essential oils for additional benefits and faster results.
- Add 5 to 10 drops of pre-diluted oregano oil in a cup of water. Stir well and drink this mixture 3 times a day.
- Another option is to combine 3 to 5 drops of oregano oil, 1 to 2 drops of wild thyme oil, 2 to 3 teaspoons of sweet almond oil, and 3 to 5 drops of rosemary oil. Stir well and use a cotton ball to apply directly to the ringworm. Repeat this treatment 3 to 4 times a day to clear the infection.
14. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract contains antioxidant, antiviral, and antibacterial properties that can help treat a wide range of health conditions. It can also boost the immune system and also provides soothing effects when applied topically. It can inhibit the growth and spread of fungal infections, making it one of the best natural remedies for ringworm.
- Mix 4 to 5 drops of grapefruit seed extract with 3 tablespoons of warm water.
- Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture directly to the ringworm.
- Follow this treatment three times daily until the infection has subsided.
If you have sensitive skin or you want to use this treatment on a child or pet, you can add more water to dilute the mixture further.
Honey is also known to be a good home remedy for a variety of things. Aside from the fact that it is a natural sweetener, it is often used for skin problems. Your ringworm is one problem that can easily be solved with the use of honey due to its anti-fungal properties.
- Apply raw honey on the area of the skin affected by ringworm. Do remember that in choosing the right honey to place, look for raw and unfiltered honey. This is the best variety that will work.
- You may choose to add honey to beeswax to make it more effective in fighting the ringworm fungal infection.
16. Jojoba Oil
What makes this home remedy highly effective in treating ringworms is the wax esters. This is known to be highly effective in getting rid of several skin infections such as ringworm.
- To make jojoba oil even more effective, add a bit of lavender oil.
- Apply on the affected area of the skin.
- Aside from effectively curing ringworm, this is also known to have a soothing effect on the skin so that the ringworm will not be too itchy.
If you do not have ACV at home, then you can use regular vinegar. Vinegar is acidic and can effectively kill the fungi causing ringworm. Remember that this may not be the best option if you have sensitive skin, as your skin may get irritated.
- Mix vinegar and salt until you have a paste.
- Leave on the skin for not more than 10 minutes.
- You can rinse this off with warm water.
- You will start to see some results within a week.
There are many things that ginger can do not only for ringworm but also for the whole body. If you have ever suffered from having a sore throat, ginger tea may be one of the things you have prepared to make your throat feel better.
You can also use ginger to get rid of your ringworm. This is due to ginger’s anti-fungal properties that can effectively kill the fungi causing the ringworm found in various parts of your body.
- Boil ginger in water for a few minutes.
- Remove from heat and let ginger cool down for a while.
- Apply on the affected area of the skin.
You can also take ginger tea three times a day. The components of ginger will still affect your skin.
19. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver consists of ingredients that will help eliminate microorganisms that may be causing the fungus to thrive on your skin.
- Take note that colloidal silver can be found in two forms, namely liquid form or gel form. Choose the one that you think will be most beneficial for you.
- You can apply this directly on your skin about 2x a day. You may need to apply it more depending on the severity of the ringworm.
- Remember that ringworms can take a long time before they heal completely. Even if you start to see the ringworm getting smaller or drier, continue applying the colloidal silver on the affected area before the ringworm completely goes away.
What do you normally use basil for? Many people use basil for cooking, but this can be used for a lot of home remedies as well. Basil has some medicinal properties that can effectively get rid of the ringworm on your skin.
- You need to crush the basil leaves to make the juices of the basil come out.
- Apply directly to the affected areas.
- You may do this about 2 – 3 times a day for the best results.
- Remember to continue doing this remedy until ringworm heals completely.
Ringworm is a fungal infection that can be difficult to eliminate. It may take a few days to weeks before you completely get rid of the problem. With regular application of natural remedies or antifungal medications, you can successfully clear the infection.
During treatments, avoid scratching your skin and keep your skin dry. Drink plenty of water and eat more raw vegetables. Avoid sugar, white grains, and alcohol. If your skin does not improve within two weeks, consult a dermatologist immediately.