Ringworm is a common and contagious skin infection most commonly caused by the fungus Trichophyton rubrum. The fungus thrives in warm, moist areas and can infect several areas of the skin from the scalp to the feet (where it’s known as athlete’s foot) to the groin (better known as “jock itch”) and everything in between. Ringworm infections generally result in red, itchy, scaly round patches on the skin, which are not only unsightly but can cause great discomfort.
Because ringworm is a particularly contagious and stubborn infection, it can be hard to eliminate (particularly when it has affected the scalp, fingernails, or toenails). But before resorting to harsh chemical treatments, there are several effective natural home remedies for ringworm worth trying. When treating ringworm at home, be sure to keep the affected area clean and dry between treatments, avoid any additional irritants, and be sure to wash all towels, sheets, and items of clothing that have come into contact with the infection. As always, starting any home remedy for ringworm, be sure to consult a physician for accurate diagnosis and monitoring.
The First 5 Home Treatments for Ringworm
Garlic is a bit of a wonder food. When ingested, garlic is known as a natural remedy for a host of health concerns. Garlic has been known to lessen the severity and duration of the common cold, naturally reduce blood pressure, and lower bad cholesterol among many other benefits. But garlic can also be used topically as a natural treatment for ringworm, which makes it the first in our list of home remedies for ringworm. It’s the naturally occurring chemical compounds allicin and ajoene that are found in garlic whose antibacterial and anti-fungal properties make it a powerhouse against skin infections like ringworm. In fact, one study found a topical ajoene cream more effective in treating athlete’s foot than a leading over-the-counter medicated cream.1
How to Use Garlic for Ringworm
We recommend starting with fresh garlic cloves. To use, simply make a paste of crushed or mince garlic and apply it to the affected area. You may add olive oil to the crushed garlic to get the desired consistency. With the paste covering the affected area in a thin layer, we suggest covering the area in an adhesive bandage or gauze and medical tape. Once covered, leave the paste in place for 1-2 hours. Once the treatment time is up, rinse with warm water to remove. For best results, treat the ringworm-affected area with this fresh garlic paste up to two or three times a day for up to two weeks. Limit each treatment to two hours at maximum as longer skin exposure to garlic can result in localized skin irritation similar to that of a burn. Discontinue use if you experience redness, swelling, or discomfort.
Ringworm Remedy 2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Like garlic, apple cider vinegar (now increasingly referred to as ACV and a home remedy powerhouse) is known to have numerous health benefits. It has become a staple in most natural remedy medicine cabinets. We always keep a bottle of organic, raw apple cider vinegar with the mother on hand. Most of the health benefits of ACV are attributed to the acetic acid in the vinegar, which is known to effectively treat a range of skin concerns including ringworm due to its anti-fungal properties.
How to Use ACV for Ringworm
To use ACV to treat mild cases of ringworm, first test the ACV on a small area of your skin that is not infected. The reason for this “patch test” is that ACV is very acidic and has been known to cause redness and irritation in some skin types, but you won’t know if you skin is sensitive to the vinegar unless you’ve tested it.
If you find your skin tolerates the ACV, we suggest applying a damp cloth, cotton ball, or sponge gauze soaked with apple cider vinegar to ringworm-infected skin at least twice a day for 30-minutes each application. While applying ACV to a ringworm infection may cause a slight stinging sensation at first that with dull with time and exposure, if you find that the treatment is too harsh, you can dilute the ACV with some water.
You may begin to see results of your apple cider vinegar ringworm treatment as early as the first two weeks, but we suggest continuing twice daily treatments for at least another week after symptoms have disappeared to protect against reoccurrence.
Ringworm Remedy 3. Tea Tree Oil
As it has been employed for decades by the Australians, this oil is a favorite ingredient for several cosmetics including shampoos and hair oils. In addition, it has a lengthy history of helping to treat cuts, burns, and infections.
You can use this twice per day by making use of a remedy that contains as much as 50% of tea tree oil (dilute the rest with water). An improvement should be seen by you after approximately four weeks.
Ringworm Remedy 4. Turmeric
This seasoning actually has some pretty great natural antibiotic qualities. Making use of a juice extractor, apply fresh turmeric juice onto the areas that are affected until you see the problem go away.
Ringworm Remedy 5. Vinegar and Salt
Form a paste of vinegar and salt and apply it directly onto the ringworm. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Those who have used this approach to handle ringworm say it tends to take about 7 days or so for the illness to dissipate.
The Final 6 Natural Treatments for Ringworm
Ringworm Remedy 6. Aloe Vera
Most well-known for managing sunburns, aloe vera is an all natural remedy for ringworm and countless other skin problems. Apply the juice straight to the afflicted skin till the illness disappears.
Ringworm Remedy 7. Colloidal Silver
An antibiotic that is completely natural and destroys hundreds of dangerous microorganisms, colloidal silver could be used topically to eliminate ringworm. Basically spray or rub (depending on whether you have a gel or a liquid) colloidal silver onto the fungal infection twice a day until it is completely gone.
Ringworm Remedy 8. Lavender Oil
Moving down the list of available home treatments for ringworm, lavender oil is yet another compound with powerful anti-fungal effects. Studies have shown how the oil doesn’t simply stop fungi from developing, but it actually kills fungal infections including ringworm, athlete’s foot, and Candidiasis.
Ringworm Remedy 9. Lemongrass Tea
Drink a glass of lemongrass tea 3 times per day. You should also apply the used tea bags directly to the areas that are affected while you’re drinking your delicious tea.
Ringworm Remedy 10. Myrrh
Myrrh is a great antifungal treatment. Create a paste by mixing equal components of myrrh and goldenseal with a small amount of water, and use it 3 times daily.
Ringworm Remedy 11. Olive Leaf
As the last home remedy on our list olive-leaf infusion has antifungal qualities and aids to boost the body’s immune system. Take this one 3 times per day (250 mg) until the problem subsides.
- Ledezma E, Marcano K, Jorquera A, et al. Efficacy of ajoene in the treatment of tinea pedis: A double-blind and comparative study with terbinafine. J Am Acad Dermatol 2000;43:829-32. ↩