Ringworm is a fungal infection that appears on the skin, anywhere over the body.
Ringworm is a fungal infection that appears on the skin, anywhere over the body.

Medical treatment:

  1. Over the counter (OTC) antifungal creams, ointment, or lotions, such as Clotrimazole and antifungal powders, can be applied to the affected area 3 times a day.
  2. Prescription-strength antifungal lotions, creams, or ointments may be advised by the doctor if OTC products don’t help.
  3. Antifungal creams and ointments containing anti-inflammatory medication like steroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammations and itching. However, one must take care because in some cases, steroids may flare up the fungus.
  4. Antifungal pills may be prescribed for severe cases, which are resistant to other forms of treatment.
  5. Antihistamine pills may be advised to help reduce the itching.

Natural remedies

It is advised to consult with a doctor before using natural remedies. Natural remedies alone may not always help to cure ringworms. They may be used along with medical treatment. If the rash worsens, it is advised to visit a doctor right away.

  • Soap and water

Keeping the affected area clean is important. The affected area can be cleaned using a simple over the counter antiseptic soap and water. The area should be dried because moisture can worsen the condition by promoting fungal growth. Cleansing with soap and water should be done before applying other treatments.
 

Tea tree oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Tea tree oil can be effective in treating ringworm, and it soothes the skin. Tea tree oil may be applied to the affected area directly. Patients with sensitive skin can dilute tea tree oil with other oils like jojoba oil and coconut oil.
 

  • Oregano oil

Oregano oil is an essential oil and a powerful antifungal oil compared to many other commercial products. They are effective in treating fungal skin infections, including athlete’s foot and ringworms. This may be applied 3 times a day.
 

Research has shown that licorice has strong antimicrobial properties, and licorice extract is beneficial as an alternative treatment for fungal infections. 8 teaspoons of licorice powder can be mixed with one cup of water and boiled. Once the mixture cools, it may be applied to the affected area and allowed to dry. The paste may be washed off after 10 to 15 minutes. This may be repeated 2 times a day.
 

  • Coconut oil

Coconut oil has both microbial and antifungal properties and is effective against various species of fungi. Coconut oil can be mixed with tea tree oil. Coconut oil is an ideal treatment for scalp ringworm. It nourishes the scalp and hair. Warm coconut oil may also be used. Coconut oil may be reapplied 3 times a day over the affected area.
 

  • Consuming turmeric

Turmeric has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Applying turmeric over the affected area is usually not advised because it can change the characteristics and appearance of the rash, making it difficult for the doctor to diagnose. Consuming freshly ground turmeric or turmeric spice mixed with water or hot tea every day helps in boosting immunity.
 

  • Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has strong antimicrobial properties. Diluted apple cider vinegar can safely be applied directly over the affected area. If the application causes itching or redness, it must be washed off immediately.
 

  • Aloe vera

Aloe vera helps in both bacterial and fungal infections. It also soothes the affected area and has a cooling effect on the skin. It can also help reduce itching, redness, inflammation, and discomfort. Aloe vera gel can be applied directly to the affected area and reapplied any number of times.

Lifestyle remedies 

The following steps can help resolve ringworm infection faster and reduce the risk of recurrence of ringworm infection:

  • Maintaining hygiene: Regular washing of hands with an antiseptic handwash or using a sanitizer. Showering after playing sports, using the pool, or using the gym is important to maintain hygiene.
  • Keeping the body cool, dry, and avoiding excessive sweating
  • Wearing, light breathable clothing
  • Avoiding wearing wet, damped, or sweaty clothes and shoes for a long time
  • Wearing washed, well dried clothes and socks every time
  • Wearing flip flops or any footwear in public showers and public spaces like the beach
  • Maintaining the hygiene of pets by appropriate grooming methods
  • Avoiding touching animals that may be infected
  • Avoiding sharing of personal items, such as clothing, towels, hairbrushes, sports gear, utensils, with others

What is ringworm?

Ringworms can be caused by over 40 different types of fungi, some of which are Microsporum, Trichophyton, and Epidermophyton. Ringworm is a fungal infection that appears on the skin, anywhere over the body. It's usually characterized by a red, circular rash and the center of the rash usually appears clear. This is accompanied by intense itching. The condition is called ringworm because the rash looks like a ring. Ringworm infection is usually limited to the skin surface and rarely spreads to the deeper layers of the skin or causes complications. Ringworm is contagious and spreads through direct contact with contaminated surfaces. With appropriate treatment, most cases of ringworm clear up within two weeks.

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Medically Reviewed on 9/24/2020
References
https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/what-you-should-know-about-ringworm#1

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1091473-overview

https://cmr.asm.org/content/cmr/19/1/50.full.pdf

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