Ringworm: Symptoms, Prevention, and Cure

A lady applying body lotion

What Is Ringworm?

Ringworm is a common skin infection which occurs as a result of a fungus, Trichophyton Rubrum, which may be on just any part of the body.
Ringworm infection is characterized by red, itchy, and scaly round patches which give some discomfort. The infection spreads through physical contact, or by sharing clothing with affected persons. Pets also spread ringworms among themselves, and with humans.

There are natural remedies you can use to treat ringworm, and we will be discussing some of them. Are you ready? Leggo!

11 Natural Remedies for Ringworm

Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil is potent at treating a number of skin conditions, ringworm inclusive. To use it, simply mix it with some carrier oil, and apply it on the affected areas twice daily with some cotton ball. You`ll see improvements after some days.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains six antiseptic agents which make it potent at combating ringworm. Its gel also contains a healing and soothing component which soothes affected skins and clears out the irritation and itch. To use aloe vera to treat ringworm, simply get some fresh gel from organic aloe vera plant, and apply it on affected areas at least thrice daily.

Soap and Warm Water

To avoid the spread of ringworm to other parts of the body, it is vital to maintain some level of hygiene. Washing the body at least twice a day with soap and warm water is quite helpful. After the bath, carefully dab the ringworm patches with a clean napkin.


Turmeric isn`t only useful in the kitchen; it is also used to combat a number of health conditions. Here, its antimicrobial quality is what makes it stand out.
Simply make a thick paste with turmeric and coconut oil or water, and apply topically on the affected areas. Wash it off gently after it dries up, and apply it again till it heals the ringworm.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Grapefruit seed extract reduces the redness that comes with ringworm infection.
Simply mix equal portions of grapefruit seed extract with water, and use a cotton ball to apply it on the skin. After some time, clean the areas where you applied the mixture with some water, then re-apply until you achieve the desired result.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains fatty acids that destroy the cell membranes of infections, hence completely eliminates them. Coconut oil is effective at treating ringworm, especially on the scalp. You may apply it thrice a day to hasten the treatment.

Oregano Oil

This oil hinders the spread of ringworm, treats it, and prevents its reoccurrence. Apply it twice a day to enjoy its soothing benefit.

Apple Cider Vinegar

A picture of apples and some apple cider vinegarApple cider vinegar is bursting with antifungal properties, making it perfect for combating ringworm. To apply it, simply soak some cotton ball in it, and wipe the affected areas of your skin with the cotton ball. You may apply it at least thrice daily.

Tea Tree Oil

Simply mix tea tree oil with coconut oil and apply on the skin thrice daily to combat ringworm infection. This mixture is also potent at treating a number of other skin infections.


Make garlic paste with coconut oil or olive oil, and apply it on affected skin areas. Cover it with gauze, and then rinse it off after two hours. You may do this twice daily.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil gets rid of ringworm and hinders its reoccurrence. It also soothes the skin of its accompanying redness and itch.

Note that in some rare cases, the natural remedies discussed here may not suffice. Such cases include:

  • severe ringworm infection
  • ringworm in the hair
  • constantly reoccurring ringworm

In such cases, your dermatologist may prescribe a ringworm medication such as ketoconazole, some antibiotics, and/or antifungal pills.

Symptoms of Ringworm

Contrary to what many think, ringworm is actually not caused by a worm; it is a fungal infection that is located on the surface of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin).
There are a number of things that could directly bring about ringworm. To ascertain its actual cause, dermatologists do some skin scraping and evaluation under a microscope. This guides them in determining the type of treatment they should administer. How do you know if someone has ringworm? Let`s see the symptoms.

  • Ringworm is characterized by red, scaly patches or bumps on the skin, which after some time, appear like rings with scales and bumps. This comes with some itch, sting, burn, and discomfort.
  • Ringworm on the scalp first appears like a small sore, and then it begins to look patchy and scaly, more like dandruff. It could cause fallout of hair and partial baldness in affected areas. It also makes the scalp swollen, red, and tender.
  • Ringworm can also cause a pus-filled mass called kerion. There may be some obviously swollen lymph nodes on the neck and/or at the back of the head.
  • Ringworm can affect fingernails or toenails. Affected areas become white or yellow, thick, and brittle.

Types of Ringworm infections

A picture of a person`s fingersThere are four major types of ringworm infections that affect different parts of the body. Let`s discuss them.

Tinea corporis

It is also called body ringworm, and it affects the skin. It spreads through the scales of the infected person.

Tinea capitis

This affects the scalp, eyelashes, and eyebrows, and it is caused by fungal growth in the hair follicle.

Tinea cruris

This type of ringworm is more common with men. It affects the groin region, inner thighs, and scrotum.

Tinea unguium

This usually affects the nails and could lead to onychomycosis (nail fungus).

How to Prevent Ringworm

We`ve said so much about treating ringworm, however, prevention, we say, is better than cure. How exactly can we prevent ringworm?

  • Shampoo regularly, especially after haircuts.
  • Keep your skin and feet clean and dry.
  • Avoid sharing clothing, towels, hair accessories, hats, and other personal care items.
  • Keep personal items clean at all times, and dry them after use.
  • Have your footwear on at lockers, gyms, and pools.
  • Try not to touch pets that have bald spots.

Hygiene Tips for Treating Ringworm

As you adopt any of the natural remedies discussed, it is important that you practice these hygiene tips to perfect the treatment and prevent a reoccurrence.

  • Keep your skin clean and dry.
  • Wash sheets and nightclothes every day during treatment.
  • Don’t wear clothing that irritates and rubs against affected parts of the body.

Some Ringworm Facts

  • Ringworm can appear on the scalp, beard, body, feet, or groins.
  • Ringworm can affect people of all ages and skin types.
  • Artificial nails increase the risk of nail ringworms: water accumulates under them and creates an environment where bacteria thrive.
  • Barber`s itch is the type of ringworm found in the beards; it`s a fungal infection that causes swelling and itching on the beard and neck.
  • Athlete`s foot is a form of ringworm also known as tinea pedis.
  • Ringworm is prevalent in warm, moist environments.
  • Cats are more likely to carry the ringworm fungus than dogs.

Now That You Know…

Whether it`s you or someone around you that`s infected, it`s good to know that you can`t be clueless on what to do to improve the condition. It is necessary to deal with ringworm early, to avoid a worsened condition for the individual, and its spread to others.