Ringworm is a skin disease caused by fungi and can be prevented.
Is it contagious?
Ringworm is very contagious and can spread directly from one person to another also from the soil or from animals.
Hot and humid areas also create an environment where fungi can thrive, such as public showers and locker rooms.
Common Symptoms of Ringworm
The defining symptom of ringworm is a red, circular (and possibly itchy) rash. Generally, ringworm attacks your torso, legs or arms. However, it can appear on specific parts such as your foot.
Treatments for Ringworm
Generally, treatment for ringworm involves using antifungal creams or oral medication like Lamisil or Mycospor.
The advantage of natural remedies is that they are safe and have a very low risk of side effects.
Top four Natural Home Remedies
Apple Cider Vinegar
For the best results, apply undiluted apple cider vinegar on the infected area with a cotton ball and repeat the process three to five times a day until the rashes are gone.
Create a paste using a combination of crushed garlic cloves and olive oil, then apply it on your spots as follows – over your spots with gauze for two hours, and then rinse with warm water. Repeat these processes three times a day for three weeks or until spots are gone.
Create a solution by mixing 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with a few drops of water or aquas cream. Spread the mixture on your spots and leave it there for 10 minutes, then rinse well afterwards. Note that turmeric will temporarily stain your skin but it will fade away.
Cut a papaya into several pieces and then rub those on your skin or you can crush the papaya to create a paste that you can leave on your rashes for around 20 minutes. Wash the spots with warm water afterwards. Repeat a few times a day and continue until all spots are gone.
Antifungal Oils Effective Against Ringworm
If the methods above did not help, you can also apply antifungal oils directly on your spots. Use them with caution, as some oils are strong and may irritate your skin when used without a carrier oil.
I recommend that you test your preferred oil on a healthy patch of skin first before applying it to the infected area. If your skin becomes irritated, you may need to dilute your antifungal oil with carrier oil like jojoba oil or warm water.
- Lavender oil: mix four drops of lavender essential oil and 1 teaspoon of carrier oil
- Calendula oil: mix four drops of lavender essential oil and 1 teaspoon of carrier oil
- Tea tree oil: mix four drops of lavender essential oil and 1 teaspoon of carrier oil
- Coconut oil: apply coconut oil liberally on the affected area three to four times a day
Treatment and prevention of ringworm in children
- Always avoid sharing clothes such as shirts and jackets
- Always avoid sharing accessories such as combs and hats
- Always wear clean clothes everyday
- Always wear sandals or slippers while walking around public pools and showers
- Always refrain from touching a pet that has ringworm.
Below are some important house-cleaning tips
- Spray your shower or bath with white vinegar.
- Never share towels with other people to minimize spreading and hang them in the sun daily to dry. Change towels regularly.
- Change your sheets once a week and wash them in hot water, at least 60 degrees Celsiusto effectively kill fungi.
- Your carpets can be a breeding ground for fungi. Spray your carpet with a natural antifungal spray and then use an effective carpet cleaner and hot water to further kill the fungi. Use vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters. Avoid carpeting altogether in favour of less toxic flooring surfaces (like hardwood, bamboo or stone/tile) if possible.
Other general tips to prevent ringworm
- Always avoid sharing your clothing.
- Always wear slipslops when in public locker rooms or bathing areas.
- Dry yourself properly after showering.
If you suspect ringworm treat it immediately and if it does not clear up, consult with your Integrative Healthcare Practitioner.
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