9+ Home Remedies for Ringworm That Work for Humans

Ringworm is a highly contagious infection caused by a fungus, something that is incredibly hard to get rid of, especially if the infection occurs on the scalp. Although there are some over-the-counter and prescription anti-fungal medications available that can help you treat it, there are some home remedies that will work as well! A note of warning though, some of these remedies may cause pain or irritation when applied to the affected site.

How to Ensure that a Person is Suffering from Ringworm?

Before trying any of the natural remedies for ringworm you need to make sure that the afflicted person is indeed suffering from a ringworm infection. A ringworm infection typically has the following characteristics:

  • Initially the infected area will look like a red, round and swollen patch of skin, not too different from a mosquito bite.
  • As times wear on, the swollen area will move towards the edges of the infected area and the center area will gradually become paler. The edges will progressively become more scaly as well and the infected area will start looking like a ring, hence the term.
  • Different people have different reactions to this infection. For some it is only an insignificant annoyance with a minor, albeit persistent itch. For others, the infected area will become extremely red and itchy, which can get progressively worse if not dealt with right away.

Ringworm is one disease that has been extremely common across multiple cultures across human history, as a result of which people have stumbled upon some highly effective natural remedies for the same. In this article, we have rounded up 9 of the best home remedies for ringworm.

#1: Apple Cider Vinegar:

Why does it work?

Apple cider vinegar is a staple in many kitchens around the world. It is commonly used as a salad dressing, which if ingested regularly can prove to be a natural cure for high blood pressure. It is a home remedy for ringworm as well! This is because apple cider vinegar has a high concentration of acetic acid, which when applied topically on the afflicted area changes the pH level of the skin. This makes the skin inhospitable for the fungus, thus killing it off gradually!

Please note however, that this treatment may not be suitable for everyone, especially if someone is overly sensitive to apple cider vinegar. You need to do a very simple test to sense the person’s sensitivity towards it. Just apply a small quantity to a clean infection-free area of the skin and check the person’s reaction to it. If there is just an initial stinging sensation and that’s it, then this can be used to treat the ringworm infection in that person. However, if the person feels a burning sensation that stays for a significant while after application, then acid cider vinegar may not be the ideal remedy for that person.

How to apply the treatment:

There are a several different ways to use apple cider vinegar to treat ringworm in humans. Some of the most common methods are:

  • With a cotton ball: Take a cotton ball and dip it in apple cider vinegar and then dab the cotton ball gently on the afflicted area. There will be some initial stinging sensation, which you need to motor through. This needs to be repeated about 3 to 4 times during the course of the day.
  • With a hand towel: You can take a hand towel, dip it in apple cider vinegar and leave it on the afflicted area for about 30 minutes. This needs to be done at least twice a day.

There is anecdotal evidence that the above methods will get rid of the infection in anywhere between 1 to 4 weeks! However, if that sounds like too long, then we would like to point out that we came across a few testimonials that makes use of a copper penny in addition to the apple cider vinegar that apparently gets rid of the infection in just a couple of days. There are a couple of different purported ways to integrate the copper penny in the treatment:

  • Using a copper penny in conjunction with the cotton ball: Some dip both the cotton ball and the copper penny in apple cider vinegar. They then place the penny in the center of the infection, the cotton swab or ball all around it and then use Band-Aids or strips of medical tape to hold it in place.
  • Using just a copper penny: Some do not use the cotton ball at all and just uses the copper penny! They usually dip the penny in apple cider vinegar for 24 hours, then take it out, put the penny on the afflicted area for a few minutes and then put the penny back into the vinegar after that. This is usually repeated 3 to 4 times during the day as well.

People claim that the above treatment gets rid of the ringworm within days instead of weeks.

#2: Tea Tree Oil:

Used for decades by the Australian aboriginals, this oil is a favored ingredient for many beauty products, such as shampoos and hair oils. It also has a long history of healing cuts, burns, and infections.

Why does it work?

A paper published in the August 2002 issue of the Australasian Journal of Dermatology comprehensively proved that tea tree oil is an effective treatment for tinea pedis, which is essentially a ringworm infection on the foot, most commonly known as athlete’s foot. However, for this remedy to be effective, the tea tree oil (extracted from the tea tree or Melaleuca alternifolia) needs to be 100% pure, which can be found in any health food store. The natural germicidal and fungicidal properties of tea tree oil make it an effective cure for ringworm.

How to apply the treatment:

Take a cotton ball and put a few drops of tea tree oil and then apply the cotton ball gently on the afflicted area. This needs to be repeated about 3 to 4 times during the course of the day. Feeling an initial stinging sensation is very normal, however it should not be too severe.

If the burning sensation on the application of the tea tree oil proves to be a little too much, then it is suggested that you use the tea tree oil in a diluted format. The accepted ratio is 1 ½ tbsp. of tea tree oil in a cup of warm water. Please note that when we use the term “warm water” anywhere in this article, the water must be warm to the touch and should not be boiling hot under any circumstance!

Not only will the topical application of tea tree oil reduce the speed at which the ringworm infection spreads, it would also eliminate the infection in about 3 to 4 weeks. However, if there is no improvement in the condition during this period, then we strongly recommend that you consult a qualified medical professional!

#3: Turmeric:

Why does it work?

Turmeric has natural antibiotic and anti-bacterial properties that helps cure several different skin conditions, including ringworms.

How to apply the treatment:

  • Take raw turmeric; put it in a blender to make a thick paste. You can also add honey to it, in a 1:1 ratio. Please note that adding honey to the paste is recommended, but it is not mandatory.
  • Apply this paste on the afflicted area. If you are indoors, then you can allow the area to dry naturally. If you need to head outside, then we recommend that you cover the area with cotton or sterile gauze and use medical tapes to hold the poultice in place.
  • If you have added honey to the turmeric powder, then you can ingest a part of it orally as well, which will help you get rid of the infection at a comparatively faster rate. However the oral ingestion needs to happen in conjunction with the topical application!

As turmeric has an unsightly yellow pigment that can seep through the cotton or the dressing that you have applied, it is recommended that you only apply it to ringworm infections on the face, neck or the scalp region if you are not planning to head outside.

#4: Salt and Vinegar:

Why does it work?

Fungus needs moisture to thrive. If you cut off the source of moisture, then all fungi, even those that cause the ringworm infection in humans will be forced to die out. When you mix salt and vinegar, you are combining a very strong astringent (salt) with a natural anti-bacterial solution (vinegar), against which the ringworm infection does not stand a chance!

How to apply the treatment:

  • Take 2 tbsp. of vinegar and add 1 tbsp. of salt to it. Mix it thoroughly to create a paste and apply this to the afflicted area at least three times a day. This should get rid of the ringworm infection in about a week.

What if you don’t have vinegar?

Well you could always head to the store and get some! However, if that is not an option, then the powerful astringent properties of salt can be used to get rid of the ringworm infection, however it will take a bit longer than the highly potent salt and vinegar mix. There are a couple of ways to do this:

  • Take about half a cup of salt and add it to a pitcher of warm water. Immerse the afflicted area into this mixture and let it stay immersed for about 30 minutes.
  • The above home remedy is not practical if the ringworm infection is at an inconvenient body part, such as the groin, penis, skin close to vagina, anus, face or the scalp. In such a case, it is suggested that you take salt and add a few drops of water to create a granular paste. Ladies will notice that the texture is similar to that of a cosmetic scrub. Now take a washcloth, apply the paste on the washcloth and then rub it gently into the afflicted area. This should be done once a day for about 20 minutes.

#5: Natural Aloe Vera:

Aloe Vera is world renowned as a treatment for skin burn. However it is a little known fact that it is also a highly effective herbal treatment for ringworm as well!

Why does it work?

There are a couple of reasons why Aloe Vera is an effective treatment for ringworm:

  • The Aloe Vera resin cools and soothes the skin, which provides with significant relief from the irritation and the itchiness. Yes, this is the same characteristic that provides relief from sunburn as well!
  • Aloe Vera also has significant anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties as well, which can obviously have a significant effect on the ringworm infection. It is safe to use on genital areas in both males and females.

How to apply the treatment:

To get best results, instead of purchasing cosmetic Aloe Vera solution, try to acquire some Aloe Vera leaves. You then need to undergo the following steps:

  • Slice the aloe leaves along the midriff and then take it apart.
  • Scrape out the gel from within the leaf.
  • Apply this gel to the inflamed area and leave it there for about 30 minutes and then rinse it off.
  • Make sure that this is repeated at least three times a day

#6: Raw Papaya:

Why does it work?

The two key ingredients of raw papaya are Vitamin A and an enzyme called papain. Vitamin A is an anti-oxidant, which helps kill the fungus that is causing the infection and papain helps in fortifying your skin and prevents you from getting recurrent infections.

How to apply the treatment:

There are several ways to conduct this treatment. Some of the most common and the most effective methods are:

  • Take a raw papaya and slice it into pieces that would be large enough to cover the infection. Now place these pieces on the infected area for at least 10 minutes. However, this probably will not be an effective ringworm treatment for kids because for this to be effective, someone needs to sit or lay still for extended periods of time, not something most kids would probably be good at!
  • You can also stick pieces of raw papaya in the blender to create a paste and then apply the paste on the infected area for about 20 minutes.
  • Another innovative treatment is to create a paste with papaya seeds and apple cider vinegar and then apply that on the infected area. However, as mentioned earlier in this article, this will probably not be a good idea to use on someone who is a little too sensitive to apple cider vinegar.

No matter how you incorporate raw papaya into your ringworm treatment regimen, make sure you rinse off the area with warm water once you are done. If not, the residue or resin from the papaya will make the area sticky and will make you feel a little uncomfortable.

#7: Nail Polish Remover:

Yes, this is not exactly an herbal or homeopathic remedy for ringworm, as it has been the theme of this article so far, however using nail polish remover is also a very effective homemade remedy for ringworm in humans.

Why does it work?

Irrespective of how ridiculous it sounds, but nail polish actually asphyxiates the fungi that are causing the infection. A coat of nail polish cuts off the supply of oxygen to the fungi, thus killing it!

How to apply the treatment:

  • Make sure you have several double-sided Q-Tips ready to apply this treatment. Just dip the dry end of the Q-Tip into the bottle of nail polish remover and apply it to the afflicted area. Make sure that you don’t ever dip the same end of the Q-tip more than once, as it may contaminate the nail polish remover.
  • After about 8 hours, remove the nail polish remover with a washcloth or towel and then apply the nail polish remover again. The ringworm infection will disappear within a few days.

This ringworm treatment is not recommended for kids because the nail polish remover does cause a stinging sensation when it is applied to the afflicted area. Legs, arms, stomach and back are common sites for the application of this remedy.

#8: Vegetable Juice:

As described in the section where we were considering turmeric as a cure, besides using topical skin treatments, you can also ingest some nutrients that can help you fight the ringworm infection as well.

Why does it work?

Vitamin A is known as a natural fungicide. Hence overloading your body in the short-run with Vitamin A will help you get rid of the ringworm affliction in no time!

How to apply the treatment:

Just pick a couple of different vegetables that are really rich in Vitamin A and blend them into a smoothie. Spinach and carrots are the most popular choices!

#9: Coconut Oil:

Coconut oil is almost a magical elixir with a host of different benefits. Little do people know that it is also a natural and effective home remedy to treat ringworm in humans. As significant chunks of population all around the world use coconut oil as hair oil or even a body lotion, it is probably one of the best resources available to treat ringworm afflictions on the scalp or even on the face or other sensitive body areas!

Why does it work?

Coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), with lauric acid being one of the key natural components. Lauric acid is known to have strong antimicrobial properties that will help you get rid of the infection real quick!

How to apply the treatment:

The treatment is really easy and pain free, thus making it particularly useful in treating ringworm infection in children. Just take a healthy quantity of organic extra virgin coconut oil and gently massage the afflicted area for a few minutes. Make sure you repeat this about 4 times during the course of the day!

Other Precautions

The most important part of curing ringworm at home is to keep the area clean and dry. Be certain to take a shower or bathe regularly and dry the affected area completely. Although it may be uncomfortable, using a hair dryer is a good way to make sure that area gets completely dry. However, make sure that the dryer is in a low or medium setting so that you do not heat the area too much!

Avoid being in contact with people and animals that have ringworm because it will be more difficult to rid yourself of the infection. If someone in your family has recently suffered from a bout of ringworm, it is a good idea to clean your house thoroughly with bleach and wash all bedding, towels, and clothing in hot water and antifungal cleaner to prevent the infection from recurring or infecting others.

When to See a Doctor

If the condition has reached a advanced stage, it will not respond to home remedies. Thus it is better to try home remedies for ringworm at very early stages of the infection. If the afflicted person has been suffering for a while or if any of the above treatments have not had a significant impact within a week, then it is strongly suggested that you seek the help of a qualified physician!

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