Ringworm is a common skin infection. It is caused by a fungus and characterized by a rash that appears anywhere in the skin including the groin, feet and scalp. In medical terms, ringworm is termed as tinea. It is not a serious skin condition and can be treated efficiently using home remedies and medicated creams. However, ringworm is one of the most contagious infections. It is common in children and can affect anyone because it spreads easily among people. Many people often that it is associated with worms. Ringworm is an infectious fungal infection. It occurs when tinea, a type of fungus found in human body grows and multiplies onto the skin including the beard and is known as tinea barbae, the body-tinea corporis, groin area-tinea cruris or jock itch, scalp tinea capitis and tinea pedis or athletes’ foot affects the feet. It thrives in moist areas and more likely to occur following an injury on the scalp, nails and skin.
Causes of Ringworm
There is a misconception that ringworm is caused by a worm. The truth is that it is caused by a fungus that grows in the human body. The fungus lives and grows on top layer of the skin and the scalp or hair. This is why an infected person will have patches on the scalp. Fungus will often thrive and spread enormously in a moist area including swimming pools, locker rooms, warm areas and skin folds including the armpits.
It is highly contagious and this is one of the reasons as to why it spreads easily from one person to the other. When you have skin to skin contact with an infected animal or person, you are bound to contract the infection. It also spreads in the swimming pool, when you share towels, sports gear and other types of clothing.
Symptoms of Ringworm
Symptoms of ringworm may vary from one individual to the other. However, a rash on the infected area is a typical symptom and is common in all patients whether young or old. Other symptoms include
- Itchiness on the affected area
- Red, raised and scaly patches on the skin or scalp. The patch can ooze or blister with time
- Patches with sharply defined edges on the skin
- Red patches that appear on the skin. they will always be redder that your skin tone and will appear like a ring
- Bald patches on your hair
- If ringworm affect your nail, they will crumble, appear thick and discolored and will have a whitish thickening
- Jock itch will appear on the skin fold especially on the groin and will often spread to the inner buttocks or thighs
- Ringworm on your hands will appear like athletes foot. Your palm will appear scaly, dry and thick. The skin between infected fingers will often be moist and will have open sores.
- Itchy scalp, hair loss and the affected area can be sore especially when exposed to sunlight
- In severe cases, ringworm will have pus filled sores on the scalp. In some patients crusting on the scalp will occur.
- In more severe ringworm cases, kerion will form on the scalp. This is a large and inflamed sore that will ooze pus. It is often accompanied by fever as well as swollen lymph glands.
- Ringworm on your feet will be itchy, a red flaky rash will appear between your toes, cracked skin, blisters, swelling of the affected area, a burning and a tingling sensation on the skin, scaling patterns on the sole of your foot
- Ringworm is not a serious infection. It can cause a lot of discomfort. The good thing is that you can manage it efficiently using creams and home remedies. When you suspect ringworm, you can try out on the following remedies
Ringworm Home Remedies
Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself! Here are some of the home remedies that you can try.
- Mustard Seeds– Mustard seeds are effective when treating ringworm. Prepare a paste of mustard seeds using plain water and apply on the affected area and allow it to dry for half ah hour. It will be absorbed to the skin and will clear off ringworm. Your paste should however be thick for effective results. The treatment should be used until the patches or rash clear off.
- Mudpack- Mudpack is additionally an effective home remedy for ringworm. A thick mudpack layer should be applied on the affected area. It should rest for 30minutes and should be applied twice a day for effective results.
- Tea Tree Oil– Tea tree oil has been used across many generations to treat ringworm. Combine the oil with coconut oil and apply on the affected area for effective results. 3 to 4 tablespoons of tea tree oil should be mixed with 9 to 10 drops of coconut oil.
- Apple Cider Vinegar– Apple cider vinegar is also an excellent remedy for ringworm. It contains acidic elements that help to fight and prevent growth of fungus that cause ringworm in humans. Apply vinegar on the affected area twice a day for a week for the best results. You can also take a drink of apple cider vinegar in a cup of apple juice twice daily to treat ringworm.
- Lemon– Lemon is also an effective remedy. Add salt to half of your lime and rub it on the affected area twice a day. Clean and dry using a clean soft towel and rest assured of notable results within a week.
- Papaya– Raw papaya slice is one of the best and effective home remedy for ringworm. A slice of papaya should be rubbed on the affected area 3 to 4 times a day. You will feel a tingling sensation or an irritation on the skin but it is quite effective. This treatment should be repeated until the ringworm is cleared.
- Try This– Fig tree sap can be used to treat ringworm. Rub the sap on the affected area twice a day until your ringworm disappears.
- Aloe Vera– Aloe Vera clears ringworm within days. Cut fresh aloe Vera and rub it on the affected area. It will kill the fungus and ringworm will clear off.
- Mustard Seed Paste– Mustard seed paste, butea seed paste and turmeric paste can be applied on the skin to treat ringworm
- Turmeric Juice– Turmeric juice can be applied on ringworm patches. You can also prepare turmeric juice and add honey to take it orally.
- Nail Polish– Clear nail polish is excellent for clearing ringworm on nails. Apply 2 coats on affected area, let it dry and peel it off to clear ringworm within 3days.
- Manuka Oil– Manuka oil can be rubbed on the skin to kill fungus. Add drops of shampoo to the oil and rub it on your hair to clear off ringworm on the scalp.
- Sea Salt– You can also apply sea salt on the affected area and leave for 30minutes. It will draw out moisture and the skin will dry. Soak yourself in sea salt solution to treat ringworm.
- Bleach– Bleach also treats ringworm but can cause severe allergic reaction. Apply bleach on the affected area and leave for 5minutes twice a day to treat ringworm.
- Tea Tree Oil- This has been highlighted as the most effective herbal remedy for ringworm. It provides relief from scaling, scaling and inflammation. You can use a cream that contains 8 to 20 percent tea tree oil or alternatively, settle for a liquid that has 40 percent of this oil. It should be applied to the area affected 2 to 3 times in a day.
- Garlic- Herbalists agree that garlic is extremely effective for treating ringworm breakout. You can also increase your consumption of garlic in order to boost your immune system because it acts as an internal antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial agent. Garlic works by increasing production of killer cells which attack invaders. For more effective results, you can apply use it externally by applying it on the affected area. Crush the garlic and apply it on the area 2 to 3 times a day for 7 to 10 days and you will get relief from the condition.
- Oregano Oil- It has antifungal properties and it is for this reason that it is seen as an essential herbal remedy for treating ringworm. You should take 5 drops under your tongue or mix it in a glass of water. You can also use Oregon oil in capsule form. If you opt for the latter, you should take 500mg daily. However, if you allergic to plants that belong to the mint family, you should not take oregano oil.
- Echinacea- Echinacea is effective even when taken alone and while this is the case, it is advisable to mix it with topical herbs which are effective against fighting fungal infections.
- Raw Papaya- This is another effective herbal remedy for treating ringworms and in this case, you are supposed to rub the raw slices on the affected area. A paste that is made from the seeds of papaya can also come in handy in addressing ringworms.
These remedies are quite effective and treat ringworm within a few days. However, if your symptoms persist and last for 4 weeks, it is imperative to seek medical assistance. A medic will prescribe medication including creams and oral anti fungal drugs to cure ringworm.
Diet for Ringworm
Nutrition plays a crucial role in prevention and treatment of ringworm. It is essential to eat a well balanced meal at all times. When infected with ringworm, consider an all fruit diet for a period of 5days. Take plenty of oranges, pineapples, papayas, pomegranates and apples. This should be taken with steamed or raw vegetables. They help to boost your immune system and to treat ringworm. What’s more, they prevent future occurrences. Whole wheat chapattis are also great for your ringworm diet. You can consider milk with chapattis to balance your meal. More importantly, ensure a healthy and fresh diet at all times.
Avoid tinned and bottled food to treat and prevent ringworm. Highly flavored meals should be avoided.
Consider foods that are rich in vitamin A. They help in production of leukocytes that destroys fungi in the body, repair of worn out tissues and prevents scarring on the affected area.
Eat foods that are rich in Vitamin E. They boost the immune system and fight fungi that cause ringworm.
Add garlic to your dishes including soups, vegetables and fry dishes. They treat and prevent ringworm. Clove is also great in your diet.
Prevention of Ringworm
Ringworm is a fungal infection. It can be quite hard to prevent it. However, you can always prevent contact with fungi that causes the infection. Fungi are common and it is important to avoid contact with an infected person.
- If you have ringworm, it is important to inform family members so that they can take care.
- Wash your clothing and bedding in hot soapy water. You can soak them in a disinfectant.
- Ensure that kids wash their hands before eating and after using the lavatory
- Avoid sharing of personal items
- Sanitize your pool regularly and exclude infected persons from using it
- Maintain proper hygiene, bath regularly and launder clothing in hot water regularly.
- Ensure to eat a well balanced meal with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to prevent ringworm.
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