Ringworm is a contagious fungal skin infection. Contrary to its name, there are actually no worms involved in this infection. It is also medically called tinea and scientifically called dermatomycosis or dermatophytosis [R].
It is usually characterized by red blotches on the affected area, such as the scalp, groin, feet, and beard, and later on proceeds to spread to other areas of the body [R].
Because it is contagious, caution should be practiced when coming into contact with people who have the infection. Public showers, excessive sweating, contact sports, and contact with animals can put you at risk of contracting the infection. If you are obese or immunocompromised, you could be at risk as well [R].
This skin infection is found in both animals and humans alike. In humans, 20% of the general population could be affected by ringworm at any point in their lifetime. In males, the groin is a more common affected area, while infections of the body and scalp are equal in both males and females. When it comes to age, children most likely get this infection on the scalp, while older people get it mostly on the groin [R].
If you suspect that you have ringworm, here are 7 scientifically proven remedies you can try at home.
Capparis spinosa or capers have been known to prevent the growth of two types of ringworm-causing fungi (Trichophyton violaceum and Microsporum canis) in humans and also fungi that cause ringworm in animals [R].
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an antibacterial and antifungal essential oil that can fight a variety of disease-causing fungi, such as Epidermophyton, Aspergillus, Candida albicans, Microsporum, and more. These fungi can cause ringworm, athlete’s foot, and many other skin infections [R] [R] [R] [R].
3. Cayenne Peppers
Aside from being a hot pepper to add taste to dishes, cayenne peppers also act as fungicides. Its CAY-1 component disrupts the integrity of the outer membrane of fungal cells. It was shown in vitro to be effective against 16 species of diseasecausing fungi, including Aspergillus, Candida albicans, Microsporum, and Cryptococcus neoformans. Some of these fungi are the cause of ringworm and athlete’s foot [R] [R] [R] [R].
4. Lemon Grass Oil
Cymbopogon citrates or lemongrass is widely used for its therapeutic and fragrant purpose, but it is also known for its antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties [R].
In fact, the antifungal property of lemongrass was demonstrated in a 7 to 12-day study where lemongrass oil effectively treated ringworm in guinea pigs [R].
Anise is a spice that is normally found in the Mediterranean and Southeast Asian regions. Its antifungal properties were found to be effective in killing several species of fungi, such as Candida, that can cause ringworm and other human skin diseases [R] [R].
6. Monolaurin in Coconut Oil
Monolaurin, also called glycerol monolaurate, is a monoglyceride compound present in coconut oil. It is known to boost the immune system. Its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties are known to kill various species of yeasts and fungi, including ringworm-causing species [R].
The prognosis for people infected with ringworm is a hopeful one, with most infection cases being cured within 2 weeks. Natural remedies done at home have been proven effective with consistent application starting right away before the symptoms progress. However, if it persists after 2 weeks, it is always best to consult your doctor.