Ringworm can appear in some different places on a person’s skin. It is usually characterized by the red ring it forms around the edges of the rash. The center of the rash may appear clear, or it could be red like the edges.
The rash may also become weepy like a blister. It is particularly important not to scratch the area, so you do not cause a secondary infection, and also you do not spread the infection on your own body or to another person. If this is difficult, keep the area covered. Contrary to what many may think, ringworm is caused by a fungal infection that creates the rash and is not caused by a worm in the skin.
It is highly contagious, requiring immediate treatment. Failing to treat it not only can result in the rash spreading to a larger area, but can also cause it to spread to other people.
Below are some of the most common methods for treating ringworm, both home remedies as well as medical interventions.
Prevention of Ringworm
Ringworm can take some time to get rid of, and as long as the rash is present, it is possible to spread it to other people or elsewhere on your own body.
The most important thing is to prevent ringworm from occurring in the first place and to prevent the spread of it when it does occur. Ringworm, like most fungal infections, likes to form in most places, like feet, armpits, groin, and behind knees and elbows. Keeping these areas dry helps to prevent fungal infections from developing.
Avoiding common areas where people may spread fungal infections also helps to prevent its spread. This includes places like locker room benches, sweaty gym equipment, or sharing towels or touching something contaminated by another person with a fungal infection.
If you know you have a fungal infection, take extra care not to share items that come into contact with your skin with other people to help prevent spreading it. Also wash your hands regularly, as well as before and after touching the area or applying a treatment of any kind to the affected skin.
If the infection is on your child remind them to wash their hands frequently and keep the area covered when possible to prevent it from spreading.
Probiotics are Important
Any time you have a fungal infection, it is important to introduce healthy bacteria to your system to help you fight off the infection. In conjunction with any topical treatment or oral antifungal treatment you should also take probiotics.
They come in a wide variety of forms, from a tablet, to powder, or gummy form. Probiotics can also be introduced to your body in a number of different ways through fermented foods, like kefir or sauerkraut. Kefir is a dairy beverage, similar to liquid yogurt. It is full of protein and good bacteria.
Fresh sauerkraut is cabbage that has been fermented and naturally contains probiotics as part of the fermenting process. You can make them yourself, or purchase them at your local grocery.
These are the pact with good bacteria and have other nutrients to help your body fight off a number of ailments. Or look for yogurt or kombucha at your grocery. Yogurt will also provide you with good bacteria and protein.
Kombucha is a non-alcoholic fermented drink that also helps to keep your gut healthy, and able to fight off fungal infections.
Using Garlic to Treat Ringworm
One of the best home remedies for ringworm is the use of fresh garlic cloves. Take a fresh garlic clove and a teaspoon of garlic. Pulse them in a food processor to form a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area and cover it with a bandage.
Leave it in place for one to two hours before removing it and washing the affected area. Reapply the paste two to three times a day for two weeks. Whatever you do, do not allow the garlic to set in the area more than the suggested time so it does not cause skin irritation.
If you develop a worse rash or more redness discontinue use and seek the advice of a doctor for a medical intervention.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has the ability to kill a number of infections and ailments in the body. To use to treat ringworm, soak a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar and apply it to the area. Place a bandage on the location to hold it in place for thirty minutes.
Then remove the bandage and wash the area and pat dry. Do this twice a day for at least one week after the ringworm has resolved to ensure it does not return. If the apple cider vinegar is too harsh for your skin you can slightly dilute it with water, but it may take longer for it to take effect.
You can also consider drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar twice daily to help fight fungal infections from the inside out at the same time as using a topical treatment.
Tea Tree Oil
Another common treatment for skin ailments, including cuts, burns, and infections is the use of tea tree oil. It is commonly used in a number of hair and skin care products to help alleviate a number of issues.
To use tea tree oil to treat ringworm, you will want to take half tea tree oil and half olive oil or coconut oil, and mix it together. This is extremely important as tea tree oil alone can be extremely harsh on the skin when not diluted. Twice a day apply the mixture to the affected area and cover it with a bandage.
You should begin to see an improvement in a few weeks, but in order to prevent reoccurrence, you should use it for at least one week after the ringworm has resolved. Also, if you are looking to treat a ringworm rash on a child, you may want to test this on a small area of the child’s skin before using it as their skin may be more delicate than an adult’s skin.
Colloidal silver is a liquid that has the ability to kill a large number of microorganisms. As a result, it is a common home remedy for treating a number of skin ailments.
To use colloidal silver, simply rub a little bit of it into the affected area twice a day until it is completely gone. It does not need to be washed off. Like other home remedies, continue it after the ringworm is gone so that you can keep it from returning prematurely.
If you use colloidal silver and you have a child in your home, be extra careful to keep it out of your child’s reach as it can be harmful if it is digested.
Topical Antifungal Creams and Ointments
The most common and effective forms of treatment for ringworm are the use of topical antifungal treatments. Look for products that contain either miconazole or clotrimazole in them to treat the rash. Depending on the strength of the cream, there are different instructions on how many times to apply the medication every day. Make sure to follow the instructions exactly.
Before applying the medication, start by washing your hands and the affected area with warm water and an antibacterial soap. Then pat the area dry.
Make sure to immediately place the towel in the laundry so it does not spread. Or use a disposable paper towel to dry the area instead. Then apply a thin layer of the medication over the area and just past the border of the ring to the rash.
Make sure to then wash your hands again so as not to contaminate another area of your skin or someone else. Continue to use the cream for at least two weeks, even if the rash has disappeared.
You may need to use the cream longer; however, if it has been two weeks and it has not improved any or has spread you should consult your doctor.
Oral Antifungal Medications
There are a number of different oral antifungal medications that can be prescribed to help treat ringworm. All of them require a prescription from a doctor in order obtain them. The first class of oral medication to treat ringworm are azoles.
Two of the primary drug names in this class are fluconazole and itraconazole, which are sold under specific brand names dependent upon what country you are from. All of these medications require a prescription from a doctor to obtain them.
Another oral drug used to treat ringworm is griseofulvin and is sold under different brand names as well. It also requires a prescription to obtain. If you have used antifungal creams and not had relief these oral medications may be necessary to clear up the fungus.
They also may be necessary if you have more than one type of fungal rash present on your body, including ringworm, jock itch, or athlete’s foot.