What is Ringworm, and How do we Treat It?
Even though it may be very contagious and bothersome, ringworm is actually not a serious condition, and can be treated using natural remedies. Some may even have the added benefit of stopping the mushroom from developing any further.
Have you ever heard of ringworm? Do you know how to treat ringworm?
Ringworm is a condition that’s caused by a fungal infection, which causes small circular marks to appear on the skin.
It can pop up in different regions of the body. Although it’s not a serious condition, it is very contagious.
In this article, we’ll tell you a bit more about ringworm and how you can treat it simply and easily.
Ringworm: Causes and Symptoms
The fungus that causes this problem on the skin is called tinea corporis. It’s not the only class of this type of fungus that can affect us. however. We can also suffer from athlete’s foot, due to tinea pedia or ringworm of the groin, due to the tinea crural fungus.
The symptoms of ringworm begin to make themselves known between 4 and 10 days after contact with the fungus.
- The first sign is a circular eruption on the skin, with slightly raised edges.
- In the skin of the center of the circle, we may see a pattern that looks something like a rash – but in general, the skin in the center will appear healthy.
- However, the itching can be unbearable, and scratching can spread the fungus further afield, not to mention causing infection.
The “rings” can be spread by itching or contact, multiplying in other parts of the body or becoming fused together into even larger rings. In the more severe cases, the rings can turn into blisters and sores filled with pus.
Ringworm can be transmitted in many different ways, both directly and indirectly. For example, it can be contracted through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or even with a pet who carries the fungus. Dogs, cats, horses and rabbits can all contract this disease.
Children are more vulnerable to this infection than adults. What’s more, there are a number of risk factors that adults should watch out for, which can increase the likelihood of contracting ringworm:
- Excessive sweating
- Living in a warm or humid area
- Wearing tight clothes
- Participating in contact sports
- Sharing clothes or towels with others
- Having a weak immune system
The best way to prevent ringworm is to ensure you’re not in direct contact with people who already carry the infection, and make sure you don’t share clothing that has direct contact with the skin.
It is also important to take your pets to the veterinarian and dry them well after bathing them (especially the areas between their toes, under the legs and their groins).
Home Remedies for Ringworm
If you’re not especially keen to use medicines prescribed by a doctor, or if you just want another treatment to complement antifungal creams or lotions bought at the pharmacy, we recommend the following natural remedies for ringworm:
Garlic has some attention-grabbing anti-fungal properties, and this is why it’s such a great ally when it comes to trat ringworm. It may sting a little at the first contact, but this is natural. You should try to leave it on for as long as you can, so you can take full advantage of its benefits.
- 1 clove of garlic
How to Prepare
- Peel the clove of garlic and cut it into slices.
- Place it over the affected area and cover with a bandage.
- Leave overnight and remove in the morning.
- Repeat for at least a week, or until the lesion disappears.
2. Essential Oils
Some oils, such as lavender or tea tree oil, have extremely potent antifungal properties. Applying them several times a day helps to prevent the fungus from developing any further.
- 2 tablespoons of water (20 ml)
- 2 tablespoons of essential oil (30 g)
How to Prepare
- In a small bowl, mix the water and the essential oil you have chosen (out of either lavender or tea tree oil).
- Apply to the affected area, and cover with a cloth or gauze.
- Leave on for several hours before removing the dressing.
- Repeat 3 times a day for a month.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has any number of magical properties, two of which are its antibiotic and anti-fungal effects. The initial stinging feeling you’ll notice when you first apply it is totally normal. Try using chilled vinegar to help calm the stinging.
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (10 ml)
How to Prepare
- Moisten a piece of gauze, cloth or cotton with the apple cider vinegar.
- Apply to the lesion by pressing lightly.
- Allow to dry.
- Repeat between 3 and 5 times a day.
4. Salt and Vinegar
Although this remedy can be quite irritating when it comes into contact with the affected area, it is very effective.
- 1 tablespoon of salt (10 g)
- 1 tablespoon vinegar (10 ml)
How to Prepare
- In a small bowl, add the salt and pour in the vinegar little by little, mixing as you go.
- Form into a paste and apply directly to the lesions.
- Spread carefully and leave to act for 5 minutes.
- Rinse with warm, dry water and remove any excess with a clean towel, with a gentle patting motion.
- Repeat this treatment 2 times a day for at least a week.
5. Aluminum salts
Aluminum salts have an antiperspirant effect. Because of this, they block the production of sweat and prevent the proliferation of the fungus.
- 1 tablespoon of aluminum salts (10 g)
- 1 glass of water (200 ml)
How to Prepare
- Place the salts in a container, and slowly add the water, mixing well as you go.
- Once the ingredients form a paste, apply to the injury and leave on to act for 6 hours (or better yet, overnight.)
- After that, rinse off with warm water and dry well, without rubbing.
- Repeat every day for a week.
As well as trying out the recipes we’ve shown you here, you should keep the following tips in mind:
Make Sure You’re Hygienic
Sticking to strict habits of hygiene, while it may not be the most exciting thing in the world, is one of the most effective ways to prevent the infection or to treat it once you contract it.
Washing your hands when you get home, before eating or after going to the bathroom, bathing every day (especially after exercising or if it’s hot), and using neutral soaps are some easy and effective hygiene measures.
Dry Yourself Well Before Getting Dressed
After you take your daily shower it’s very important to ensure that your skin is completely dry. Bear in mind that humid environments are fungi favorites.
Dry yourself with a towel, paying special attention to areas where there are folds in your skin, such as the underarms. Then, before getting dressed, apply talcum powder or corn flour to keep the skin dry throughout the day.