Why are red irritated patches on our skin called “ringworm”? Are they caused by a worm? And how to deal with the symptoms? You may have all of these questions in your head when you are suffering from ringworms that make you feel itchy. If you are looking for some treatments, this article may have the answers for you. Below, we will explain what are the factors that cause ringworms, how you can cure these scaly patches at home, and of course, how you can prevent them.
What’s a ringworm?
Ringworm, also called dermatophytosis or dermatophyte tinea is a skin fungal infection that causes rashes and skin irritation. As the lesion looks like a circle-shaped worm, we named this symptom “ringworm”. This skin infection is mainly spread by skin-to-skin contact so you should be wary of touching infected patients.
Ringworm can be found in both humans and animals. Besides, not only can it affect your arms and legs, but it can also infect other parts of your body as well. Below is the list of the 5 main types of ringworms:
- Tinea corporis is the main type of ringworm infecting the body, characterized by a red round-shaped patch.
- Tinea capitis usually develops in the scalp including hairs and skin. It can engender redness, itchiness, hair loss, and scaly patches. This kind of fungal infection is mostly found in children.
- Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot, often develops in the area between your toes, and then spreads out all over your feet. This type of ringworm will occur if you neglect your feet or often walk barefoot in public places.
- Tinea unguium, or dermatophytic onychomycosis, always infects nails, involving both fingernails and toenails. In general, the fungus will make your nails thicker. In addition, they may change color into white or yellow, and finally, crack or break.
- Tinea cruris is a fungal infection that normally appears on the groin area and buttocks, most often found in adolescent males.
What are the common symptoms of ringworm?
Ringworm is not a fatal illness, but it does make you feel uncomfortable on the skin. The symptoms will depend on where the infection develops, but, here are the common signs that you may experience:
- A red ring-shaped worm and scaly patches. You may also spot red blisters scattering inside the circle.
- Itchiness and skin irritation.
- The ring can progressively develop and expand.
What are the best home remedies to cure ringworm?
Apart from using antifungal medicines, there are also some home remedies that you can use to combat ringworm. Below, we have listed 5 effective and natural ways to get rid of ringworm:
First and foremost, aloe vera gel is always the best natural remedy for skin irritation and infections. It indeed has the ability to stop itchiness and inflammation. Just apply aloe vera gel on the infected area and leave it for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off. You can repeat this step 3-4 times a week to get the best result.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar features many medical properties and one of them is that it can effectively beat fungal infections, thanks to its high potency in natural acids and probiotics.
We recommend dipping a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and then apply it to the red ring area 2-3 times a day until your ringworm is gone for good. It is advised to start with a small amount in order to test whether your skin is allergic to ACV or not.
Coconut oil not only moisturizes your skin but also combats ringworm due to its antifungal properties. Most importantly, it is the best solution to cure fungal infections on your scalp.
To use coconut oil, first, you have to warm it in your hand or put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds until it melts. Thereafter, gently apply the oil to the ringworm area around 3 times per day.
As mustard seeds can reduce itchiness and skin irritation, the latter is indeed able to prevent ringworm to spread out. What you should do is coarsely ground mustard seeds. Then, mix a tablespoon of them with 2 tablespoons of warm water until they are well combined. Lastly, apply the mixture all over the red blisters and bandage the affected area. You can repeat these steps 2-3 times daily until the infection is healed.
Garlic and honey
Last but not least, garlic and honey are the perfect combinations for ringworm treatment. Garlic itself has a powerful antifungal property, while honey has been widely used as an antibiotic for a long time. To heal from fungal infections, simply mix these two agents together by following the steps below:
- Crush 2-3 raw garlic cloves until they release their juice.
- Combine the garlic juice with honey and olive oil.
- Apply the mixture to the infected area and cover it with a bandage.
- Leave it for about one hour before washing it off with lukewarm water.
Now, you have learned everything about ringworms. If you’re still having trouble even after trying all the home remedies above, we suggest you see a doctor immediately. We hope this article helps you beat this annoying fungal infection. Do not forget to take care of your hygiene as well to prevent any similar recurrence. Take care and get well soon!