What Is Ringworm Skin Infection?
Ringworm, also known as tinea
is a highly infectious skin condition. It is called 'ringworm' because it causes a circular rash that appears red and scaly.
This superficial fungal infection can cause severe itching and burning sensation in the affected area. The infection can appear just about anywhere on the body. It has different names depending on which part of the body it affects.
Ringworm usually heals in two weeks. However, if the condition persists, one should immediately consult a doctor
What Are the Indications and Symptoms of Ringworm?
As there are several types of ringworm infection, symptoms may vary depending on the infected area. With skin type ringworm, one may experience:
- hair loss
- itchy skin
- patches of red, scaly, cracked skin
- inflammation or stinging sensation on the skin
- a red-ringed patch of small blisters
In a couple of days, the rash may increase in size or spread to other parts of the body.
If one scratches the rash the skin may break leading to a bacterial infection. Moreover, if one immediately touches other areas of the body, the infection may inadvertently spread.
Anyone at any age can contract this skin infection. However, there are certain factors that contribute to or trigger the risk of ringworm. For instance, if you:
- sweat excessively
- have close contact with an infected person or animal
- live in humid, damp or crowded conditions
- share clothing, bedding or towels with someone who has a fungal infection
- take part in contact sports, such as boxing, wrestling, rugby or football
- wear tight or restricted clothing
- have a weakened immune system
Can Ringworm Skin Infection Be Self-Treated?
There is a wide range of home remedies to get rid of ringworm that will help to ease you of your symptoms and end the infection. Several of the following home remedies will help to cure the ringworm infection by killing the fungi or inhibiting further growth or spread. The following home remedies for ringworm can be prepared quickly and easily, allowing you to treat the infected area sooner, which in turn will allow for faster healing time.
Home Remedies for Curing Ringworm
Apple cider vinegar is known for its anti-fungal properties. When it is directly applied, it will provide an acidic environment in which the dermatophytes, the fungi that cause the ringworm, cannot thrive. Regular use of apple cider vinegar can lead to the complete elimination of the fungi. Apple cider vinegar is also safe to use on pets and children since it is non-toxic.
How to use
: Soak a cotton ball in undiluted vinegar and gently rub it all over the infected area. Repeat this 3 times a day for better results.
Garlic is a common home remedy for a variety of fungal infections. This is due to the high amounts of anti-fungal properties found in garlic. When the garlic is combined with the honey
and olive oil
, it becomes a triple threat anti-fungal remedy.
How to use
: Crush the garlic clove and make a paste. Apply that paste on the affected area and cover it with a dry bandage. Change the bandage daily and apply the fresh paste for quick healing. One can also consume garlic clove directly.
Coconut oil is a safe and highly effective remedy for curing ringworm. This is due to the fact that the coconut oil contains Lauric Acid which acts as a powerful anti-fungal agent. The Lauric Acid found in coconut oil will kill the ringworm fungus and soothe the skin. This allows for a quick and gentle healing process that is safe to use on children, as well as pets.
How to use
: Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and warm it. Then, directly apply to the infected skin. Rub until it gets fully absorbed into the skin. Repeat this remedy at least 2-3 times for high effectiveness.
Aloe vera gel is another natural remedy for a variety of skin conditions. It contains anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and anti-microbial properties that help in the healing of several skin conditions, including ringworm. The Aloe Vera gel heals the ringworm infection from its root. Besides, it also helps to soothe the itchy, irritated skin.
How to use
: Direct application of aloe vera gel helps in curing the infection. Repeat this twice or thrice to ensure quick healing. Besides, one can also use creams or ointments that contain aloe vera in them.
Other than these, there are several other ingredients like turmeric, oregano oil, tea tree oil
, etc that help in curing the ringworm skin infection. When the ringworm is about to heal, the centre of the rash clears up. The infection leaves a ring-shaped scar on the skin with red and scaly patches.
Cautionary Measures to Avoid Spreading
If you are infected with ringworm skin infection, then think about the people around you. Simply covering up the affected area is NOT sufficient.
As this condition is highly infectious, people around you are susceptible it. If the ringworm fungi get in the scalps, it can cause permanent scarring and baldness. Therefore, strictly follow these cautionary measures to avoid spreading it.
- Stay off the pool, gym or any other mat that is used by other people too.
- Always be cautious to change the bedding every couple of days.
- Maintain proper hygiene. If you are affected, wash your clothes separately.
- Ensure to wash your hands frequently to minimize the spreading of the infection.
- Avoid being in contact with other people until the infection has fully cured.
- Do not rub or scratch off the rash as it can easily result in spreading of infection to adjacent parts of the body.
- Avoid sharing clothing, footwear or grooming items with other people, like shaving kit or clothes till the infection disappears.
- Avoid shaving, waxing or undergoing any kind of similar procedures on the affected area of the body.
When to See a Dermatologist?
It is important to realize that a proper diagnosis can help to treat this condition quickly. If left untreated, the ringworm infection can resemble on the body causing other severe skin conditions such as eczema
. Therefore, consult a doctor if:
- the rash on the skin doesn't improve within two weeks.
- the infection fails to respond to safe home remedies
- there is excessive redness, swelling, drainage or fever occurs
In case symptoms persist, it is time to see a dermatologist