Home Remedies for Ringworm and Tinea Infections

Ringworm (i.e. tinea corporis) and tinea infections in general are common skin problems that arise from naturally occurring dermatophyte organisms. Although there is no absolute cure since it arises from species that normally reside on the skin, there are a number of home remedies for ringworm that can be used to treat the infection aside from using pharmaceutical creams and FDA-approved drugs. The information online for home remedies for ringworm varies from natural oils such as coconut and olive oils to ingredients such as camphor and myrrh. The list below entails natural ringworm cures that have been backed by research as effective against dermatophyte infections.

Garlic

Among the number of active compounds in garlic, emphasis has been placed on ajoene [1] and sulfides [2] as the major active components to it’s antifungal properties. Ajoene has been shown in research and in the clinic to have effects as an antithrombotic, anti-tumoral, antifungal, and antiparasitic [1], while garilic’s sulfide properties indicate having effects in penetrating fungal cells [2].

Try It

Mince or puree a few garlic cloves. Add water if necessary to make the mixture more easily applicable. Apply directly on the infected area as well as beyond the ringworm and leave it on for one to two hours. Wash off and repeat twice daily for three weeks for maximum efficacy.

 

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil, otherwise known as “oil of melaleuca,” has been shown to be an effective antifungal agent, specifically in cases related to open wound exposure, while causing minimal harm to human cells [3]. It has also been shown to be an effective treatment for ringworm of the skin on other parts of the body, namely on the feet (“tinea pedis”) [4]. There is also an indication that the compound can be used as a cure for ringworm on the skin.

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Try It

100% pure tea tree oil can be used on the skin as a home remedy for ringworm. However, if your skin shows signs of irritation, it can be diluted with warm water to a more comfortable concentration. Place a few drops of the oil (or diluted oil) on a sterile cotton swab and apply several times daily for a period of a few weeks. Continue applying for a week after the ringworm disappears [5, 6].

 

Turmeric Oil

Turmeric Oil

Turmeric oil and a major component separated from the oil, Ar-turmerone, have been shown to be an effective home remedy for ringworm treatment. The antifungal properties of the compound has been shown to effect a variety of dermatophyte skin infections – including species that cause tinea and ringworm infections [7]. The main ingredient, Ar-turmerone, was shown to be as effective as ketoconazole against a variety of tinea infections (including T. rubrum, T. mentagrophytes, M. gypseum, and E. floccosum) but at a lower concentration of the compound. The authors of the cited study also indicate that the oil form of the compound was more effective than the cream-based form [7].

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Try it

The application of tumeric oil for curing ringworm is similar to that of the above process mentioned for tea tree oil: Place a few drops of the oil on a sterile cotton swab and apply several times daily for a period of a few weeks. Continue applying for a week after the ringworm disappears [8].

 

Acetic Acid (Vinegar)

Acetic acid (vinegar), more specifically apple cidar vinegar, has been cited as an effective home remedy for ringworm treatment. Acetic acid in general has been shown to exhibit broad antifungal properties at least against specific Candida yeast species [9].

Try It

Although there is no set treatment regiment for acetic acid for ringworm infections, it is generally recommended to apply a vinegar solution (diluted if necessary) to the affected area and beyond for a few minutes before washing off. Repeat the process several times daily for maximal efficacy and for several weeks even after the infection disappears.

 

 

 

 

References

[1] Ledezma E, Apitz-Castro R. [Ajoene the main active compound of garlic (Allium sativum): a new antifungal agent]. Rev Iberoam Micol. 2006 Jun;23(2):75-80. Link.

[2] Li WR, Shi QS, Liang Q, Huang XM, Chen YB. Antifungal effect and mechanism of garlic oil on Penicillium funiculosum. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Oct;98(19):8337-46. Link.

[3] Homeyer DC, Sanchez CJ, Mende K, Beckius ML, Murray CK, Wenke JC, Akers KS. In Vitro activity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil on filamentous fungi and toxicity to human cells. Med Mycol. 2015 Apr 1;53(3):285-94. Link.

[4] Tong MM, Altman PM, Barnetson RS. Tea tree oil in the treatment of tinea pedis. Australas J Dermatol. 1992;33(3):145-9. Link.

[5] Livestrong.com: How to apply tea tree oil for ringworm

[6] Rapidhomeremedies.com: 17 Home remedies for ringworm

[7] Jankasem M, Wuthi-Udomlert M, Gritsanapan W. Antidermatophytic Properties of Ar-Turmerone, Turmeric Oil, and Curcuma longa Preparations. ISRN Dermatol. 2013 Aug 26;2013:250597. Full text.

[8] TheFitIndian: Top 10 natural remedies to treat ringworm at home

[9] Lastauskienė E, Zinkevičienė A, Girkontaitė I, Kaunietis A, Kvedarienė V. Formic acid and acetic acid induce a programmed cell death in pathogenic Candida species. Curr Microbiol. 2014 Sep;69(3):303-10. Link.