Ringworm of the body, medically known as tinea corporis, is a type of skin infection caused by a fungus. It is highly contagious, and the sooner you treat it, the better.
Tinea corporis is closely related to athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), jock itch (tinea cruris), and ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis). It can appear in different areas of the body, except for the scalp, groin, palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
Body ringworm can spread in many direct and indirect ways, such as person to person, pet to person, inanimate item to person and soil to person. Symptoms usually start about four to 10 days after contact with the fungus.
The characteristic sign of this infection is small, ring- or circle-shaped rashes that appear on the body. Other accompanying symptoms include redness, itching, and inflammation. If not treated, it may cause your skin to blister.
Children are more prone to ringworm of the body than adults. Other risk factors include living in damp or humid areas, excessive sweating, taking part in contact sports, wearing tight clothing, having a weak immune system, and sharing clothing, bedding or towels with others.
Ringworm of the body can be easily treated by maintaining good hygiene and using some simple, natural and effective home remedies.
Here are the top 10 home remedies to get rid of ringworm of the body (tinea corporis).
1. Good Hygiene
When it comes to treating ringworm of the body, maintaining good hygiene is a must. This will help prevent the infection from spreading to other areas of the body as well as reducing the healing time.
According to the World Health Organization, personal hygiene, supported by availability of adequate quantities of water are important preventive measures to prevent the spread of ringworm (1).
Keep the affected area as clean as possible. Wash the area with water and some mild soap daily. After a shower, dry your skin well, especially between the toes, groin, and armpits. Also, prevent sweat from accumulating around the affected area, as moisture makes it easier for the fungus to spread.
Always make sure to wash your hands thoroughly in hot soapy water after treating ringworm, or wear disposable gloves.
Also, avoid sharing towels and clothing with someone who has the infection.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a very effective home remedy for body ringworm. Research has found that it has strong antifungal properties that help fight the fungus causing the infection (2).
Also, apple cider vinegar is good for your immunity.
- Dilute raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water. Soak a cotton ball in it and apply it on the affected skin. Do this 3 times per day.
- Also, mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and a little honey into a glass of warm water. Drink it twice daily to help fight the infection from within.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil can successfully treat ringworm of the body, thanks to its antifungal as well as antiseptic properties. It can help kill the fungus responsible for the infection and provide quick relief from the annoying symptoms.
A 2003 study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology identifies that most components of tea tree oil have activity against a range of fungi. However, the measurement of antifungal activity may be significantly influenced by the test method (3).
- Put a few drops of tea tree oil on a cotton ball and dab it on the affected area. Do this 2 or 3 times a day for a week or so.
- Alternatively, you can dilute tea tree oil in an equal amount of a carrier oil like coconut oil, then apply it on the skin. Use this treatment once daily.
4. Coconut Oil
The skin-healing properties found in coconut oil makes it an effective remedy for treating ringworm infections. It has antifungal properties that can fight the fungus causing the infection.
Its moisturizing property will help reduce the itchiness of the affected area. It also aids the healing of the affected skin.
In a 2007 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, researchers concluded that coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections in view of emerging drug-resistant Candida species (4).
You can choose any one of the following remedies that suits your preference.
- Warm up coconut oil in the microwave for a few seconds. Apply it directly on the affected area and massage it to help the skin absorb it quickly. Apply it at least 3 times daily.
- Put 1 tablespoon of warm coconut oil in a bowl. Add ½ of a camphor tablet to it and let it sit for a few hours. Apply the mixture to the affected areas 2 or 3 times daily to get relief from the infection.
- Mix coconut oil and oregano oil in a 5:1 ratio. Massage the oil blend on the infected skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat dry your skin thoroughly. Do this twice a day for at least 4 weeks.
Garlic is a wonderful antifungal herb. It contains the antifungal compound known as ajoene, which is very effective against the fungus that causes ringworm of the body.
This herb is also good for your immunity.
- Apply garlic paste on the affected skin. To keep the paste in place, wrap the infected area with a gauze bandage. Keep it on for several hours, then rinse off the paste with lukewarm water. Use this remedy once or twice daily for several weeks.
- Also, eat 1 or 2 cloves of fresh garlic daily. This will make it difficult for the fungus to survive and spread.
6. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, also known as neem, is rich in antiseptic and antifungal properties that help treat ringworm of the body and various other skin infections.
It helps prevent the fungus from spreading and also provides quick relief from the symptoms.
- Apply neem oil on the affected area 2 or 3 times a day until the infection clears.
- Alternatively, combine equal parts of neem leaves paste, turmeric powder and sesame oil. Apply this paste on the affected area and leave it on for 1 hour. Rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat dry the area thoroughly. Repeat twice daily until the infection has cleared.