How to Get Rid of Ringworm Fast at Home

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Ringworm is a contagious skin infection that appears in a ring pattern on the skin. And despite its name, it is not caused by a worm, nor does a worm forms the scaly ring that distinguishes this type of skin infection. It's actually caused by a fungus that is found in animals, humans, and in the soil that surrounds our residences.

Before going in detail on how to get rid of ringworm fast at home let's review briefly how we can get ringworm, how we can diagnose it and how we can avoid it.

What is Ringworm?

In medical terms ringworm is known as tinea corporis. Tinea means "fungus" in Latin and the term refers to fungus found on our body (corporis). Although it may have different appearances, most identifiable forms of ringworm have enlarged raised red rings with a clear central area. Similar appearances may also occur on the scalp (tinea capitis), beard area (tinea barbae) and the groin and feet (tinea cruris).

How Do We Catch Ringworm?

Ringworm is highly contagious and can be spread in many ways. It is possible to get it from an infected person, animal, object and even soil.​ And not surprisingly being a fungus based infection heat and moisture help fungi grow and thrive, which makes them more common in areas where you sweat such as feet, scalp etc.

Cats are among the most commonly affected animals. If a cat has ringworm even though he may not show any signs of it, a person in the house often gets the infection. People can catch this fungus not only  from touching their pets and animals, but also touching their bedding, grooming items, saddles, toys and carpeting.

How Can Ringworm Be Diagnosed?

Usually the diagnosis of ringworm is quite obvious from its apparent location as well as its shape. Otherwise, doctors will scrape some skin tissue for lab tests for tinea fungus.

Ringworm of the skin starts as a red, scaly patch or bump. Ringworm tends to be very itchy and uncomfortable. Over time, it may begin to look like a ring or a series of rings with raised, bumpy, scaly borders (with a  clear center most of the time). It's this ring pattern that gave ringworm its name, even though not every person who's infected develops these identifiable rings.

Some ringworm signs to watch out for:

  • Elevated and scaly red rash​
  • Dry and flaky skin surrounding the rash​
  • Hair loss in areas of the infection​
  • Slow increase in ring size
  • Discoloration of finger and toe nails if it's nail ringworm

How to Avoid Ringworm?

There are a few things you can do to avoid catching ringworm. First and for most avoid contact with people and animals who have it.

  • Wear clean underwear and socks changing them regularly. Fungus has not only the property of surviving in skin flakes, but also multiplies and develops in unhygienic milieus.
  • Change clothes, towels and bed linen frequently.
  • Avoid sharing clothing and any other personal items such as combs, hairbrushes and hats with other people.
  • Prefer loosely fitted clothes made of cotton or natural materials.
  • Wash the infected areas a thoroughly giving particular attention to the skin folds and adjoining skin around toes. Dry them completely before wearing socks.
  • Make sure that your hairstylist maintains hygiene in his practice using clean and washed tools and towels.
  • If you see any sings of ringworm in your pet avoid further contact until the condition is cured.
  • Common showers such as those at a gym or in locker rooms can be a breeding ground for ringworm, therefore wearing flip flops while showering in those places might help not to have contact.

Who is Affected by Ringworm?

Anyone can be affected by Ringworm but some people are more prone to catch it:

  • Males more than females by simple fact that they sweat more more and fungus loves to thrieve on sweated skin.
  • Athletes: Ringworm of the feet is called athlete's feet disease. Excessive sweating causes fungus to multiply and shared showers and humidity create good places for fungus to thrive.
  • Children: They tend to share personal items more such as combs, hats, towels etc. 
  • Farmers might be more in touch with infected animals and soil. 
  • People with lower immune system due to chronic diseases such as HIV or cancer.
  • People who had someone infected in the household are more prone as it tends to come back if basic measures are not taken.
  • People who were previously infected.

How to Get Rid of Ringworm?

Ringworm can be treated with antifungal creams containing clotrimazole, miconazole, ketoconazole and terbinafine. In cases of severe or resistant infections, and those of the scalp or nails, doctors may prescribe oral medicines such as terbinafine, itraconazole, griseofulvin or fluconazole.

Ringworm is a fungal infection. There are some regularly used choices to get rid of the ringworm fungus. While there are some traditional medical treatments for the condition, there are also several excellent quick and natural ringworm treatments that will take care of the issue in no time. See our suggestion below in the "Ringworm Home Treatment" section.

Ringworm Treatment for Kids

Ringworm shows up most often in children age 2 and older, but it's possible for babies to get it too. Your child probably got it from contact with an infected person or pet. He might have caught it from infected towels, bedding, hairbrushes, combs, hats, and other clothing that infected children shared. It's also possible for him to have picked it up on his feet from walking around barefoot around pool area.

When you see any type of rash, consult with his doctor​. Some rashes go away within a day or two but it's always better to be cautious when it comes to rashes in children.

When the doctor diagnosis the ringworm in your child she'll most likely suggest an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream.​ It usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to cure ringworm by applying the topical cream twice daily. It's probably a good idea to continue using it another week after the infected area clears up. In case your child's skin develops a reaction to the cream, let your doctor know immediately.

If the ringworm appears on your child's scalp​ his doctor will most likely prescribe an oral anti-fungal medicine in addition to a medicated shampoo. Ringworm in scalp being a more stubborn condition it will probably take at least six to eight weeks to treat.

Make sure to change often and wash thoroughly your child's bedding and clothing during the treatment and afterwards so that he doesn't get reinfected​ as the fungus causing it might be still surviving in skin flakes fallen inside the bedding and clothing.

Make sure that he doesn't scratch his skin excessively. If the skin is further irritated he might develop bacterial infection which will complicate the entire treatment process. Keep his nails short at all times.

Ringworm on Hands (tinea manus)

Hands could be the first organs to be infected since we tend to touch many things during the day. Touching someone with ringworm increases your chances of contracting the infection. Touching objects like combs, towels and socks that contain infected skin cells and flakes is another way people catch the disease. You can pick it up from a pet as well as give it to them. You can also get ringworm in your hands by touching other infected areas of your body and not washing your hands properly afterwards.

Ringworm Cream

Most cases of ringworm could be treated at home with nonprescription anti-fungal creams. Although the condition usually improves within a couple of weeks, it's always advised to use the creams at least 3 to 4 weeks. And sometimes cases are so severe that your doctor will need to prescribed an oral medicine or topical cream.

Below is a list of most common anti-fungal creams used to treat​ ringworm:

  • Lamisil: It is an anti-fungal cream without a prescription.
  • Tinactin: It is available without a prescription and comes in lotion, cream, gel, and spray forms.
  • Lotrimin

Ringworm Home Treatment

Some people manage to control their outbreaks with over-the-counter topical anti-fungal creams, but for others these do not work. These creams should be applied to the affected area 2 times a day for at least 3 weeks. Apply as directed and usually they are not meant to be applied in abundance. Just make sure that you do not cover the rash with a thick layer of cream.

If you do not get any results with these ​topical medicine or any of the suggestions for home remedy treatments for ringworm as outlined below, seek the help of a dermatologist. Many skin infections may look similar at the beginning and even your doctor may not be able to identify them without doing a lab test. So just be over cautious to visit a doctor if you do not see any result or your skin condition spreads or gets worse. Pityriasis rosea looks like ringworm but is not a contagious skin condition.

Here is a list of some suggestions to cure ringworm at home:​

  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree is an exceptional plant and grows exclusively in Australia, to be precise in New South Wales. The oil rich in antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal  has been used for thousands of years to soothe, cleanse and cure various skin conditions. It is a natural and effective solution to treat dandruff, head lice mites, fungal infections and acne. It is also a good natural treatment for ringworm and athlete's foot. Apply 5-6 times during the day using a cotton ball.
  • Apple cider vinegar: A good natural remedy for ringworm treatment. Keep the affected area soaked in apple cider vinegar (undiluted) for 10 to 15 minutes before going to bed. For areas you can't soak put apple cider vinegar on a cotton balls and apply on affected areas several times a day.
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE): Apply topically GSE on the rash and put a band-aid over the area to protect it. Usually the skin will bubble up within a few hours meaning that GSE will naturally kill the viruses, bacteria and fungus and clear the skin. You can also take it in tablet or capsule form as it's a great supplement to boost your immune system.
  • Hot water + Hydrogen Peroxide + Blue Star Ointment: Some people find relief in this  threesome.  Expose the affected area to hot water (as hot as you can bare), after drying it thoroughly with a hair dryer apply hydrogen peroxide an antiseptic solution, then apply Blue Star Ointment at night. 
  • Bleach: For some this is the only and fast way to get rid of ringworm. In fact wrestlers love this fast ringworm remedy. But one thing you have to know is that bleach in overall is very harmful to the skin, and only as a side effect it  kills the fungus. If you choose to go this way, dip Q-tips in bleach and apply on the infected area. Make sure to use bleach with ONLY sodium hypochlorite (not sodium hydroxide) and water. Be aware that using bleach can cause serious allergic reactions for some people. Avoid using it if you have open wounds as the chemical burn will cause scarring.
  • Clear Nail Polish: Many people cure their ringworm with clear nail polish, because seals the area and suffocates the  existing fungus. Use Q-tips to apply onto the infected surface. You can peel it off with tweezers or wash it with warm water and soap every two hours and apply a new coat.
  • Hot water + bath salt: This is another duo that works for many people with this skin condition. Make your bath water as hot as you can bare and sprinkle a generous amount of salt. Soak your body and your affected areas and rub them gently with more salt. Leave the salt for 10 to 15 minutes as it will dry up the rash relieving the burning and itching skin condition. You can repeat this for twice a day for 2-3 days. Using bath salts that contain natural sea salts are found to be more effective.

TWO MORE RINGWORM TREATMENT METHODS

  • Made with natural anti-fungals like tea tree oil, camphor, lavender, jasmine and clove
  • It can be applied more than once a day
  • It only has 1% of powerful FDA-approved tolnaftate for ringworm
  • Discover one of the most powerful natural supplements.
  • Find out about the super food that will reverse this skin condition.
  • Learn about best full-spectrum multi-vitamin and mineral supplement

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.

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Chiara White

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