Jul 06, 2016
Ringworm is a common fungal infection that can affect humans and pets, young and old alike. but there are several effective natural remedies that work fast. Ringworm can be cured with home remedies like apple cider vinegar, iodine, oregano oil, or rubbing alcohol to name a few.
What is Ringworm?
Contrary to its name, ringworm is NOT a worm or a parasitic infection. Ringworm is a fungal infection that is often shaped in a circle (ring). Ringworm is a tinea infection found on the body. Tinea on the foot is called athlete's foot. Tinea on the head is called tinea capitis. Thus, ringworm on the body is tinea corporis. Ringworm can spread from person to person. It is not uncommon among cats, and humans get ringworm from their cats or other pets. Ringworm is not usually painful but it can be itchy. Unfortunately, scratching is a good way to spread the disease.
Our readers have often tried over the counter and prescription anti-fungals, only to find that an inexpensive natural remedy works best for it after all, and with much less expense!
Natural Medicines for Ringworm
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is our most popular home remedy for ringworm. You can read more about it here!
If you are a regular at Earth Clinic, you may already have some Lugol's iodine solution around the house, because it is commonly mentioned and used for different ailments. Apply this iodine twice a day. If you don't have any Lugol's on hand, you should be able to get a colorless liquid iodine at your local pharmacy. This may be more convenient anyway since it will not stain skin. (But don't worry, the staining from Lugol's iodine is temporary!)
Most households have rubbing alcohol in the medicine cabinet. Use a cotton ball to apply rubbing alcohol to the ringworm patches at least twice a day.
Herbs for Ringworm
Garlic is a wonderful anti-fungal herb. While some brave souls will use a bandaid to attach a sliver of fresh garlic to a spot of ringworm, this will likely burn the skin. Garlic oil or even garlic powder may be a more comfortable way to use this remedy!
Black walnut is often used in a tincture form. The tincture can be applied twice a day to the ringworm lesions.
Turmeric, found in the spice section of your grocery store, is wonderful for all kinds of infections and inflammation. The turmeric can be sprinkled onto the patches of ringworm. Alternately you can mix some turmeric into some olive oil or coconut oil to make a paste. Turmeric will stain things yellow though.
Essential Oils for Ringworm
Oregano, tea tree, and lavender essential oil have all been used successfully to treat ringworm. While tea tree and lavender essential oils can be used neat ( without diluting) on the skin, diluting the oils a bit into some coconut oil or olive oil will reduce the risk of irritation. Oregano oil should always be diluted when used topically. It does burn the skin and is very strong.
Mix 1/4 teaspoon of your choice of essential oils (one or a combination to equal 1/4 teaspoon total) with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil. Then apply this oil mixture to the ringworm twice a day.
What if Nothing is Working for Ringworm?
Perhaps you are someone who has already tried nearly everything for ringworm and it continues to plague you. In this case it is that possible you are being reinfected without realizing it. Check pets for ringworm. Be sure to wash bedding twice a week in hot water. Wash your clothes in water as hot as allowed. Add vinegar to the rinse water of your laundry with each load.
Supplements for Ringworm
Your immune system may need some extra support to fight this fungal infection. Vitamins C, D and Zinc all help to support the immune system.
Borage Oil, found in capsules, can also be helpful if your skin problems are slow to heal.
It is also possible that you have a systemic fungal infection and ringworm is and outward manifestation of it. Consider reading Bill Thompson's excellent book, "Candida, Killing so Sweetly."
Have you tried any home remedies for ringworm? How did they work for you? Please send us some feedback! Keep reading to find stories of how our creative readers have treated their ringworm infections.
Remedies for Ringworm
I started with a small circle on my right groin about 3 months months ago. I used virtually all OTC antifungals, none worked at all, which was very strange as previous experiences with fungus lasted 2 weeks at most and didn't have any problem clearing, they were a matter of put on the cream and forget, pretty much. This time it's been different from the start. One night, about 2 weeks ago, I even applied ACV like mad, till it bled, only to see a large rash on my corresponding thigh the morning afterwards; I reckon spores were released in huge amounts and all went to what was closest to them. Slowly but steadily that creepy thing is spreading on my two thighs and about 2 days ago on my left forearm. Now I've very very concerned, I don't want to have ringworm on my torso, face, etc. I've also tried several home remedies such as coconut oil (seemed to work but it's way too oily), Absorbing Jr Extra Strength (didn't work at all), Vicks Vaporub (same, didn't work), soaps with tea tree oil (apart from the nice smell, nothing), antidandruff shampoo (nothing either).
What does seem to work for me is Aloe Vera. After only 2 days on my forearm and that thing seems completely controlled, if not gone already. After the first application it stopped spreading; I reckon in the same way as clear nail polish seems to work, Aloe Vera suffocates ringworm and eventually kills it. Caveat: the infection on my forearm was very very recent, I've also applied generous amounts of AV to my groins and legs but probably because it's quite worse there it's taking way longer to see results.
Something very important to take into account is that ringworm may seem and act different depending on the part of the body affected. On my forearm I mostly saw circular shapes with borders of slightly darker, reddish skin, whereas on my thighs and groins it's slightly thickened skin in circular shapes, sometimes with several pustules (which I am yet to see on my forearm).
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Las Vegas, Nevada
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Hope, Bc Canada
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Posted by Diane (Charlotte, Michigan) on 04/17/2009
I had ringworm all over my torso and upper arms. I tried all the cures I read about on this site. Finally, after 3 months of suffering and embarassment, I came across this site about anti-fungal diet. Between that and two weeks of using a topical antifungal cream..with Miconazole Nitrate 2% in it.. this was the only one that even began to work for me, I am clear!!!! I really believe the anti-fungal diet was what really did it for me, plus u automatically loose weight on it. I praise my Lord God above for leading me in that direction. You can get the antifungal diet online..its really just any meats, veggies(no potatos or legumes) and berries, green apples, grapefruit, nuts(no peanuts) no sugar (stevia only) and not much caffine. Hope this helps others.
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Lumberton, North Carolina
Apple cider vinegar works for ringworm. This inexpensive and highly effective natural remedy is easy to use. Apple cider vinegar can be used internally or externally for ringworm. Our readers have also reported success using apple cider vinegar capsules.
Posted by Klj (Culpeper, Va) on 06/27/2016
I have been using apple cider vinegar to treat ringworm on my leg. I tried lamisil, but it just seemed to make the area hot and more irritated. In addition I have used coconut oil. I apply the apple cider vinegar twice a day with a cotton swab...almost 4 ounces a day on an area about 4"x4". I apply coconut oil once a day in the evening to the area. I keep the area of my leg covered when out in the sun and working in the heat of the day. It is clearing up much more quickly than using the over the counter remedy.
Posted by Gardengirl (Gallatin, Tn) on 03/17/2012
I just wanted to share my cure for ringworms. Years back, I got a ringworm on the top of my hand and went to the doctor and got a lot of medicine. After about 2 more weeks, medicine wasn't helping, called my mother and she told me to take a penny and put it in Apple Cider Vinegar for about 1 day then put it on my hand about 2or3min. Put it back in Apple Cider Vinegar and repeat. I did that 4 times a day and the 3 day it was gone. I really think the vinegar releases the copper in the penny. Guess you need to use a old penny so you will get enough copper. Try it, it works!!!
Posted by Cheylynmob (Plano, TX) on 06/04/2009
Apple Cider Vingar and a penny (copper).
I drenched a cotton swab in the apple cider vinegar and wet the penny with it also. I placed it on the ringworm located on my son's head and covered it with an extra large band-aid and additional medical tape because it has grown to be rather large. I let him go to bed with it on his head and the next morning, it had gone down tremendously! Today is day two and I'm anxious to see what it will look like later.
We had already tried bleach, Lamisil, prescribed Ketaconozole, and Griseofulvn. Nothing was working and it actually grew larger!
This is working. I'll use this method everytime.Replied by Cheryl
06/07/2009Replied by Becky
Orange Park, Fl
Posted by pamela (cedar park, texas) on 01/20/2007
this is what i had happen with ringworm problems, i got it after i moved to texas from california, there were tons of new things here that was not where i use to live, humidity,' and probably other things i did not see write from the start, i had a big flea problem after the first month, got rid of them, on the pets, then i had tons of strange marks on my arms they finely left, because we have no health insurance, and i believe in all natural cures, i came to your site and a few other to see what would work and cheep , so i tried apple cider vingar, fungi med capsules, and fungrx they all fail, then i decide to try ted's fish store cure of copper sulfate , i thought surely this would work, well it did not work, at all it cause them to spreed all over the place and burn, itch and hurt allot, i could not sleep, or go anywhere for weeks, because of the pain, so i decided this was not going not work, at all, so i started over again, i purchased some apple cider vinegar extract capsules, they were 200 mg each, i took 6 a day, four times a day, them started using along with this L-Lysine tablets, i took 1000 mg, of this, three times a day, along with the vinagar tablets, and i am finely on the way of getting rid of this, its been close to 4 months now, and i am so pleased i figure out on my own how to finely get rid of this hard to cure problem, how they work is this way, vingar and L-Lysine are both acid, its goes into your blood stream ,and will make anything die that is a virus, i take the L-Lysine when ever i feel a cold sore, coming on a friend of mine told me this would work, and for the past 20 years i have used it, and in two days its gone, but you need to take it right away, to get it gone, asap, it did not dawn on me that this would work, until i saw it look like i was now getting shingles, on top of this rinworm, this climate is hard to adjust to, at a older age, thats why i am having so many problems with these things here. hope this helps these products are very cheap, the apple cider vinagar tablets are only around 4.99 for a bottle of 240 capsules the L-Lysine at 500 to 1000 mg are around between 5 to 10 dollars for 100 tablets.
Posted by Natasha (Chicago, Il) on 03/20/2012
First I want to start off by saying this is the first site I came too for a cure for my ringworm almost a year ago and I am now ringworm free thank god and AVC!! I had my ringworm since june 2011 and I went to see my doc two days ago and my ringworm is finally gone!!! Yaaaay anywho if anyone is going through the same this is what I did, (1) wash ringworm (2) put tea tree oil for at least two hours (3) wash again then put rubbing alcohol on wait until it dries then put AVC ON A PAPER TOWEL MAKE SURE ITS SOAKED!! Put a sock over it, it might burn a little and let sit for a hour or two and if it dries put more AVC, It took a while for it to go away but it worked and make sure to use it 2wks after its gone! I don't know how long it's been gone because I thought I still had it because I now have eczema where my ringworm was But I can deal with that instead of a nasty ringworm;-) GOOD LUCK I HOPE THIS HELPS.
Posted by Matthew (Berkeley, Ca) on 03/02/2010
I feel so lucky to have found this website! I had a nasty patch of ringworm that was getting out of control since I thought it was some sort of weird bug bite and was doing nothing for it except worrying. After a month of it getting larger and itchier, my friend finally diagnosed it as ringworm and found this website for me. What a Godsend! I immediately soaked a folded paper towel with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)and layed it on the area. There was an immediate reaction and I could tell it was killing the ringworm fungus. The itching was gone almost instantaneously. I repeatedly kept the paper towel wet with ACV for a couple hours, then I lightly wet a large bandage with Tea Tree Oil, placed it on the sore and went to bed. I did the same thing the next night, only that time it really stung because the patch was all opened up and blister-y. Tea Tree bandage again, which also hurts. But those two treatments completely turned it around and its almost all healed less than a week later!! I've also been dabbing tea tree on it as it's healing, and I've been drinking little shots (1/2 oz.)of the ACV twice a day as well. All in all, this was an amazingly effective treatment and a real no-brainer (also completely natural and non-toxic!). I hope this info may help someone else. ACV goes to work immedietly and seems to kill ringworm on contact!!!Replied by Gina
Posted by Ronda (Platte Center, United States) on 12/20/2007
my grand daughter picked up ringworm from her cat about a month ago we dabbed on her ringworm with a cotton ball straight apple cider vinegar then a drop of tea tree oil did this for 3 days and it was gone-I swear to God and hers outbreak was pretty bad a lg blotch on her chin and upper leg all ring worm is gone and the total cost was under $5.00
i hate ringworm from fort lauderdale, usa writes: "Try this if u want to save a couple hundreds of dollars. Apple Cider Vinager and Tea tree oil. Use a cotton ball,pour ACV on the cotton ball press and hold to that area for a couple of mins. Then, use a brand new cotton ball , pour about 15 drops of Tea Tree oil on the cotton ball, press and hold to the area for five mins. Continue to do this for two weeks. These two household items are magic stuff. Good luck folks.....
Posted by Linette Sue (Flower Mound, Texas, Usa) on 10/30/2014
Hallo my son has been nattling this for 2 months, not knowing what his Rash was. Im grateful to find your website. He had in 1998 also when he was 5 yrd old. I was uneducated then & he had on his lower back. We had multiple cats since he was 1 yrs old. Niw, I am current a student at the school of Vedic Astrology/Sanskrit. @ the American Academy of Vedic Art and Science. I also study Ayurveda & illness including Rashes of the body. I know cayenne pepper purifies the body and will help with rashes by making a paste and orally drinking with detoxify the lymph nodes and our blood system, also including a paste homemade of mustard seeds. Ayurveda has ringworm remedies as well. Also I am giving him herb pills - Wormwood Combination> with clove, wormwood, black walnut, Quassia, and Male Fern Root. All Vegetarian source capsules. I hope this helps others as well. I appreciate your website very much. I wish all peace :) LinetteReplied by Sandhya
Posted by Laurie (Daejeon, South Korea) on 01/24/2012
I got ringworm from my cat, and I've gone through at least 2-3 cycles of infection now over a period of 2 months. I tried anti-fungal creams. Since it's in Korean and my doctor has limited English, I wasn't sure what the active ingredients were. But I tried 2-3 different types of creams and none helped, one even made it much worse. I even desperately tried bleach... Very bad idea. Wounds festered. I tried apple cider vinegar-much the same as the bleach.
What works: Use bar soap, lather well so that a thick white foam appears over all ringworm spots, let air dry for about 10-20 minutes, gently rinse. Repeat at least 2x/day. I'm doing this plus taking anti-fungal pills once a week. I've ordered Absorbine Jr. at the recommendation of this site. I intend to apply that as well, but it is not available in Korea and I've had to order it online.Replied by Ruth
Posted by Jessica Rabbit (Miami, Florida) on 09/16/2010
My nine year old daughter got ringworm in her scalp from summer camp. I tried everything acv, the prescript meds, polish, creams, bleach you name it. I got a natural cures book from a whole foods store and voila she is cured after two years of this nightmare! First you need black tar shampoo wash every night. Then 100% pure tea tree oil after you wash the hair use a q-tip with a little water on it rub into scalp gently. Last but not least organic sulfur sold in pellet form in blue tube about five tiny pellets per dose and it does'nt taste bad. Kind of like sugar water so my daughter actually did not mind it, gris-peg and others are gross tasting. I did this every day till the pellets ran out and amen she no longer has bald spots her hair is growing back! She can go to the hairdressers!!! No more itching!!!! She has been ring worm free for a year now...
PS change pillow case every night. Do not share combs or shampoo, brush during the process. Do not want to contaminate others. It's a lot to do but it is so worth it cuz ringworm in the scalp is hard to get rid of... Good luck!
Posted by Lisa (Pa) on 10/20/2015
I have had a bad issue with ringworm on the inside of my middle finger. Swollen, dark red, itchy. I applied ACV as I'd seen on some sites. That pulled the toxins out, but it became furiously puffed up afterward, blistered and then a hard crust formed. I could tell the skin was trying to heal. I thought it was done.
A couple of days later, I had a tiny cut on my face between my eye and nose. The fungus spread to my face, then the inside crook of my arm, then the back of my neck. All these were exposed areas, so I started covering the rest of my body with clothes and socks to protect it.
I didn't try ACV again, because it brought the skin to pustules and I read that once they burst, it spreads like wildfire. I think that's what happened to me. So I figured the slow and patient approach best.
I'm a big proponent of natural remedies, and made myself a balm of coconut oil/olive oil/vit e oil/tea tree oil/lavender essential oil. This was soothing, took the itch away for a period of time, but did not stop the spreading (or subsequent reinfections of the same site).
I am currently on the anti-fungal meds from the doc (works ever so slowly and doesn't seem to get rid of it quickly) and tried the steroid cream he gave. Package said to use that for 7 days only so I've stopped that, but that's not enough time to heal this issue.
I turned to online remedies. I tried Blue Star ointment. That seemed to help for a day, but after that it burned my skin and gave me welts, and I couldn't use it anymore.
What does work for me is:
* Selsun Blue shampoo with the scrubbing beads. Great for the lower scalp and back of the neck. Takes away the itching for some time, and is relieving. You can put it on the other sides too but don't scrub too much, since the beads cut the skin (my right hand is super dry due to this shampoo).
* Lamasil. This took away the itching all day for me, and calmed the areas. It doesn't seem to be killing the fungus though. 1x a day after shower.
* Black Walnut tincture. Day one of this and a lot of the redness was gone. Today is day three and I can see my skin color through the ringworm. I can still see redness under the skin so it's still there, but seems to be slowly fading. 3x a day, or dab on if there are small areas that itch/sting after application.
*Dr. Bronner's castille soap with tea tree oil - I use this to cleanse the site between applications. Foam it up and rinse in cool water. I use it at least 3-4 times a day, even on my face. Pat dry with clean towel, and let area completely air dry for a bit. The apply your black walnut tincture.
Internally, I saw a site that said to drink ACV (1.5 tsp to half glass water). So I'm having that daily, along with a teaspoon of Carlson's cod liver oil (the lemon-flavored one).
I also don't let clothing touch the sites (crook of my arm - roll up sleeve or wear really short sleeve shirt that doesn't touch the site) because clothing seems to irritate it, help it to spread and keep in the moisture. I have been sleeping on the couch with towels laid out under me. I sleep on my back with the crook of the arm facing up, so that the air can get to the site. If I bend my arm, within minutes moisture and warmth builds up, and the site reddens and stings. Wash all towels and clothes daily with plenty of vinegar in the rinse.
I'm definitely not scared/panic-y anymore. I was extremely concerned about it spreading more, or me having it forever. I'm not going to say that it isn't going to happen, but at least I feel a little more at ease, seeing it slowly get better daily.
If you have it bad, I think you have to be patient with the remedy that seems to calmly heal this issue. I don't see how these folks can put something on and in two days it's totally gone. Maybe that works for someone who recognizes it when they get it, and they catch it small. However, for those of us who have had it longer, or have larger areas, patience and diligence seem to be key. It seems that different things work for different folks, so try and find what works for you.
I've also seen that gentian violet works well and quickly. I've not been able to find that yet, but if this continues on me. I'll have to order it and try it.
I hope this helps someone. Thanks to everyone who have shared their stories and methods here.
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Hope, Bc Canada
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Ten Mile , Tn.