The Possible Causes and Home Remedies for Ringworm

The Possible Causes and Home Remedies for Ringworm

Ringworm is a common skin condition that affects 20-25% of the world’s population. In the US, thousands of people are suffering from ringworm and children are at highest risk. Ringworm is itchy and uncomfortable, but you can get rid of it with anti-fungal medications. Moreover, you can treat the symptoms by using natural ingredients. Continue reading below to know the possible causes of ringworm and home remedies to get rid of it.

Causes and Risk Factors of Ringworm

What causes ringworm?

Because of its name, many people think that ringworm is caused by a worm. But this idea is wrong, as ringworm is caused by a type of fungus called dermatophyte. This fungus lives everywhere and can affect both humans and animals. In humans, dermatophyte thrives in moist, warm areas of the body. It feeds on dead tissues of the skin, and in hair and nails.

Ringworm is highly contagious. And, the fungus can be spread by skin-to-skin contact. This means you can get the infection if you touch someone who has fungus.

Ringworm can also be transmitted from an animal to a person. If you adopt a pet, check if it has this infection. In many cases, a child contracts ringworm from an infected puppy or kitten.

Dermatophyte can also live on inanimate objects and surfaces. It includes bed sheets, blankets, clothing, brushes or combs. If you come into contact with the infected objects, you will definitely have ringworm.

what causes ringworm

Learn more: 7 Diseases You Can Get From Your Pet

Lifestyle risk factors

Ringworm is common in any kind of weather, including the winter. Anyone can get the infection, but you can be more at risk if you:

  • live in tropical countries with hot, humid weather
  • walk barefoot in communal areas, such as locker rooms and showers
  • stay in sweaty clothes for too long
  • have a compromised immune system
  • have diabetes and some cancers
  • have a family history with fungal infections
  • use antibiotics too much, or use corticosteroids
  • have minor skin or nail injuries
  • touch a person who has ringworm
  • share a room or personal items with someone who’s infected
  • not wash your hands frequently

risk factors of ringworm

Learn more: Poor Personal Hygiene Linked to Fungal Nail Infections

Types and Symptoms

Dermatophyte has more than 40 different types that can cause ringworm. Each type can be responsible for a type of ringworm. And symptoms can also be different between them.

Dermatophyte fungi Types of ringworm Symptoms
Tinea pedis Ringworm on the feet (athlete’s feet) This type of ringworm commonly affects skin between the toes, the sole and heel of the foot. Symptoms include:

·        A red, swollen, itchy rash

·        Cracked, or peeling skin

·        Sores or blisters

Tinea cruris Ringworm in the groin area (jock itch) This type of ringworm usually affects the genitals, buttocks, inner thighs and anus. It causes scaly, itchy, red spots on the skin.
Tinea capitis Ringworm on the scalp It causes red, itchy, scaly, circular bald spots on the head.
Dermatophytosis unguium, onychomycosis, or tinea unguium Ringworm of the nails

(fingernails and toenails)

This affects one or several nails and can spread from nail to nail. Symptoms include:

·        Thickened, discolored, or crumble nails

·        Distorted nails

·        A foul odor from nails

·        Nail lifting

Tinea barbae Ringworm in the beard This commonly occurs on the cheeks, chin, and upper neck. Symptoms include:

·        Itchy, red spots on skin

·        Beard hair loss



It is quite easy to recognize a ringworm rash. It is described as ring-shaped patch of skin. Often, it goes along with itching, flaking and peeling skin. If you think you may have ringworm, talk to your doctor for diagnosis.

ringworm of the scalp

Learn more: 7 Skin Conditions That Can Be Mistaken for Ringworm

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Ringworm

Ringworm can be treated at home with over-the-counter antifungal drugs. They are available as powders, sprays, lotions, gels and creams. Many doctors recommend you use Fugacil cream to get rid of ringworm within 1-2 weeks. Follow application instructions on the product. Talk to your doctor if your infection does not respond to Fugacil. You may need a stronger prescription topical or oral medication, such as:

  • Clotrimazole
  • Terbinafine
  • Miconazole
  • Ketoconazole

You can also use home remedies to get rid of ringworm fast. This can take a few days to weeks, depending your symptoms. These remedies include:

Soap and water

It’s important to keep your skin as clean as possible. This can help prevent ringworm from spreading to other areas of the body. So, wash your infection with soap and warm water one to twice a day. Thoroughly dry your skin after showers or baths.

treat ringworm with soap and warm water

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is known to effectively eliminate fungus on your skin. To use it, apply the aloe vera onto your infected area 3-4 times daily. Repeat this remedy until your infection is gone.

cure ringworm with aloe vera

Apple cider vinegar

Due to its anti-fungal properties, apple cider vinegar is used to treat a lot of skin conditions. Applying this ingredient on ringworm can help kill the fungus and relieve symptoms. To get the best results, apply apple cider vinegar directly to the infected area of your skin. Do this several times daily until the symptoms disappear.

Treat ringworm with apple cider vinegar

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a great natural home remedy for ringworm. It can help kill the fungus that causes ringworm and soothe the skin. This is safe and can allow your infection to heal more quickly. To help get rid of ringworm, apply coconut oil on the infected skin 3-4 times daily. Repeat this until the infection goes away.

get rid of ringworm with coconut oil


Turmeric mixed with some coconut oil can help treat ringworm very well. Apply this paste to the skin twice daily. Leave it to dry before washing off with soap and warm water.

treat ringworm with turmeric

If the above remedies do not help, speak to your doctor for further medication. Ringworm can sometimes return after treatment. Thus, you should take the following tips to avoid a recurrence.

  • Keep your skin clean and dry
  • Do not walk barefoot in public areas
  • Change out and clean your clothing frequently
  • Avoid sharing personal items with other people
  • Stay away from infected pets
  • Avoid humidity and warmth
  • Follow proper hygiene measures

Learn more: Diet for Treating and Preventing Ringworm


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