11 Effective Home Remedies for Ringworm

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Ringworm is a very common fungal infection of the skin, but there are a number of simple home remedies that can clear up this infection, including the use of garlic extract, tea tree oil, turmeric, aloe vera, coconut oil, salt, papaya and lemongrass tea, among others.

Ringworm on the skin appears as a red, itchy, circular rash, and the hair in the affected area may fall out. Visual inspection from a doctor can usually diagnose the condition, or a simple skin scraping and analysis.

You can avoid this fungal infection by minimizing your exposure to the sweat or skin of others, or your exposure to places where other people’s skin may have touched. For example, walking in a bathroom or shower with bare feet is an excellent way to contract ringworm, as is having perpetually wet or damp skin, which happens to many full-time athletes.

While there are anti-fungal creams and steroids that can be taken to counter this infection, many people prefer a more natural approach, which is why these handy home remedies for ringworm are so important.

Home Remedies for Ringworm

There are various herbs and oils that are rich in antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties and help in giving relief from the infection and itching. These natural remedies for ringworm are also easy to use.

Garlic Extract

One of the most powerful remedies for bacterial, viral or fungal infections is garlic, due to its wide range of antioxidants and other organic compounds that make the environment of the skin or gut intolerable for these pathogens. For the treatment of ringworm, you can apply garlic extract to the affected area and see very rapid results, making this one of the most popular home remedies for the condition.

Tea Tree Oil

When it comes to eliminating fungal infections, the native-to-Australia tea tree oil is hard to beat. Aside from its ability to speed healing and stimulate the healthy skin, it can also eliminate the underlying fungal infection when used regularly for a period of weeks. However, tea tree oil is extremely powerful, so always dilute it with approximately 50% water or carrier oil, or else it can cause skin irritation.

Salt Treatment

Salt may seem like a basic remedy, but for ringworm, it is extremely effective. Salt dries out the skin and given that wet, damp areas are ideal for ringworm to take hold and spread, applying salt, which has astringent properties, is excellent for disinfecting the area. It can also speed healing and reduce the inflammation of the affected skin by sucking out the moisture.

Aloe Vera

Known for its potent anti-inflammatory and immune-system-boosting properties, aloe vera is an excellent candidate if you are suffering from ringworm and want a quick way to eliminate it. Aloe vera also has direct antifungal abilities for a wide variety of potential pathogens, and the saponins in the concentrated gel are excellent for relieving pain and discomfort associated with this condition. You can apply the gel directly to the affected area for best results.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is praised for its ability to improve health in many different ways, and it is closely associated with the health and wellness of the hair and scalp. For those people, particularly children, who contract ringworm on the scalp, you can apply coconut oil directly on the hair and head and leave it in overnight. The natural antifungal and rejuvenating properties of coconut oil will work quickly to relieve the itching and infection.

Lemongrass Tea

While most of these remedies are topical applications, there is some good that you can do with the things you eat. Lemongrass tea, for example, is an excellent booster for the immune system, particularly when it comes to fungal infections throughout the body. However, you can also allow the tea to cool and apply it directly to the affected skin area for a doubled effect!


This fruit holds a number of impressive compounds and benefits that many people overlook, particularly papain, the active ingredient. This compound is very helpful at sloughing off dead or outer skin cells, which is where ringworm typically lives and infects. By clearing these out and encouraging new, healthy cells to replace them, ringworm can be easily handled. The enzymes present in papaya can break down viral and fungal defenses, while also reducing inflammation, pain, and irritation.

Lavender Oil

If you thought the smell of lavender was soothing, wait until you experience the topical effects of the essential oil. For the treatment of ringworm, lavender essential oil can be applied to the skin, which will not only kill the fungal infection in its tracks but also prevent other infections from taking hold during the healing process. Lavender oil is extremely powerful, so only a small amount is required to enjoy these health benefits.

Olive Leaf Extract

This somewhat unusual herbal remedy is praised because of its obvious antifungal properties and effects on the immune system. You can apply this extract numerous times each day and the effect on this fungal infection will be obvious within 1-2 weeks.


As one of the most powerful antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal substances available to us in our diet, turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, were sure to make this list. More specifically, people choose to use the even more concentrated form of turmeric oil to treat this condition. This oil will reduce the inflammation on the skin, while also quickly eliminating the underlying infection.

Mustard Seed

Mustard seeds may be tiny, but they’re also mighty when it comes to battling certain skin infections. You can soak the seeds overnight and then mash them into a paste in the morning. Applying this paste to the affected area can quickly clear out the infection and get your skin back to normal!

Final Word of Warning

As mentioned earlier, ringworm is highly contagious, and while there aren’t any real dangers to the infection, and it can usually be cured quite easily, your immune system’s susceptibility to the infection may be indicative of a more serious problem. It is always a good idea to get infections checked out by a doctor, in combination with these natural and herbal remedies.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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