Ringworm, or lichen planus, is a common fungal infection that develops on the top layer of the skin. It is manifested by red circular rash and sometimes it may cause itching. The infection is often spread by direct skin to skin contact with an infected person or animal.
Antifungal drugs are essential for a proper ringworm treatment. Mild infections usually respond to these drugs, but in more severe infections, it is necessary to consume various pills, which may take several weeks.
What causes ringworm in humans?
Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection caused by mold, which, just as any other parasite, lives in the epidermal cells.
The infection can be transmitted in the following ways:
- From person to person – it spreads via direct contact with an infected person.
- From animals to humans – infected animals can pass the infection on humans through direct contact and this phenomenon is usually possible in dogs, cats and cows.
- From a contaminated object to person – it is transmitted when a person comes into immediate contact with contaminated objects and surfaces that an infected person or animal recently touched, but also through contaminated clothing, towels, bedclothes, combs, etc.
- From a contaminated soil to person – in rare cases, ringworm can spread to humans by contact with infected soil. The infection is most likely to happen if you are exposed to such a soil for a longer period of time only.
Usually, ringworms are initially manifested as dry, flaky area on the skin surface, which may be red and itchy. The shape of the affected area is slightly protuberant, irregular, usually circular, ring-shaped and red in color. In some infected individuals there is more than one of the affected areas that overlap each other.
Keep in mind to visit your doctor if the infection is still there two weeks after the emergence.
How to treat ringworms?
The ringworm infection is difficult to prevent. The fungi that cause the ringworm occurrence primarily take root in the patient’s body, even before the first symptoms appear. You can reduce the risk of getting ringworm infection if you take the following steps:
- Educate yourself and help others – be aware of the risks that come with ringworms.
- Maintain good hygiene – wash your hands often to avoid the spread of the infection; keep the space that you share with other persons clean, which is especially important when it comes to schools, kindergartens, gyms, locker rooms and other.
- Avoid excessive sweating – this can sometimes be very hard, especially in the summer, but just try to do your best.
- Avoid the infected animals – the infection in such animals is most commonly manifested by a lack of hair or fur in the affected area. However, in some cases, there is no signs of the disease, so be particularly careful when you feel like petting stray animals.
- Do not share your personal things with anyone – it relates to your clothing, towels, hairbrushes and other personal belongings.
How to get rid of ringworms naturally
Ringworm is possible to cure with conventional medical treatments, but some medications that are used for antifungal therapy can have toxic side effects and are not always successful. Essential oils, on the other hand, are used in holistic therapy worldwide to treat a variety of health problems and skin diseases of all kinds. Depending on the type, they have strong antifungal properties.
Essential oils are plant extracts, which are by a process of distillation converted to aromatic medicinal liquids. The delicate molecules of essential oils are known for their ability to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi. They are also beneficial in the treatment of wounds by providing oxygen and nutrients directly to the cells.
There are several essential oils that can be useful for the treatment of ringworms. It is best to dilute the essential oil in fast absorbing oil, like hazelnut or macadamia oil. Apply the resulting mixture directly to the infected spot. Please note: Only certified oils are safe for skin care and if you are not sure which oil to choose, consult with an expert.
The best antifungal oils:
- Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii var. motia)
- Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) – do not use in children below 2 years of age!
- Laurel (Laurus nobilis) – long-term use can cause allergic reactions!
- Lavender (Lavandula spica) – pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children should not use this oil!
Home remedies for ringworm
- Drink one cup of dandelion root tea, two times a day. You can also use it to make a compress, apply it to the infected spot and hold for 15 minutes.
- Apply lemon juice to the ringworm and cover with children’s powder (you can dilute lemon juice if it’s too strong). Repeat this procedure several evenings in a row.
- Hyssop softens the skin, it is useful as an antiseptic, relieves inflammation and it is great in the treatment of ringworm. Mix a few drops of hyssop oil in a cup of soybean oil and gently rub the infected area.
- Take three tablespoons of chopped raspberries leaves and put in half a liter of boiling water. Let it sit for about 60 minutes and use the liquid to rinse painful areas
- Make homemade blueberry syrup and apply to the ringworm using compress, remove after 2 hours. This treatment should last at least 10 days.
Remedies against ringworm on face
- Make strawberry juice and apply to your face before going to bed. The mask should stay on for at least 20 minutes, then wash the face with chamomile tea. The treatment lasts 7 days.
- Rinse infected spot with chamomile tea and apply the following balm: 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnut, mint and birch leaf and 250 g of unsalted pork lard, cook over low heat.
We definitely recommend that you consult a doctor, because there is a possibility that he will prescribe certain pills, anti-fungal creams, or any other product that will help you get rid of ringworm.