If you are new to ringworm, you will find that this website has all the information you need in order to get rid of it fast. Note that many online resources promise a quick cure; some even claim to help you get rid of ringworm within 24 hours. The fact remains that ringworm is not easy to get rid of as it is highly contagious. It takes a lot of cleaning and perhaps even discarding patient’s personal items to prevent recurrence. Moreover, if you are a pet owner, you are very likely going to have to take even more precautions since pets transmit this fungal skin disease very easily to their human beings. So in this guide, we will discuss how humans get ringworm, home remedies to use in order to get rid of ringworm permanently as well as precautions to take to prevent its recurrence.
How do you get ringworm? What are its symptoms?
Ringworm is a skin disease and not a worm as the name indicates. It is caused by fungal spores called dermatophytes. These spores get easily transmitted from infected pets to humans. Ringworm is common in adults and children and can impact the skin or scalp. It is prevalent in hot humid areas as moisture is conducive to the growth of the fungus. Here are some symptoms of ringworm:
- Flaky, itchy skin
- Ringworm lesions appear as raised, circular rashes. The skin inside the lesions may be hairless, flaky and extremely itchy.
- The rash appears to spread outward and very easily appears in the form of patches all over the arms, torso, upper back and shoulders, chest, face and neck as well as hairy areas like beard in men or scalp.
- Scalp ringworm is known to cause irreversible baldness in some patients.
Causes of ringworm
As stated above, ringworm is highly contagious. You might get it from your pets and cats are most common carriers. Infected people also unknowingly transmit it to their family members. Fungi causing ringworm thrive in warm, moist areas. Direct skin to skin contact transmits the pores from person to person or animals to humans. Staying in sweaty clothes or socks could invite ringworm. Walking barefoot along public toilets or baths/swimming pools etc can also lead to ringworm.
Types of Ringworm
Ringworm is of different kinds depending on the part it affects. Jock Itch is one of the most common types of ringworm. It affects the groin area and is typically seen in active men. Athlete’s Foot is another common type of ringworm affecting the toes. Tinea capititis or ringworm of the scalp causes hair loss in patches along with dandruff, flaking etc.
How long does it take to get rid of ringworm?
In general, ringworm can take around 2-4 weeks to go away completely provided you use the right antifungal creams, lotions and/or oral anti-fungal medicines to treat it. Without treatment, ringworm patches take months to go away. Also, without proper precautions, the rashes tend to simply come back. We will discuss some home remedies along with precautions to take in order to get rid of ringworm permanently.
How to get rid of ringworm on the face and body?
Ringworm responds well to self care and you might see some lesions disappearing within 24 hours of treatment. Treatment includes the use of antifungal medicines like ketoconazole, terbinafine or miconazole. Apply the cream all over the rash and keep the rash covered with a bandage. Repeat application 3-4 times daily. In case of tinea capititis or ringworm of the scalp, use anti-fungal shampoos or lotions on the rashes. Repeat this treatment 3 times a week for 4 weeks or until the symptoms have gone completely. Very rarely you might need oral antifungal medicines if topical treatment does not show results.
Can you get rid of ringworm with bleach?
Many people have used home remedies like bleach to get rid of ringworm. Bleach certainly kills 99.99% of microbes but it can be harsh on the skin. Bleach also fades colors so you need to be careful that it does not come in contact with clothes. You can certainly use bleach to wipe down surfaces such as countertops, basins/sinks, tubs etc. This will help you get rid of spores and prevent re-infection. Also use mild laundry bleach to wash all infected clothes. This will eliminate spores on clothing.
Can you use coconut oil for ringworm?
Coconut oil has mild anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. These could help in getting rid of ringworm. However, coconut oil cannot be a standalone treatment for ringworm. You can use it along with conventional treatment such as antifungal creams mentioned above. Use warm oil for a scalp massage as well. This will prevent dandruff and flaking and also stop itchiness. Continue to use antifungal shampoos alongside this herbal ringworm treatment.
Precautions to take
- Discard all infected items if possible, and never ever share them with other people in the family.
- Treat pets in the family with vet approved products (creams, shampoos etc).
- Teach children to wash their hands with soap after handling pets.
- Use all medicines as directed for 2-3 weeks. Even if your symptoms disappear in 24 hours, continue using the creams/pills. This is a necessary precaution to prevent the rashes from recurring.
- Wash sheets, night clothes and pet bedding in hot water every day while infected.
- Keep the skin moist and dry always.
- Wear slippers and shoes in wet areas.
- After sports, shower immediately using antibacterial soap. Dry the skin and use antifungal powder. Use drying powder inside socks to keep feet dry.
Ringworm rashes could get infected. Signs of infection include pus, bleeding or oozing rashes. The infection can also come back. To prevent recurrence, use drying powder every day. If you or a family member has ringworm, get it examined by a doctor immediately.