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A Home Remedy for Ringworm That Works

What is Ringworm and How Should You Treat It?

Your child comes home with what looks like ringworm and you wonder how should you treat it? You'll find all the information your need to get rid of the ringworm here. If you are like me, you like natural home remedies better than the over-the-counter medicines or paying the enormous bill at the doctor's office. The old cures sometimes just work better.

If the ringworm is spread across a wide variety of the body, you should see a doctor. The information on this page isn't meant to replace the advice of a physician in these situations.

It your child has the fungus, it doesn't mean they are dirty. It just means they came into contact with someone else that has it. Even a pet can spread it to a person. So, just take it with a grain of salt and try one of these cures.

Ringworm isn't a worm at all, but a fungus. The medical name for it is dermatophytosis. You can get the fungus on any part of your body. Ringworm is similar to jock itch or athletes foot. All three are caused by a fungus infection. It likes moist areas of the skin. Ringworm is very contagious.

What Does Ringworm Look Like

Ringworm appears as itchy, scaly, red patches that appear to look like a red ring with a white center. This is how the name came to be. It almost appears to be a worm. In some cases of ringworm, you won't see the white center, but it will have the shape of a ring. This is the clue that this it is ringworm.

Nummular Dermatitis looks so much like ringworm that it has been diagnosed incorrectly by doctors. It is a form of eczema rather than ringworm. If even after seeing a doctor, your ringworm doesn't go away, see a dermatologist.

How Do You Get Ringworm?

  • Ringworm is often spread by pets. If your pet has round spots of missing hair, that may be the problem. Almost any animal can get it, including even horses and cows.
  • Other people can spread the fungus too. I remember my sister using a public bathroom and getting it in the shape of a stool seat on her bottom! Ringworm is highly contagious.
  • It is more likely if you already have cuts or scratches on the skin.
  • Those on certain drugs that lower their immune system are more likely to get any skin infection. If you are on any of these, you might get ringworm easier than other people.
  • While using public swimming pools, you can pick up the fungus. Public showers are another place you can get it on your feet.
  • Sharing combs and brushes with someone who has the infection on their scalp is a good way to get the fungus.
  • You are more likely to get it on sweaty or damp areas of the skin.
  • Good hygiene helps, but poor hygiene isn't going to cause it.
  • Children are more likely to get the infection, because they come into contact with so many playmates.

by livestrong, Youtube

Keep the Area Covered to Avoid Spreading It

No matter what you do, keep the area covered with a bandage or band-aid at all times. Ringworm is easily passed from one person to the next. Keeping it covered will help it from spreading to other people and possibly from other areas of your own body. If you use a washcloth on the area, don't use it on other areas of your body either. You should keep your hands washed with soap after touching and treating the area.

If you have ringworm on your scalp, my advice is to see a dermatologist and skip the home cures. When I was in grade school, one of the boys in my class had it and it completely covered his scalp. It was months before he looked normal again. I wouldn't let it spread that far on my scalp.

You should also see your doctor if it shows signs of infection. These include swelling, pus, pain, red lines coming from the area or a fever. You need to see a physician immediately.

All treatments should be continued for 7 days after the fungus has healed. This will guarantee it is healed and help it from returning.

Home Cures for Ringworm

Blue Star Ointment

I usually only recommend natural products from around the home, but I've heard this medication recommended enough times to bring it up. The company claims that their product works for both jock itch and ringworm. It makes sense since both maladies are caused by a fungus.

If you already have some over-the-counter medication for fungal infections in the medicine cabinet, they should work.

Castor Oil

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You will need to keep the area clean and covered. Then cover the ringwom with castor oil 5-6 times a day. Many say this works.

Fresh Air and Sunshine

Because fungal infections hate sunshine and fresh air, you should try getting as much as you can on the area. Take off your band-aid and let some sun soak in. The reason this works, is because fungi like wet areas. The idea will not heal the infection, but will help the other methods work. This keeps it dry. If the ringworm is in an area that gets sweaty, don't use this idea.


Garlic is a natural treatment for any fungus. Take fresh garlic and make it into a paste. Apply it to the ringworm several times a day. Keep the area covered. Taking garlic in capsule form also helps. These can be purchased almost anywhere that sells vitamins. Combine treating it with the fresh garlic paste and taking the capsules.

Mustard Seeds

You can make a powder with mustard seeds. These are found in the spice aisle at your grocery store. The powder should be made into a paste. Just crush the seeds and add a little water. The paste will need to be kept on the area at all times. Be sure to keep it covered.


Papaya seems to be a popular cure. Rub either the juice or slices of the fruit on the infected area. Try using a paste made from the crushed seeds of the fruit too.Be sure to keep the area covered.


Keep the area clean and dry at all times. Ringworm and other fungus thrive on moisture. Some people claim that applying vinegar as many as 5 times a day took theirs away in a weekend. Continue use even if it looks healed for awhile. Vinegar is good at killing germs, so this is worth a try.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E can be purchased in capsule form over the counter. The capsules are easy to open and you can remove the oil from them. Some say that if you apply the Vitamin E to the ringworm and keep the area covered with it, that this will work quickly.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is not meant to replace the advice of a physician. It is meant as general information only.


Barbara Badder (author) from USA on May 03, 2015:

peachpurple, I am happy to hear that you got rid of it. Share with us how you did it.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on May 03, 2015:

I used to have ringworm, got rid of it and changed my health habits

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on October 24, 2014:

Shades-of-truth, I might make a nice die for yarn and fabric then.

Emily Tack from USA on October 24, 2014:

Ditto, Barbara. I have used it for many things before, including thrush. It truly is effective, but the stains! On the bright side, it does impart the most impressive royal purple color to anything with which it comes into contact. :)

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on October 23, 2014:

Shades-of-truth, Thanks for info. I hope I never need it. LOL

Emily Tack from USA on October 23, 2014:

When I was a child, for about 5 years, we lived in Florida. I am back in Florida now, and have had to tell several people here how we used to eliminate ringworm years ago. It is still an excellent remedy, although it is not considered to be an organic one.

We used to use gentian violet. It stains everything it comes into contact with, but it is an inexpensive way to eliminate ringworm. I always have to get a pharmacy to order it for me, as few of them carry it any more. The cost is usually less than ten dollars, and it works fast.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on October 01, 2013:

MizBejabbers, Thanks for all you input. Thank goodness I don't have all of those experiences. Thanks for voting up.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on October 01, 2013:

I’ve never tried any of these home remedies, but when my youngest son got ringworm as a child, my father cured it quickly with flowers of sulfer. Since this is a powder, he mixed it with petroleum jelly to make a salve, which we applied until it was cured. He said that was what he used on his hunting dogs that got ringworm, so he wanted to try it on the kid. LOL. It worked. It also works on lice, we later learned. Don’t use this if you are allergic to sulfur.

A word of caution, there are things other than the one mentioned that masquerade as ringworms. I thought I had a ringworm on my shoulder, and when conventional rememedies wouldn’t take it away. I consulted a dermatologist, and it turned out to be a lesion of precancerous cells which he burned off. I have since had four more in the last 10 years and have had them medically removed.

Another one is Henoch Schoenlein purpura, a potentially fatal autoimmune disease. Three years ago, the same son mentioned above again thought he had a particularly nasty breakout of multiple ringworms. When they wouldn’t heal, the doctor sent them off for biopsy and it was HSP. He has not been able to cure his, although it is sometimes curable in children, and we are not looking forward to what he has to go through before this disease eventually kills him. I wonder if the outcome would have been different if he had sought medical attention earlier.

@bookworm35 – Please seek medical attention for your child. Ringworms can go systemic and then require serious medical intervention. Been there done that myself. Good luck!

Voted you up and useful for bringing attention to this problem!

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on June 05, 2013:

peachpurple, I hope this works for you. Thanks for reading.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 04, 2013:

thanks for the useful hub. My daughter and hubby have ringworm quite often. Maybe due to not bathing method problem. Usually at the groin area or the lower calves. Anyway, i will try your tips and hope they recover. Thanks

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on May 04, 2013:

moonlake, Thanks for your comments and voting it up.

moonlake from America on May 03, 2013:

I never had ringworm but my sister did. I can remember how hard it was to get rid of it. Voted up on your hub and shared.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on April 29, 2013:

bookworm35, Thanks for reading and I hope you find the answer for your son.

Sheene Kirlew from Jamaica on April 29, 2013:

My younger son keeps getting ringworm in different places on his body after the old one is treated. Don't know why it keeps popping up on him and no one else, except maybe one of his friends at school keeps passing it on to him. There are many easy home remedies here with stuff I always have in my house so I'll give those a try. Useful hub.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on April 29, 2013:

agusfanani, I've never heard of galingale. We don't have it here. It is good that there are different plants etc in different parts of the world. Thanks for reading.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on April 29, 2013:

Vickiw, It is interesting that you lived in South Africa. I'll have to read your hubs and see if you have any about it. Thanks for reading the hub.

agusfanani from Indonesia on April 28, 2013:

I agree that we should rely on natural remedies on curing illnesses. This hub is very important in spreading information about curing ringworm using natural resources. Here we also use a slice of galangal or galingale to cure it too. Thank you sharing this useful, interesting hub.

Vickiw on April 28, 2013:

I remember ringworm at school in my young South African days. I haven't seen any of it, since coming to Canada. This Hub reminded me of it. I liked your cures - they are interesting, and I would never have thought of them

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on April 28, 2013:

FlourishAnyway, My sister would kill me if she knew I mentioned that. I chuckle a little about it when I think back about it. I hope neither of us need any of these remedies in the future. Thanks of reading.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 27, 2013:

I had ringworm one time and this brings it all back. I do have to admit that I giggled a little regarding your sister getting it on her bottom in the shape of the public toilet seat she sat on. I sure bet she never sat on another bare seat. Interesting list of natural fixes, many of which were new to me.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on April 27, 2013:

georgiagal1984, I feel sorry for your friend. That would be fun at all. Thanks for reading the hub. I hope you have a wonderful weekend too.

Mrs Frugal from United States on April 27, 2013:

Great information! I've never had ringworm but I know it spreads so fast. My friends children had a hard time clearing her house of it. Her children kept passing it back and forth and then she eventually go it too. Hope you have a wonderful weekend~

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