Ringworm can be explained as a common fungal infection of the skin. Although the name suggests, it is not related to the worm. In medical term, ringworm is named as tinea. It causes appearance of a scaly, crusted rash. It appears in the form of red, round patches on the skin. When it affects the scalp, it may lead to scaling on the scalp or patches of hair loss and itching. The condition can be treated with topical or oral antifungal medications.
Causes and Symptoms of Ringworm
Ringworm is caused due to the growth of fungus on the skin. The fungal growth spreads in the form of rings. Children are more prone to develop ringworm. Ringworm of the scalp tends to spread person to person due to sharing of combs, brushes or hats. Ringworm on the body can spread due to sharing of towels, clothes or sports equipments. Therefore, personal hygiene is very important to prevent the spread of ringworm. Cats and dogs also may get infection and may spread the infection due to direct contact.
Ringworm may affect scalp as well as any of the body parts. Ringworm of the scalp causes the symptoms like dry, brittle hair, hair loss in patches, red rings of patches of small blisters as well as scaly skin. There may be severe itching in the scalp. Ringworm on the body parts also causes appearance ring-shaped patches of small blisters on the skin. There may be severe itching in some cases. The name is given after its ring-like appearance. The most commonly affected areas are legs, trunk, arms, neck and face.
Treatment for Ringworm
The doctor generally prescribes antifungal medications. These drugs eliminate fungi and prevent the recurrence of the infection. You can also use the products like cream, shampoo, lotion or powder that contain the antifungal agent. The doctor may also prescribe antifungal tablets. A combination of these treatments is usually recommended. If bacterial infection is there, then antibiotics are given.
Home Remedies for Ringworm
Besides these conventional treatment options, there are certain natural remedies that you may follow to get rid of this skin ailment. Go through following self-care tips to prevent recurrence of the infection.
Good personal hygiene is very important to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid sharing other’s combs, brushes or hats as well as clothes or towels. Avoid contact with the infected cats or dogs. Keep the affected skin area clean and dry. Keep attention on the areas between the skin folds. In case of groin or foot infection, change innerwear and socks daily, as fungi may remain in the flakes of the skin. Always prefer loose-fitting clothes, made from cotton or natural materials.
– Garlic: It is one of the effective antifungal foods, which has been used to heal a number of health conditions including ringworm. Take a peeled garlic clove and cut into thin slices. Apply them onto the ringworm rashes and cover the area with a band-aid overnight. You may use smashed garlic or just rub the garlic pieces on the affected areas.
– Tea Tree Oil: It has been used for centuries to treat burns, cuts and infections. It is used as an important ingredient in a variety of cosmetics such as shampoos and hair oils. You may use tea tree oil twice a day.
– Apple Cider Vinegar: It is another effective home remedy that can be helpful to cure ringworm. Apply apple cider vinegar directly onto the affected areas using a cotton ball. It can be applied 3-5 times a day for 3-4 days.
– Turmeric: Known for its natural antibiotic properties, it is one of the best remedies for ringworm. Prepare a turmeric juice using a juice extractor. Apply a small amount of fresh juice onto the affected areas. You may continue with this remedy, until the problem is gone.
– Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is all natural remedy for countless skin problems like sun burns, eczema, psoriasis and ringworm. Apply freshly extracted aloe vera juice directly onto the affected areas, until the patches disappear.
– Myrrh: It is well-known for its antifungal properties. Prepare a mixture of equal quantity of myrrh and goldenseal in a small amount of water. Apply it onto the affected areas thrice a day.
– Raw Papaya: Raw papaya is known to remove dead cells from the outer layers of the skin. It eliminates the fungal growth as well. The enzymes named papain and chymopapain present in raw papaya are known to destroy the defense shields of viruses, yeasts and different types of fungi. Raw papaya gives soothing effect for the ringworm infection.
– Neem: Known for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, neem has been used to heal a number of skin problems since centuries. You may apply a paste of neem leaves or neem oil onto the affected areas to cure ringworm patches.
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