Despite its name, Ringworm does not have anything to do with worms. Instead, it is a common and highly infectious skin infection, which is caused by a fungus that causes a ring-like red rash on the skin.Ringworm is very common. It’s estimated that 10-20% of people will have a fungal skin infection at some point during their lifetime.
People of all ages can be affected by ringworm, but children are particularly susceptible to it.
The rash can appear almost anywhere on the body, with the scalp, feet and groin being common sites. Medically the condition is known as tinea and it is not serious. It is usually easily treated. However, ringworm is highly contagious and is easily spread among people.
You need to see a licensed health practitioner if you or your child has ringworm of the scalp.
Ringworm is passed between people through direct skin contact and by sharing objects such as towels, hairbrushes and bedding.
Pets, such as dogs and cats, can have ringworm and can pass it on to people they come into contact with.
Scalp ringworm (tinea capitis) is most common in children who have not reached puberty (sexual maturity), particularly those who live in urban areas and African-Caribbean children. Body ringworm can affect anyone of any age, although groin infections are more common in young men.
Ringworm can be recognized by its appearance which is a round, red or silvery patch of skin which may be scaly and itchy. The ring spreads outwards as it progresses. It is possible to have one or several patches of ringworm, and in more serious cases your skin may become raised and blistered.
The symptoms of scalp ringworm include:
- small patches of scaly skin on the scalp, which may be sore
- patchy hair loss
- an itchy scalp
And, in more severe cases:
- small, pus-filled sores on the scalp
- crusting on the scalp
In very severe cases of scalp ringworm, a large inflamed sore called a kerion may form on your scalp. This can ooze pus, and you may also have a fever and swollen lymph glands.
The symptoms of body ringworm include:
- a ring-like red rash on your skin – your skin will look red and irritated around the ring but healthy inside
And, in more severe cases:
- the rings may multiply, grow in size and merge together
- the rings may feel slightly raised to the touch and the skin under the rash may be itchy
- blisters and pus-filled sores may form around the rings
Foot Ringworm (Athlete’s Foot):
The symptoms of foot ringworm (athlete’s foot) include:
- an itchy, dry, red and flaky rash, usually in the spaces between your toes
And, in more severe cases:
- cracked skin in the affected area
- blisters, which may ooze or crust
- swelling of the skin
- a burning or stinging sensation in your skin
- scaling patterns around your sole and on the side of your foot
Groin Ringworm (Jock Itch):
The symptoms of groin ringworm (jock itch) include:
- red-brown sores (not necessarily ring-shaped), which may have blisters or pus-filled sores around the edge
- itchiness and redness around your groin area, such as your inner thighs and bottom (the genitals are not usually affected)
- the skin on your inner thighs can become scaly and flaky
Exercising, walking and wearing tight clothing or underwear can make the symptoms of a groin infection worse.
It’s also quite common to develop a groin infection in combination with athlete’s foot. This can happen if you have athlete’s foot and you scratch your foot and transfer fungal spores to your groin when dressing or going to the toilet.
Ringworm of the Nails (Fungal Nail):
The symptoms of nail ringworm include:
- a whitish thickening of the nail
- discolouration (the nail can turn white, black, yellow or green)
- the nail can become brittle and start to fall off
- the skin around the nail may be sore and irritated
Stopping it Spreading:
It’s really important, where possible, to prevent spreading the infection. You should avoid sharing towels, bedding or clothes with someone who has been diagnosed with ringworm.
If you think your pet has ringworm, take it to the vet. If your pet is treated quickly, you will be less likely to catch the infection from it.
If your child has ringworm, they do not need to stay off school. However, you should inform the school that your child has the condition. In addition to treatment, your child should maintain a good level of personal hygiene to prevent the infection spreading.
Ringworm is caused by a particular type of fungi, called dermatophytes, which live off keratin. Keratin is a tough, waterproof tissue found in many parts of your body including your skin, nails and hair. This explains why ringworm infections mostly affect your skin, nails or scalp. It spreads because the fungi are made up of tiny spores which are tough enough to survive for months on your skin, in soil or on household objects, such as combs or towels. The spores can be spread in four different ways:
- human-to-human contact
- human-to-animal contact – for example, by stroking an infected dog or cat
- human-to-object contact – both animals and humans can leave traces of fungi spores on objects and surfaces, such as towels, clothing, bed linen, combs or brushes
- human-to-soil contact – less commonly, you can develop a ringworm infection after lengthy exposure to infected soil
As an adult, you can become a carrier of scalp ringworm without developing any symptoms. This is because your body has usually developed a defence against the infection by the time you reach adulthood. If you are a carrier of a ringworm infection, you can unknowingly pass the condition onto children, who may then go on to develop symptoms.
You are more likely to develop ringworm if you:
- are very young or very old
- are African-Caribbean (in the case of scalp ringworm)
- have type 1 diabetes
- are very overweight
- have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, such as HIV or AIDS
- are receiving medical treatment that weakens your immune system, such as chemotherapy or steroid tablets
- have had fungal infections in the past
- have hardening of your arteries (atherosclerosis)
- have poor circulation (specifically a condition called venous insufficiency where the veins in your legs have trouble moving blood back to your heart)
As with all diseases this did not happen overnight. The very first thing you must do is see a licensed health professional. Find a list of practitioners in your local area here.
Ringworm is most often due to poor hygiene and/or too tightly enclosed clothing that can cause excessive sweating in the affected area. To treat and prevent ringworm, bathe or shower at least once a day, and change socks and underwear every day. If you use showers in public areas, such as in the gym, wear shower sandals to avoid fungal contact with your feet and toes.
Ringworm can also be a secondary condition associated with candidiasis.
- Eliminate Candida: Click here to find out how
- Do the Hydrogen Peroxide Protocol to strengthen the immune system:
- Drink 3oz of Colloidal Silver, three or four times a day for 60 days www.colloidsforlife.com Silver has long been recognised as a powerful natural antibiotic. Colloidal silver is silver that has been removed electronically from its source and then suspended in water. It is used to treat a myriad of diseases.
- Go on a fast to clear your system of toxic waste www.wecarespa.com
Constitutional hydrotherapy (contrasting hot and cold water treatments) applied two to five times each week can help to improve your immune function, making your body more resistant to and better able to cope with systemic yeast overgrowth.
- We recommend regular colonics to remove toxicity from the body. Read more about colonics by clicking here. Find a practitioner here.
- Most of the water that we drink is very acidic and in order to heal our bodies need a more alkaline state. During the program drink alkalized water, which you can buy from Real Water.
- Take a bath as often as possible up to once a day with two litres of 35% food grade Hydrogen Peroxide. Stock up here.
A healthy diet is one of the most important steps for successfully treating candida, which can be a cause of ringworm. The goal of your diet should be to reduce or eliminate the foods that Candida albicans and other yeasts thrive upon, and to create a slightly alkaline internal environment that is rich in oxygen, making it extremely difficult for unhealthy yeast and other pathogens to survive.
To eliminate foods that support yeast overgrowth, avoid all sources of sugar, including all sugar products such as sucanat, honey, molasses, maple, agave, brown rice, and all of the refined syrups such as corn syrup. Read food labels, carefully avoiding foods that contain sweeteners of any kind, including those listed above, along with dextrose, fructose, fruit juices, or concentrated fruit juice sweeteners, lactose, and sucrose. Eliminate all forms of alcohol, and simple or refined carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, baked goods, and all foods made from white or refined flour. Abstain from most fruits with the exception of berries, grapefruit and green apples. Refrain from eating potatoes including yams and sweet potatoes, and other sweet or starchy vegetables such as parsnips, beets, peas and corn. More diet details can be found in the Candida Cleanse.
Most people with candida also suffer from food allergies. Therefore, it is important to be tested for food allergies and sensitivities, and to avoid allergic foods for a minimum of three months, so that your body has the opportunity to recover from the burden of eating them. If the foods to which you are allergic or sensitive are healthy foods, you can reintroduce them into your diet one at a time after your health has improved, and then eat them no more frequently than once every four to seven days. If they still provoke an allergic reaction, however, you should eliminate them from your diet.
Mold-containing foods should be avoided such as cheese, grapes, mushrooms, and all pasteurized fermented foods. Raw cultured vegetables that have not been heat pasteurized such as sauerkraut, Kim chi, and other raw cultured vegetables, are an excellent choice. Read more about the benefits of cultured and fermented foods in the Candida Diet section of the Candida Cleanse. Every effort should be made to eliminate pasteurized milk and dairy products, including yogurt, due to the lactose sugar. Small quantities of raw yogurt or kefir are acceptable, and especially good if made from raw goat, rather than cow’s milk. Minimize your intake of commercially harvested meats and poultry because of the antibiotics, hormones, and steroids they contain. Whenever possible, choose organic, free-range meats and poultry instead.
The following dietary guidelines should be followed for 4-6 weeks as you begin your overall candida treatment:
Eliminate: All foods that contain yeast, including bread, biscuits, and cakes; all pasteurized heat treated fermented foods, including vinegar, soy sauce, and pickled foods; all forms of sugar and foods that contain sugar, including sweets and chocolates, honey, maple syrup, soda, sweetened drinks, and sweetened foods; all pasteurized milk and dairy products, including yogurt; all foods that contain artificial sweeteners, colorings, preservatives, and other additives, as well as trans-fatty acids and partially hydrogenated oils; all refined white flour products; all fruits except grapefruit, berries and green apples; all alcohol products; all black teas, and coffee.
Eat Frequently: Choose from a wide range of fresh vegetables and salads, emphasizing organic, leafy-green vegetables; complex whole grains, especially quinoa, buckwheat and millet; garlic; and cold-pressed raw coconut and extra virgin olive oil.
Also include, but less frequently: Lean, organic meats and poultry; wild caught fish; eggs; almonds; seeds, and complex grains and legumes.
Eating in this way will not only help your body’s recovery from candida, it will also help shift it into a slightly alkaline, oxygen-enriched state that will make it impossible for Candida albicans to thrive.
For more in-depth food and supplement guidelines, see the Candida Cleanse, please.
Recommended supplements include:
- Vitamin A – (orally and topically)
- Beta carotene
- All B-complex vitamins
- Vitamin C – with bioflavanoids
- Vitamin E – orally and topically
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Bee Pollen
- Citrus Seed Extract
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day to fight infection in the body.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
. Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go towww.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
We recommend you consult a licensed health practitioner who may wish to discuss the following:
Bathing with warm water mixed with neem leaves is extremely helpful in getting rid of many kinds of skin diseases. Try to avoid humid conditions as this will only aggravate the skin.
Applying a paste of neem leaves over the affected area can also bring about a quicker recovery.
Ointment prepared from Cassia, Angustifolia and lemon juice can also be applied on the affected parts. A mixture of lemon grass, coconut oil or til oil is also effective – this is a well-tested, externally-applied medicine to get rid of ringworm.
Alternatively, take a piece of turmeric and gently rub it on a stone slab drenched with water. apply the paste on the affected parts. When it dries out apply another layer of turmeric paste over it. In a couple of days the ringworm will start to disappear. Continue for a week even after you feel it is cured.
There are many other ayurvedic medicines available such as Dadryhara Lepa, Dadry Damana Malahara, and Dadrughnavati, all of which can be applied topically.
To cleanse and purify the blood, a decoction of Manjistadi can be taken. Arogya Vardhini tablets and Allerin tablets also helps in purifying the blood.
Power made from Parijataka (Myctinthis Arboristritis) can be used if the patient has ringworm on the scalp. Somalaji Taila is also known to be helpful in cases of scalp ringworm. Often Saribadyaristais is prescribed in doses of 2 teaspoons taken with an equal quantity of water.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
We recommend you consult a licensed health practitioner but often the following treatments are used:
Scalp ringworm: (damp heat needs to be removed) Yin Chen Hao Tang or Huang Lian Jie Du Tang Herbs used Internal and External: Yin Chen Hao, Pu Gong Yin, Ku Shen, Ku Lian Pi, Da Huang, Yi Shao Guang or Liu Huang Gao (sulphur)
Ringworm on the feet/athlete’s foot – San Miao Wan, Fang Feng, Bai Xian Pi, Di Fu Zi
For the nails: Dang Gui Bu Xie Tang, Da Huang, Ku Shen (soak herbs with vinegar.)
Topical applications of rosemary, tea tree, lavender, geranium, peppermint, thuja, and/or thyme can be helpful. You can also use myrrh essential oil. The most commonly used oils for children are tea tree and lavender. Never use peppermint oil on children. For babies aged up to 12 months, mix a drop of Lavender Essential Oil in a teaspoon of Jojoba Carrier Oil and apply on skin.
Consult a licensed practitioner but the following are often used and are beneficial: Sepia, Arsen alb., and Graphites.
To speed healing, apply a paste made of equal parts myrrh powder and goldenseal powder mixed with a little water.
Strawberry and date juice (use fresh dates.) An alternative is carrot juice (300 ml) mixed with spinach juice (200 ml), taken internally is also beneficial for ringworm.
Try a thin slice of garlic bandaged directly over the skin lesion and leave for several days. This has a powerful, anti-fungal effect. Alternatively, apply a poultice of strong, goldenseal root tea to the area. Dry and dust with goldenseal root powder.
Magnetic Field Therapy – this has been known to be beneficial in treating outbreaks of ringworm
Tea Tree Oil – Wash the affected area and apply a light layer of pure tea tree oil several times a day with a cotton ball. Tea tree oil contains terpinen-4-ol which absorbs rapidly into the skin to kill the fungus at the roots, helping to clear up ringworm in just a few days.
Dead Sea Salts – apply dead to the affected area to dry out the fungus. This remedy may be a bit rough on your skin, but is effective. Sea salts are available in large grain form for cooking or in body scrubs. Apply the scrub or a mixture of sea salt and water to the area several times a day until the red ring has disappeared.
Black Walnut – this is a natural medicine remedy used by Native American Indians. Pick an unripe green walnut from the tree and crack it open. Inside the shell will be a layer of black paste or oil. Apply the black paste to the affected area several times a day and watch your ringworm disappear.
Raw Papaya – Raw papaya is also good for treating ringworm. Rub some slices of papaya on the ringworm patches. A paste made of dried papaya seeds can also be applied on the ringworm patches.
Mustard Seeds – A paste of mustard seeds should be applied over the patches after washing the skin with hot water.
Butea Seeds – Make a paste of butea seeds and mix with a little lime juice. Apply the paste on the affected skin.
Cassia Leaves – these are known to eliminate the pain and swelling associated with ringworm. The juice of cassia leaves or a paste can be applied on the patches.
Holy Basil Leaves – The leaves of holy basil are also useful for treating ringworm. Extract the juice and apply on the patches.
Garlic – Take 1-2 pieces of garlic and mash them in an small sheet of aluminum foil. Take the sheet with mashed garlic and apply it on the ringworm patch. Do this two times a day. It might sting, but the ringworm will be gone in less than a week.
Turmeric – Turmeric is also very effective for ringworm. Apply the juice of raw turmeric on the infected parts. And you can even take a mixture of turmeric juice and honey orally.
Iodine – You can also apply iodine on the ringworm patch. Apply it for a few days till the ringworm is gone.
Grapefruit Seed Extract – Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) is also very good for treating ringworm. It is not very costly and usually comes with 50% glycerol, which is good for all kinds of skin problems such as acne, dandruff and other fungal infections. Rub some extract on the patches, and put a band-aid over it. Full strength extract of grapefruit will irritate the skin slightly, but is a quick remedy for getting rid of ringworm.
Fig Leaf – Juice of fig leaf is also effective for treating ringworm. Break a leaf and rub the white juice on the ringworm patch and around it. Repeat the procedure until it is gone.
Apple Cider Vinegar – soak a cotton wool ball and apply it to the affected area several times a day. This is one of the oldest and most effective natural medicine treatments for ringworm. Apple cider vinegar is naturally anti-fungal and matches the pH of the skin, helping to clean the area and kill the fungus without harming your skin.
Castor oil and ringworm: www.naturalnews.com/034558_castor_oil_health_benefits_blood_flow.html
The healing power of elderflower: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqDV0b09Efg
Natural ayurvedic remedies: www.youtube.com/watch?v=r37AcWtfBas
Ringworm in children now resistant to traditional oral medicine:www.childrensmercy.org/content/uploadedFiles/Departments/Press_Room/ring_worm_release_4_19_10.pdf
Lavender oil for fungal infections: www.naturalnews.com/033114_lavender_essential_oils_fungal_infections.html
Andrea Butje | Aromahead email@example.com – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt firstname.lastname@example.org – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA email@example.com – meditation, stress
judith hoad firstname.lastname@example.org – herbalist.
Kath May email@example.com – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges firstname.lastname@example.org – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika email@example.com – aromatherapy.
Rakesh GAC@AyurvedicLifeStyles.com – Ayurvedic Practitioner.