Ringworm, despite its name, has nothing to do with worms. Instead, it’s a fungal infection that creates the tell-tale red ring pattern that gives the infection its name. The fungus thrives in moist conditions and feeds on your dead skin cells, causing the red skin irritation that you see. If left untreated, the red ring can begin to blister and ooze fluid.
While your doctor might prescribe an antifungal ointment, such as ketoconazole or terbinafine, you can also try an all-natural solution that kills the fungus infection and clears your skin from any embarrassing, painful red rings.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Dip a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, preferably the organic type that has “the mother.” Rub the soaked cotton ball on the red rings once in the morning, again in the afternoon and a third time at night before going to bed.
Apple cider vinegar is a natural antifungal, and the acid helps change your skin’s surface conditions to make it uninhabitable to the fungus.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, which comes from the leaves of an Australian tree, has been used to kill a wide range of bacteria and fungus, including acne, staph infections and more.
“It’s been used traditionally as a topical antiseptic and antifungal treatment,” reports WebMD.
To kill ringworm, mix one part tea tree oil with two parts olive oil or coconut oil. Diluting the tea tree oil ensures you don’t burn your skin. Rub the oil mix on the ringworm area three times a day.
3. Plain Soap and Water
Sometimes, the simplest method is the easiest and most effective. Wash your infected skin throughout the day with plain soap and water. Keeping your skin clean helps minimize the spread of the fungus. Additionally, the soap helps dry out your skin. Ringworm needs chronically moist skin to thrive, and keeping your skin clean and dry defeats the ringworm infection.