Got a ringworm? My mom says using coconut oil may help

If you are looking for a home remedy for ringworm, try using coconut oil to get rid of it. Here’s how it works!
coconut and ringworm
Ringworms are not permanent, get rid of it with coconut oil. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Shruti Bhattacharya Published: 29 May 2024, 12:00 pm IST
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Ringworm is one of the most common skin problems during the summer season. Ringworm is an uncomfortable, itchy fungus that can be challenging to treat. Although it can occur anywhere on the skin, the arms and scalp are the most common places for it to appear. While it can be uncomfortable, there is a potential home remedy for ringworm that can help. Even my mom has one home remedy for ringworms. She believes that using coconut oil can help you with it. It contains antimicrobial and antifungal properties which can help effectively to minimise the discomfort caused by ringworms. Here’s how coconut oil for ringworm works and ways to use it.

What is a ringworm?

Ringworm is a relatively common fungal infection that, contrary to its name, is not caused by a worm. It is brought on by the extremely contagious fungus ‘Tinea Corporis’, according to a 2023 study published in the StatsPearl Journal. Although everyone can acquire ringworm, certain people such as athletes are more prone to it than others, including young children and those with weak immunity.

woman scratching on itchy skin
Ringworms are more common in summer. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the causes of ringworm?

“Ringworm is caused by a fungus. Your skin, hair, and nails are naturally home to this kind of fungus. However, the fungus begins to grow out of control when their surroundings get hot and humid. You can contract this infection if your skin comes into contact with the ringworm fungus on another person’s skin,” says cosmetologist and trichologist Dr Kiran Sandeep Singh.

What are the symptoms of ringworm?

  • Circular, ring-shaped scales or plaques.
  • Flat patches with raised, round borders.
  • The patches can be extremely itchy.
  • Bald patches or hair loss in the afflicted area.

Also Read: That constant itchy skin could be dermatitis. Here’s a handy guide to treat the condition

Coconut oil: Is it a good home remedy for ringworm?

Coconut oil contains powerful antibacterial qualities and has long been used to treat ringworm and other fungal infections, as found in a study published in the Journal Of Dermatology and Clinical Research. With its excellent anti-fungal properties, coconut oil is enriched in lauric acid and antimicrobial lipids. When treated topically, these antifungal capabilities help to eliminate the fungal infections.

“It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can keep the infection from spreading, and its moisturising properties can soothe the skin, reducing irritation and flakiness. Coconut oil softens and lubricates the skin, boosting the healing process and minimising inflammation surrounding the affected area,” says the expert.

How to use coconut oil for ringworms?

Here are some effective ways of using coconut oil as a home remedy for ringworm, as explained by the expert.

1. Tea tree oil and coconut oil

The antifungal properties of coconut oil, along with the antibacterial properties of tea tree oil, make for an excellent ringworm treatment, as per a study published in the American Society for Microbiology.

Ingredients:

  • A few drops of tea tree oil
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Method:

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1. In a bowl, mix a few drops of tea tree oil with two tablespoons of coconut oil.
2. To make sure the oils are blended equally, give it a good stir.
3. Gently massage the mixture into the skin around the ringworm areas.
4. Give the solution 15 to 20 minutes to seep through.
5. Use lukewarm water to rinse the treated area.
6. Continue doing this twice a day until the ringworm goes away.

2. Garlic and coconut oil

Garlic contains antifungal properties, as found in a study published in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine and the calming properties of coconut oil when combined with this natural remedy help to reduce the effects of ringworms.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Method:

1. Crush two garlic cloves and combine with two tablespoons of coconut oil.
2. Mix the ingredients in a blender until they form a smooth slurry.
3. Apply the mixture to the ringworm spots and cover them well.
4. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
5. Use lukewarm water to rinse thoroughly.
6. Use this remedy regularly until the ringworm has been resolved.

3. Turmeric and coconut oil

Coconut oil contains moisturising properties and turmeric is rich in anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, according to a study published in the BioMed Research International Journal. This combination can offer a complete solution for smoother skin by getting rid of fungal infections.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder

Method:

1. One tablespoon of turmeric powder and two tablespoons of coconut oil should be combined to make a paste.
2. Make sure to apply a thick coating of paste immediately into the affected areas.
3. Allow the paste to dry for a few hours by leaving it on.
4. Rinse the area gently with lukewarm water and a small amount of soap.
5. Continue doing this repeatedly until the ringworm vanishes.

best cold-pressed coconut oils
Turmeric and coconut oil can help you get rid of ringworms. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock.

Things to keep in mind!

Using coconut oil to treat fungal infections has no reported side effects. However, if you are allergic to coconut oil, you should not use it. It is also advisable to see a doctor if the infection doesn’t go away after taking coconut oil for a few days, always do a patch test before using coconut oil, and also consult your doctor before incorporating coconut oil for ringworms.

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About the Author

Shruti Bhattacharya is a content writer and editor for over 2 years. She specialises in writing on a variety of topics such as wellness, lifestyle, beauty, technology and fashion. Her current focus is on creating factually correct and informative stories for readers. ...Read More

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