What does a ringworm look like? How long does a ringworm infection last? Please suggest some home remedies to cure it.

Dermatophytosis or ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin; the use of the word “worm” is a misnomer. A ringworm infection can be caused by various species of fungi that feed on the keratin present in the outer layer of the skin, nails, and hair. In general, fungi thrive well in warm and moist areas, and the same is true, for fungal infections of the skin.


The infection appears as raised, red, definite rings on the skin; in the foot, the fungus causes athlete’s foot, and in the groin area, it is known as a jock’s itch. When the fungus affects the nails, it causes the nails to thicken and discolor. A ringworm infection can also blister and ooze. It may cause bald patches when it affects the scalp.

A ringworm infection is quite common, and it can spread easily from person to person. Most fungal infections can be contracted in gym locker rooms and swimming pools changing areas, where one is in close contact with other people and the environment is moist and damp.


The diagnosis for a ringworm infection is done by the physician who will examine your body under a blue light (known as Wood’s test). If there is fungus, it will glow under this light. Other tests are a KOH exam and a skin biopsy or skin culture.


The treatment for ringworm infection lies primarily in keeping the skin dry and clean. One can also use over-the-counter anti-fungal creams, powders, or lotions that contain clotrimazole, miconazole, or ketaconazole. The treatment should be continued for seven days after the rash has disappeared to avoid recurrence. It is best to consult a doctor before buying any medication for the same.

Apart from medications, home remedies have also been known to be effective in clearing ringworm infection. However, keep in mind that there is limited scientific evidence to prove their effectiveness, and most of the remedies are simply anecdotal.

  • Garlic is said to help in clearing ringworm infections. Studies have found that a person who eats garlic is less prone to fungal infections. Additionally, fresh garlic paste can be made and applied to the affected area three times a day.
  • Licorice is also known to be helpful in clearing ringworm infections. You can boil six teaspoons of powdered licorice root in a cup of water, and the resultant liquid can be applied on the affected areas.
  • Lemon grass tea bags can also be placed on the affected areas to clear the infection.
Other home remedies that can be used include the use of myrrh and olive leaf extract, both of which are said to have anti-fungal properties.


  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002411/

answered by M W

Ringworm, also termed as Tinea is a contagious fungus infection spread by direct or indirect contact affecting the scalp, the body ,the feet, and the nails. The name comes from the characteristic red ring-like appearance and is more common among school children. Topical application of anti-fungal creams proves beneficial.

answered by r k

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