Ringworm is a fungal skin infection. The infection may grow on the top layer of your skin. [1]

You can get ringworm on your skin, hair, nails, and scalp.

You may have ringworm between your toes. It is called athlete’s foot or Tinea pedis, and if it spreads to your groin, it’s known as jock itch or Tinea cruris. [2]

A ringworm infection (Tinea corporis) looks like a red circular rash. It has a transparent skin in the middle.

Coconut oil seems to be an effective and safe home remedy for ringworm. [3]

Coconut oil contains MCFA or Medium Chain Fatty Acids.

It can kill the fungus responsible for ringworm and other various fungal infections. [4]

Read on to learn how to treat ringworm naturally using coconut oil.

READ MORE: Coconut Oil for Mono: Benefits, Uses, Precautions and More

Symptoms of Ringworm

  • The primary sign is a red, flaky patch or a bump that itches. With time, the bump turns into a circle or ring-shaped patch. Gradually, it may turn into many rings, and the internal skin patch looks clear or scaly. The external part may be quite bumpy or raised. [5]
  • Usually, the ringworm which occurs on your scalp starts as a small sore or little bump. It may get flaky, and your scalp may feel pain when you touch it. Your hair may start to fall out in places where you have ringworm. [6]

Causes of Ringworm

Ringworm is highly infectious. You can get the infection in the following ways:

  • Ringworm often gets spread by skin-to-skin contact.
  • You may even get it from your pets. So, wash your hands after touching them.
  • Touching objects which have fungus can cause ringworm such as surfaces, towels, clothes, brushes and combs.
  • You may even get it from the soil if there are ringworm fungi in it. You may be infected while standing or working barefoot on the soil. [7]

Research-backed Benefits of Coconut Oil for Ringworm Infection

coconut oil for ringworm infection

The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil contain lauric acid and antimicrobial lipids. [8]

Recent findings also suggest the potential antioxidant and antifungal activities of different parts of coconut oil.

The high phenolic compounds in coconut may be useful in treating tinea infection of ringworm. [9]

The potent natural compounds in coconut oil can eliminate mild or severe fungal infections such as ringworm, tinea versicolor, jock itch, athlete’s foot, etc. [10]

Medical research suggests that you can use coconut oil for tinea versicolor as well.  [11]

Coconut oil works well for scalp ringworm. You can easily apply coconut oil on your scalp, and it acts as a hair conditioner too!

There are over the counter treatment for ringworm in dogs and cats. But they may have side effects on your pets. You can use safely use coconut oil for ringworm in cats and dogs. Coconut oil is an organic and non-toxic treatment option for ringworm in cats. [12]

How to Use Coconut oil for Ringworm

Method – 1: Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconut oil itself may be enough to help you lower ringworm infection from the skin.

A direct application of coconut oil can cure the ringworm on the scalp, on your baby’s skin and Athlete’s foot. [9]

Follow these simple steps to get rid of ringworm overnight:

  • Wash the affected area with warm water.
  • Dry your skin and apply coconut oil generously on the ringworm affected areas.
  • Gently massage for a few minutes.
  • Let it stay for some time.
  • For effective results, you can apply coconut oil 3- 4 times a day to heal your ringworm as soon as possible.

Tips: You can avoid coconut oil spreading on your clothes. Use coconut oil bandage (available in every local health stores) and put it on the infected areas.

ALSO READ: Coconut Oil for Tanning Bed: Why & How You Should Use It

Method – 2: Combo of Coconut Oil and Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil and coconut oil both contents antifungal, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. [11]

A combination of the two oils may give you immense relief from ringworm infection.

How to use coconut and tea tree oil for ringworm:

  • Make a solution mixing 3 drops of tea tree oil with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.
  • Apply the solution on the ringworm infected areas of your skin.
  • Massage it gently for a minute or two and keep it for a few minutes.
  • For speed recovery, repeat this process regularly.

Method – 3: Coconut Oil with Camphor

Camphor contains antiseptic properties that may help in curing fungal infection. [12]

How to use coconut oil and camphor for ringworm infection:

  • Crush 2-3 camphor and make it into 5 grams powder.
  • Add 20 grams of organic coconut oil to camphor powder and stir them well.
  • You can apply this mixture on the affected areas before going to sleep and keep it overnight.
  • Repeat the treatment for a week to get rid of ringworm fast.

Method 4: Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil

Apple cider vinegar is a potent home remedy for many skin diseases. [13]

Both Coconut oil and apple cider vinegar have antifungal and skin-soothing properties. [14]

How to use ACV and coconut oil for ringworm infections:

  • Combine coconut oil with ACV in a ratio of 1:1.
  • Blend them well to merge and form into one mass.
  • Apply the solution to the infected areas.
  • Massage it gently so that it soaks up thoroughly.
  • You may apply it 2 or 3 times a day depending on the severity of your infection.

Method 5: Coconut Oil with Warm Water

Several ringworm patients have benefited from using coconut oil with warm water. [4]

  • Wash the affected areas with warm water.
  • Dry your skin and apply the coconut oil to the affected areas.
  • You have to massage the infected area gently in circles until the coconut oil gets absorbed fully.
  • Keep it on for a few minutes.
  • You can repeat the treatment 3-4 times daily to get rid of ringworm permanently.

When to See a Doctor

In an advanced stage of ringworm infection, your skin may blister. The bacteria may develop on the skin cracks.

You need to consult a doctor in such a condition. Coconut oil home remedies may help you clear off mild ringworm rashes.

In case the remedies discussed here don’t work, and the infection recurs, see a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor may recommend you antibiotic pills or creams to get rid of ringworm infection.

Other Treatment Options

If the coconut oil remedies cannot cure your ringworm infection, opt for anti-fungal medications.

You can use anti-fungal soap for ringworm treatment.

You may have to apply an anti-fungal cream or lotion externally on the affected skin to cure mild forms of infection.

In case of a severe and long-lasting infection on the nails and scalp, you may have to take oral anti-fungal tablets or pills.

Consult your doctor to diagnose the situation of the disease and appropriate medications for you. [15]

Ringworm Prevention Tips

You can prevent the spread of ringworm infections by taking some steps. [16]

You should not share your clothing, hairbrush or combs, towels, shoes, razor, etc. with others. Try to wear sandals or shoes in locker rooms, around the public pool, and in the bathroom.

Disinfect your ringworm infested pet and its living place, utensils regularly.

These measures may reduce the chances of contracting ringworm infection.

Bottom Line

Many research evidence suggests the beneficial effects of coconut oil in treating fungal infections such as ringworm. [3] [4] [9]

People have been using Coconut oil as an effective home remedy for ringworm, candida, and several other skin infections for a long time.

Coconut oil is safe to be used on your skin and scalp.

Just bear in mind to always use virgin coconut oil for faster and better results.

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