Ringworm can be a nasty skin infection that can affect both humans and animals! If a person or an animal is infected, chances are it will come back again. Antibiotics don’t always treat the problem. However, natural remedies with essential oils for ringworm behave a lot better.
Find out how to get rid of this problem and how to prevent it from coming back again with the help of essential oils.
In this article, you’ll read about:
- The power of aromatic oils explained to help you understand why they’re good for ringworm infections.
- 4 of the best proven oils in the treatment of the infection.
- Guidance for the best ways of using these essential oils.
- Types of ringworm infections in humans and pets.
- A section of essential oil recipes for ringworm infections to help you put them to the test.
Best Essential Oils for Ringworm and How to Get Rid of It (Tips and Recipes)
To make it clear from the beginning: ringworm is not an actual circle-shaped worm infection. It is a skin infection that turns into a round patch, red, itchy and scaly on the rims and clear in the middle.
This skin infection is caused by a class of fungi that bear different names, and affect different parts of the body. It is very contagious and it can affect both humans and animals.
Why Use Essential Oils for Ringworm Treatment?
A few years ago, if your pet had a ringworm infection, the vet could have refused to allow it inside. It is almost impossible to cure the infection with conventional medicines. Why? The fungi are stubborn and develop resistance to antibiotics.
In humans, antibiotics were and still are the usual treatment for ringworm. They can be prescribed or bought over the counter, as ointments and gels. Nonetheless, the fungi are very resistant and it takes many months to cure the infection.
A long use of antibiotic creams causes the ringworm fungi to develop resistance. This is one of the reasons for which one could have the infection for as long as 4 – 6 months and risk getting it back again.
The problem with this type of infection is to treat it properly, and make sure it doesn’t spread on other body parts or the environment. Ringworm can be pretty tough to control and contain.
Essential oils have been tested for their antifungal and antibacterial properties. They have been found effective against many viruses and fungi that otherwise were resistant to antibiotics. A few examples are Candida albicans, P. acnes and E. coli.
The chemical profile of each type of essential oil is very complex. They contain very active tiny molecules that deal with all sorts of problems. That doesn’t allow the fungi to develop their protective shield.
Very potent essential oils can dissolve that shield, which is also known as a viral biofilm. This one acts as a spreading mechanism for the viruses and fungi.
Most aromatic oils have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Even so, some stand out more than others. Their chemical composition can be influenced by many things. The altitude, the geographical area and the time of harvest are some of them. Even the extraction process can alter or add to the quality of oils.
Thus, the use of essential oils for ringworm infections can be the right choice as natural remedies. It’s this complexity that doesn’t allow the fungi to develop resistance and kills them.
Their side effects are usually close to none, and they’re very accessible and effective. They can also be used in combination or in parallel with other prescribed medications.
The latter can be possible as long as they don’t interact one with the other. For oral use, you should always ask for the doctor’s advice.
Some of the Best Essential Oils for Ringworm Treatment
There is a long list of beneficial oils that have great properties, but I chose only 4 of them. I did so because I found good evidence that supports their effects on treating and preventing fungal infections.
1) Tea Tree (Melaleuca) Essential Oil for Ringworm
The botanical name of this oil is Melaleuca alternifolia. This oil is among the best treatment choices for ringworm infections.
It contains terpenoids. They represent the best class of chemical compounds that can inhibit and disrupt the protective (viral) biofilm of the fungi.
- Using Melaleuca oil for ringworm treatment can make a big difference. I’m talking about a temporary healing and one that ensures the fungus never comes back again. It has important antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic properties. The oil doesn’t allow the scaly, itchy patch to become infected or spread.
- Tea Tree oil can give your immune system the boost it needs to fight off the infection.
- It improves the blood circulation in the affected area. And it can kill the viruses and fungi in the air, preventing environmental spreading.
- Melaleuca oil can be applied undiluted, though it is not recommended to do so for long periods of time. The oil can sensitize the skin further.
- Even though it’s a relatively safe and non-toxic oil, it should not be used during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
Why I like it:
In my opinion, everyone should have Tea Tree essential oil in their homes. It can deal with a lot of fungal infections, including Candida and ringworm. That’s why, if you ever had any type of infection, you should keep it around.
I consider Tea Tree essential oil to be one of the best essential oils for ringworm because of its high antifungal effects.
2) Oregano Essential Oil for Ringworm
There are lots of experiments and studies performed on the properties of this oil. Oregano has a strong antidermathophytic activity. That means it acts against dermatophytes, which are fungi that live and thrive on the skin and nails.
Ringworm fungi are dermatophytes. Oregano contains carvacrol, which has been found very effective against fungal infections.
- Oregano can stimulate the immune system, but it can also fortify the nervous system.
- It can face a wide range of infections, including ringworm and mycoses. That could be because it has anti-parasite properties as well.
- It acts as natural antibiotic, being able to pass the protective barrier of the fungus and kill it.
- Being an antibiotic, you should use it carefully as it can destroy the intestinal and/or vaginal flora.
- It can also burn and sensitize the skin if used undiluted!
- Oregano oil for ringworm treatment should not be used on children younger than 15 years old.
Why I like it:
Oregano is another one of the best essential oils for ringworm. The oil of Oregano blends really well with Palmarosa essential oil. Both can be used for a more potent antifungal effect. I like it as a natural remedy against any type of infection.
3) Thyme Essential Oil for Ringworm
Thyme contains a highly efficient and powerful substance called thymol. This substance makes the oil very good at preventing the spread of the ringworm. It can also kill the existent fungi on the skin.
Thymol and carvacrol (thyme and oregano) make an efficient natural and non-invasive remedy against ringworm infections.
- Thyme essential oil has some really great antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
- This oil showed clear evidence that it has a long-lasting activity on preventing bacteria and germs from spreading. It can also kill the ones in an enclosed environment. That makes it great at preventing the ringworm infection from spreading.
- Be careful with the oil variety you buy because there is more than one. To deal with ringworm, you need Thyme oil ct.(chemotype) thymol. There can also be a ct. Thujanol, but that is a completely different oil.
- This is a strong and concentrated essence and it should be used sparingly and always diluted.
Why I like it:
Thyme is great for ringworm, as it is for digestive problems too. I have tried it in cooking as well. For skin infections, it was rather easy to use it in a hot bath water.
Its scent invigorates the mind and body and disinfects the skin. I’d say Thyme oil should definitely make it on your list of best essential oils for ringworm treatment.
4) Star Anise Essential Oil for Ringworm
This oil is a bit underappreciated, but I did not choose it for its popularity. Star Anise oil is actually a very potent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. This oil also contains terpenoids that can dissolve and kill fungi. You can find it by the name of Illicium verum. It is a different type of oil than Anise.
- Star anise is a great antifungal essential oil. It also has antidermathophytic activity.
- It can improve the immune system and boost all the vital processes in the body. That will help your body fight off the infection better and faster.
- In 1996, the USA discovered the oseltamivir phosphate from star anise. They found that this substance inhibits the proliferation (the spreading) of viral viruses and fungi. This fact was fully exploited by the pharmaceutical companies, and so Tamiflu TM was born. This is an antiviral medicine for flu.
- The oil of Star Anise is not recommended to women with breast cancer.
- It can also sensitize the skin if used undiluted. Always perform an allergy test before using Star Anise essential oil for ringworm treatment.
Why I like it:
Star Anise essential oil smells really nice, and it’s a good oil for so many infections, including ringworm! I like it because it is also useful in digestive blends and skin issues.
Other great essential oils for ringworm infections that can help with a complete recovery:
- Rosemary ct. cineole
How to Use These Essential Oils for Ringworm
Since they are so concentrated, the best and safest use for them is through dilution for topical applications. This means you can dilute a blend of essential oils for ringworm into a carrier or vegetable oil.
The best carrier oils for ringworm treatment are:
- Black seed
They all have anti-inflammatory properties. These carriers are also rich in essential fatty acids. The skin needs them to regenerate and build back its protective barrier. Mix between 20 – 30 drops of essential oils with each Oz (30ml) of carrier oil.
Apply with gentle massage movements at least 3 times a day, for a month. It’s also ok to gradually increase the amount of essential oils used in your blends.
- Depending on where the infection is located, you can also add oils to your bath water or steam baths. Mix 15 – 20 drops of essential oils with 2 tablespoons of pink or Epsom salt and add it to the steaming bath water.
- Or if the ringworm is on the face, boil some water, add 2 – 3 drops and cover your head above the bowl for 10 minutes. You should always complete this ritual with a specially prepared blend. That should speed up your recovery from ringworm in a more pleasant way than using antibiotic creams.
- Another great way of using essential oils for ringworm infections is by diffusing them. You can diffuse a mix of antiviral essences for 20 – 30 minutes in a well-ventilated room. You can repeat every 2 hours if desired. The diffusion time is enough to kill most of the germs and fungi in the air. It is also ideal to help improve your mood or to relax you.
You should switch between ingredients every 2 – 3 weeks to avoid the skin getting used to them. Luckily, you have many options among the oils for ringworm I just gave you.
In the first few days, you could also apply some of the oils directly on the skin. But not for a long time or else your skin will become sensitive to that oil. The safest oil to use this way is Melaleuca oil, but as I said, without abuse.
Types of Infection, Causes, Symptoms and Recipes for Ringworm
Unfortunately, ringworm is a contagious superficial skin infection. The mold-like fungi that cause the infection are dermatophytes. They are fungi that need keratin to be able to survive and multiply. Keratin is the protein that makes our nails and hair, and the superficial layer of the skin.
That is why ringworm can be found on any area of the body. Each type of infection has its own name, especially because there are many strains of fungi.
You can get a ringworm infection quite easily from:
- An infected person or that person’s belongings.
- Other infected areas of your body.
- An animal.
Going to public pools or storing your things in a poorly ventilated locker could also lead to catching or developing ringworm.
People who suffer from eczema are more prone to getting ringworm. Also, boys and teenagers in general are more prone to developing this infection. Genes may also play a role in developing the infection.
Types of Ringworm Infections
There is the tinea corporis – commonly known as ringworm of the skin.
The fungi that cause it are called Trichophyton rubrum and Microsporum canis. The latter can be taken from dogs and cats. They do spread from one person to another, or from petting or grooming your pet.
The best essential oils for ringworm of the skin can be any which you like or prefer from the above list.
Next is the tinea cruris – commonly known as ringworm in the groin area, or jock itch.
The infection looks like a skin rash, and can be found on the buttocks, inner thighs and the skin folds. It affects all the groin area. The ringworm-causing fungi like moist/damp and dark areas on the body.
The best essential oils for jock itch could be anything from Lavender and Tea Tree to Thyme and Star Anise.
Tinea capitis – commonly known as ringworm of the scalp.
Even though this infection can affect adults too, it is more commonly seen in young children. It can also be seen in the beard… pretty much no place is safe. Ringworm of the scalp often looks like a round bald spot.
The best essential oils for ringworm of the scalp or beard are Tea Tree and Lavender for children. For adults, all the oils in this article can help with a complete recovery.
Tinea pedis – commonly known as ringworm of the toes or athlete’s foot.
The wet and dark place between your toes makes the perfect environment for the ringworm. The skin usually looks scaly and red, and it itches.
The best essential oils for athlete’s foot are the most powerful ones. I suggest Oregano, Thyme, Garlic and Star Anise.
Tinea manuum (or manus) – commonly known as ringworm of the hands.
Even though there’s not the same environment as between the toes, the ringworm of the hands is more aggressive than athlete’s foot. The symptoms though are pretty much the same. The hands will look very cracked, red and scaly and that area will burn.
Some of the best essential oils for tinea manuum should be the strongest, just like with athlete’s foot.
Important note and advice!
When you wash and/or apply treatment to any affected area, always wear gloves. The fungi will easily affect other healthy areas if you allow it!
Essential Oils for Ringworm in Pets
Our poor pets are not spared from this contagious disease either. Animal farms are also affected. A few researchers from Italy (Pisa University) have tested the efficacy of essential oils for ringworm in animals.
First they tried it on 7 cats. 4 were completely cured and the others showed an encouraging improvement.
Then they moved on to 13 infected sheep. They applied a mixture of Wild Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary in a base of Sweet Almond carrier oil. The treatment lasted 15 days, with twice a day applications.
The results were all positive and encouraging. The skin lesions started to regress and the hair to grow back. All this without side effects too!
Nonetheless, it is necessary for extra care when using essential oils for ringworm in animals. Certain chemical constituents cannot be broken down and eliminated by animals. Phenols and ketones are two such compounds.
Cats for instance, don’t have the enzymes that allow the break down and elimination of the oils out of their system. Using them on a cat would only accumulate in their kidneys, causing further problems.
For instance, Peppermint essential oil is good for ringworm in dogs, but not for cats. This is because of the reasons I just explained.
I recommend a careful approach and a lot of research on those essential oils you’d like to use on your pet’s ringworm.
Essential Oil Recipes for Ringworm Infection
These recipes are meant to help you start treating your infection as soon as possible. Or you could use them to prevent any recurrent infection, if you know you had one.
I will start with an already proven blend of oils. Though, keep in mind it has only been tested on animals. Taken separately, the antifungal capacity of these oils was tested on humans too.
Blend Recipe to Stop or Prevent the Ringworm Infection
- Wild Thyme or Thyme essential oil: 6 drops
- Oregano essential oil: 15 drops
- Lavender essential oil: 5 drops
- Sweet Almond oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Mix these oils well and shake before each application to activate the molecules. Apply on the affected area(s) 3 – 4 times a day, for a month. Take a break from this blend and replace it with another, just as good.
Preventing Ringworm Spreading Diffuser Recipe
- Star Anise essential oil: 10 drops
- Myrrh essential oil: 10 drops
- Tea Tree essential oil: 8 drops
Mix all these oils together and keep them stored in a dark glass bottle. Pour 5 – 8 drops in an electronic diffuser or a candle oil burner and keep it on for 30 minutes. Repeat 2 – 3 times a day for at least a month. I would suggest continuing with these diffusions, but at a more relaxed pace.
Ringworm Bath Infusion Recipe
- Pink (Himalayan) salt: 1 cup
- Star Anise essential oil: 8 drops
- Tea Tree essential oil: 5 drops
Mix all the ingredients together and pour over in a hot bath water. The steam will help disperse all the beneficial molecules in the air and seep into your skin, nails and hair. Make sure you wash the bathtub afterwards, to prevent it from spreading to others or to yourself again.
Ringworm is not an easy skin infection to treat. It may take a lot more time than you would like. But at least, you can get better results with natural remedies than with conventional treatments.
I’ve looked for the best essential oils for ringworm infection. I found quite a good amount of info on them, which can only mean they’re good at what they do. Do not hesitate to do some more research if you want to be extra sure. And of course, always visit your doctor for a correct diagnose.
Have you ever tried any essential oil to get rid of ringworm? Which infection did you have to treat? I’ll look forward to your comments and questions, if you have any.