Scalp ringworm is the name of a health concern that leaves one cringing. The formal Latin name, Tinea Capitis, is a less disturbing name. But even with a more pleasant name, it is an issue that can be uncomfortable and cosmetically distressing. Natural remedies for scalp ringworm include black walnut tincture, tea tree essential oil and colloidal silver. These effective remedies are easy to use and inexpensive.
Tinea means “fungus” and capitis means, “head.” Those who suffer with scalp ringworm often struggle with other forms of skin fungus like athete’s foot (tinea pedis) or tinea corporus (ringworm on the body.)
Contrary to the name and common misconception, ringworm is NOT a parasitic infection. There is not any type of “worm” involved at all.
Symptoms of scalp ringworm include bald patches on the head, crusty or scaly areas on the scalp, and itching. Typically, patches of ringworm will be circular in nature, thus the name “ringworm.”
Scalp ringworm is contagious. It is possible to get a case of scalp ringworm from sharing headwear, combs, and helmets in arcades or on the ballfield. Sharing towels and pillows can also spread tinea infections.
Traditional remedies for fungal infections include over the counter creams and in severe cases, prescription topical treatments and internal medications.
Natural Remedies for Scalp Ringworm
Home remedies are quite effective for healing scalp ringworm, especially when combined with strict hygiene practices.
1. Black Walnut
Black walnut tincture fights fungus. Simply apply the tincture to infection twice daily. Black walnut tincture can stain clothing and bedding, so be careful about where the tincture ends up.
2. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil is an antifungal oil. While it can be used “neat” (without diluting) by many, it is wise to dilute the oil some before applying to the skin. Using coconut oil as a carrier oil will give the added benefit of the antifungal properties in the coconut oil itself.
Mix together 1 teaspoon tea tree essential oil and 1 tablespoon raw coconut oil. Apply this oil to the affected areas of the scalp twice a day.
Tea tree essential oil has a notable antiseptic smell that some enjoy but many do not care for. Including lavender essential oil to the blend will cut the strong tea tree oil odor. Additionally, lavender has antifungal properties also. To include lavender in the preparation, mix ½ teaspoon tea tree essential oil, ½ teaspoon lavender essential oil and 1 tablespoon coconut oil together. Keep in a small container and apply twice daily to the affected areas.
3. Colloidal Silver
To avoid the staining of black walnut and the odors of essential oils, consider using colloidal silver to fight scalp ringworm. This liquid will neither stain nor smell. As with the other remedies, apply colloidal silver to the patches of tinea at least twice a day.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is a powerful antifungal. To use apple cider vinegar on the head, dilute it with water. Keep a bottle with 1 cup apple cider vinegar and 1 cup water in the shower to rinse the head at the end of the shower. Not only will this fight the scalp infection, it will naturally detangle hair, reduce oiliness and increase hair shine!
The borax found in the laundry aisle of the grocery store is a natural antifungal. Dissolve ¼ cup borax in 1 cup water. Use a cotton ball to apply the borax solution to the ringworm patches twice daily.
6. Golden Paste
Turmeric is a powerful herb for many infections, including ringworm. Mix up a batch of golden paste and apply the paste to affected areas on the scalp twice daily. Turmeric’s downside it that it leaves a temporary stain on the skin. Should you use this remedy overnight and find the skin stained in the morning, use colorless iodine on a cotton ball to remove the stains. The iodine will help to fight the tinea infection as well.
7. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a very inexpensive ringworm treatment. It can be applied to the patches or ringworm twice daily. However, hydrogen peroxide will bleach hair, so this may not be an ideal remedy for most people.
8. Strict Hygiene
To keep from spreading the tinea infection to others, wash towels, bedding, and clothing that touches the hair in hot water, rinse them in vinegar and dry them in a clothes dryer on the highest setting.
This infection can be contracted from other people and from pets as well. Check your pets for signs of a ringworm infection and treat them with the same remedies, excluding the tea tree oil remedy. Essential oils are too strong for animals, especially cats.
Wash items that come in contact with the head, including hats, hoods and headbands in the manner described above.
Wash hands thoroughly after touching the head, especially any areas of tinea.
9. Use Natural Fibers
Avoid the use of hats, hoods and headbands made of synthetic materials. Wool, cotton, bamboo and linen are better choices. Use cotton or bamboo sheets and pillowcases as well. Synthetic fabrics are harder to keep clean and are more likely to cause sweating. Natural fabrics breathe better; circulating air will promote healing of the skin. In fact, avoiding anything covering the head while healing from a tinea infection is ideal.
10. Dietary Changes
Include some probiotic foods into the diet to help fight fungal infections from the inside out. Yogurt, kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut all contain probiotics to help the body regain balance, which keeps fungus from multiplying.
Reduce sugar and processed foods in the diet. Fungus thrives on sugar and simple carbohydrates.
A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar added to a glass of water makes a simple alkalizing drink to promote healing from the inside out.
If natural remedies are not working to heal your ringworm problem, it may be that your immune system needs a boost. Taking vitamin C, D, and zinc can support the immune system. Astragalus root is an herb that promotes immunity. Astragalus root can be purchased in capsules and taken daily.
Can I Use Bleach for Ringworm?
While in desperation some have successfully used bleach to treat ringworm, this remedy is not recommended. Bleach is very hard on the skin. When trying to heal a skin infection, applying harsh chemicals is counter productive and possibly dangerous.
Continue reading to see how our readers have treated their scalp ringworm.