Using tea tree oil for ringworm
Ringworm is a common skin condition caused by fungus - it can affect skin on any part of the body. It’s quite unsightly and will cause an itchy ‘ring’ shaped rash and in extreme cases can be painful to touch.
Ringworm is highly contagious - it spreads via skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. The fungus can also spread if you share towels, clothes or bed linen.
Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree (native to Australia). Studies have shown that tea tree oil can cure the ringworm fungus in as little as four weeks. You must use 100% tea tree oil which can be bought from health food stores and some supermarket chains.
Tea tree oil and ringworm - how does it work?
Tea tree oil contains natural anti-fungal properties - the native people of Australia (Aboriginal people) have been using it for thousands of years for conditions such as burns, stings, fungal infections, etc. (You can read all about the history of tea tree oil here.)
Tea tree oil provides a natural remedy for ringworm because it kills off any fungus infection. If you apply it twice daily to the area affected by ringworm you should see most of it disappear by about two weeks.
Treating ringworm with tea tree oil
Here’s the best way to treat ringworm using tea tree oil:-
- Clean the skin affected by ringworm then dry thoroughly. It’s a good idea to place any washcloths directly in your dirty laundry to avoid further infection - ringworm is highly contagious.
- Put a few drops of pure tea tree oil on the end of a cotton swab and apply directly to the ringworm area, covering all affected areas completely with the oil.
- Repeat this process three times per day, you should see results within 1-2 weeks.
If you find the tea tree oil irritates your skin using it at full strength, you can dilute it by mixing 1 tablespoon of oil to half a cup of warm water. This also helps if you have a large area to cover – you can use a cotton ball instead of a cotton bud.
If you’re not seeing any improvement by the end of a two week period, it’s probably best if you go and see a doctor for further advice.
Does tea tree oil really kill ringworm?
Yes, tea tree oil really does kill ringworm! Basically, ringworm is caused by a type of fungus and because tea tree oil has antifungal properties, applying the oil should clear up your ringworm in a matter of weeks.
The oil is very useful as a home remedy, having a clear yellowish liquid with a smell similar to that of eucalyptus.
Benefits of treating ringworm with tea tree oil
The main benefit of using tea tree oil to treat ringworm is the fact it’s an all-natural remedy. There are no harsh chemicals that can further irritate your skin, and if you care about what you put on your skin then tea tree oil is a great choice for you.
Safety precautions when using tea tree oil
Tea tree oil can be toxic if swallowed, so care must be taken. Only use topically and never ever ingest the oil as it can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and other nasty side effects.
If you are pregnant you should seek the advice of your doctor before using tea tree oil, particularly if during the first trimester.
The best way to find out if you’re sensitive to tea tree oil is to do a patch test. Simply put a single drop of the oil on a cotton pad and swipe on the inside of your arm near your elbow. If you experience any itching, swelling or redness within 15 minutes then it’s a safe bet to say you are sensitive to the oil and you should wipe it off immediately.