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Ringworm or tinea is a contagious superficial skin disease, which is caused by a group of fungi known as dermatophytes. It is a common condition affecting children, adults and even animals. It can occur on the face, scalp, feet, nails, groin, beard or over the entire body. The name ‘ringworm’ comes from the fact that the tinea lesions often make a ring-like pattern on the skin.
Ringworm spreads through direct contact from person to person or from an infected animal. Cats are common carriers of the infection. The infection can also spread through used towels, hairbrushes, linen, common baths and swimming pools. Warm and humid environment is perfect for the growth of these organisms. So, sweat and minor injuries like cuts on the scalp, skin or nails can also increase the chances of getting infected. The risk of contracting ringworm is increased if a person is: 

  • Malnourished
  • Has poor hygiene
  • Is immunocompromised from disease or medication
  • Plays contact sports such as wrestling

Symptoms of ringworm are:

  • On the body and groin region: It usually starts as a small ring-shaped lesion, which gradually becomes bigger. As the size increases, the area in the centre looks clearer. The lesions usually appear 5 to 10 days after contact with an infected person.
  • On the scalp: It appears as a small pimple-like eruption that increases in size, creating bald patches on the scalp. The hair can become brittle and break off easily. Ringworm on the scalp is more common in children.
  • On the feet: It is seen as dry and cracked skin, commonly between the toes, with mild to severe itching.
  • On the nails: The affected nail becomes thick, discoloured and brittle.

Homeopathy is a safe and cost-effective mode of complementary and alternative treatment for ringworm infections. In conventional medicine, topical antifungal agents are usually the first line of treatment for ringworm. Along with topical therapy, a combination of oral antifungals and anti-inflammatory drugs is also given to promote healing. This may lead to drug resistance and other cutaneous infections that may be difficult to treat. Prolonged infections may be disfiguring and result in social discrimination. This can affect a person’s self-confidence and impair the quality of life.
Some homeopathic medicines that are used for treating ringworm infections include arsenic album, bovista, calcarea carb, clematis, dulcamara, graphites, lycopodium, natrum mur, psorinum, rhus tox, sepia, silicea, sulphur and tellurium.

  1. Homeopathic medicines for ringworm
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for a patient with ringworm as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for ringworm
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for ringworm
  5. Takeaway
Doctors for Homeopathic medicine, treatment and remedies for Ringworm
  • Arsenicum Album
    Common Name:
    Arsenious acid, arsenic trioxide
    Symptoms: This remedy acts on all the organs of the body and is used to treat burning pains, weakness, irritability and restlessness. Other symptoms that can be treated using this remedy are:
    • Excessive itching and swelling on the affected area
    • Dry and scaly skin eruptions, which worsen on scratching and in cold weather
    • Urticaria associated with a lot of burning and restlessness

All the complaints get after midnight, in humid and rainy weather, and on consuming cold food and drinks. The person feels better on taking warm drinks and with warmth in general.

  • Bovista
    Common Name:
    Puffball
    Symptoms: Bovista is indicated for skin affections, particularly eczema and urticaria. Individuals who benefit from this remedy have some of the following symptoms:
    • Deep impression on the skin even with blunt instruments
    • Urticaria, when the person is excited
    • Excessive itching on the tip of coccyx (tailbone)
    • Pimples all over the body
    • Onion like smell in armpit sweat

Symptoms get worse on waking up in the morning and after bathing and get better after meals.

  • Calcarea Carbonicum
    Common Name:
    Calcium carbonate, carbonate of lime, calcarea carbonica ostrearum
    Symptoms: This remedy has a marked action on the skin. Symptoms that can be treated with this remedy are:
    • Unhealthy skin
    • Wounds that take a long time to heal
    • Excessive sweating on the scalp, so much so that the pillow gets wet
    • Head icy cold to touch
    • Severe itching on the scalp along with scratching on waking in the morning

Complaints get worse due to mental or physical exertion, in cold and moist weather, and the person feels better in dry weather.

  • Clematis 
    Common Name:
    Virgin’s bower
    Symptoms: Virgin’s bower is an excellent remedy for the skin and reproductive glands. Some of the symptoms addressed by this remedy are:
    • Scaly, scabby skin lesions with a lot of redness and burning
    • Eruptions, predominantly on the face, hands and back of the scalp 
    • Swelling of testicles and scrotum
    • Pain and tingling sensation in the urinary passage that increases at night
    • Decreased flow of urine; urine passes drop by drop

Symptoms worsen in the night and from the warmth of the bed, and get better in open air

  • Dulcamara
    Common Name:
    Bitter sweet
    Symptoms: This remedy is very useful for skin symptoms that appear at the end of the summer season when the weather becomes damp and humid. It is indicated for the following symptoms:
    • Ringworm lesions on the scalp that bleed on scratching
    • Eruptions on the hands, face and arms
    • Cold sores on lips
    • Skin rashes in women seen just before their periods begin
    • Red spots and small fluid-filled boils on the skin

All symptoms are worse at night, from cold or humid weather, and are better from warmth.

  • Graphites
    Common Name:
    Black lead, plumbago
    Symptoms: This remedy is indicated for people who are overweight, feel cold easily and are constipated. It helps relieve the following skin symptoms:
    • Itchy eruptions on the scalp that emit an offensive odour
    • Blisters on the tongue and around the mouth
    • Dry and rough skin
    • Eruptions that ooze a sticky fluid
    • Unhealthy appearance of skin, with cracks on the mouth, nipples, anus and between toes 

Symptoms worsen at night, with warmth and during and after periods. The person gets relief in the dark and on wrapping the affected region.

  • Lycopodium Clavatum 
    Common Name: Club moss
    Symptoms: This remedy is well suited to people in whom skin symptoms appear very gradually along with gradual weakening of body functions. It helps relieve the following symptoms:
    • Eczema and eruptions behind ears with a thick, yellowish discharge
    • Gastric complaints
    • Increased sweating, especially of the feet and the armpits

Complaints are worse on lying on the right side, between 4 pm and 8 pm and from warmth. Complaints get better from cold weather and after midnight. 

  • Natrum Muriaticum
    Common Name:
    Chloride of sodium
    Symptoms: This remedy is well indicated for treating chronic ringworm infections. It is given in case of the following symptoms:
    • Oily skin, especially on the hairy areas of the body
    • Dry eruptions on the scalp, elbows and knees
    • Itching and burning on the affected area that increases on exertion

Symptoms are aggravated with warmth and mental exertion. Complaints get relieved by bathing and going out in open air.

  • Psorinum
    Common Name:
    Scabies vesicle
    Symptoms: This remedy is indicated in all types of skin conditions. It is especially used to treat eruptions that have a foul smell. Other symptoms that can be treated with this remedy are:
    • Unbearable itching
    • Ringworm lesions on the scalp and bends of joints, such as elbows and knees, which worsen with itching and warmth of the bed
    • Eczema behind the ears and urticaria after any type of exertion

Symptoms worsen on drinking coffee, with changes in weather, and from cold. The person gets relief from symptoms by wearing warm clothing, in summers and with warmth in general.

  • Rhus Toxicodendron
    Common Name:
    Poison ivy
    Symptoms: This remedy is recommended in skin and mucous membrane infections such as cellulitis, urticaria and septic states. It helps relieve the following symptoms:
    • Moist eruptions on the skin with intense itching
    • Red and swollen eruptions
    • Pain and stiffness in the joints (Read more: Stiffness in joints causes)
    • Sciatica with tingling in the feet

Symptoms are worse at night, during sleep and with cold and rainy weather. Symptoms get better in dry weather, with warm applications, and by rubbing the affected area.

  • Sepia
    Common Name:
    Inky juice of cuttlefish
    Symptoms: This remedy is particularly suited to women with ringworm infections. Skin complaints that are relieved by this remedy are:
    • Ringworm lesions that appear every spring season
    • Itching on the bends of joints, which is not relieved by scratching
    • Sweating on the feet, which is worse on toes, with a horrible odour

Symptoms worsen in the early afternoon and in the evenings, with humidity and on lying on the left side. Symptoms get better with warmth and hot applications. 

  • Silicea
    Common Name: Silica, pure flint
    Symptoms: This remedy is useful in skin overgrowths, keloids and skin conditions that lead to scar formation. Silicia is indicated in case of the following symptoms:
    • Increased sweating on the scalp with a foul smell
    • Presence of boils, abscesses and ulcers on the skin
    • Eruptions that itch only during the day and evening

All the complaints get worse in the morning, during periods and in damp and cold weather. Complaints get better by warmth and in the summer season.

  • Sulphur
    Common Name:
    Sublimated sulphur
    Symptoms: Sulphur is a great remedy for skin complaints associated with burning and itching. Other symptoms that indicate a need for this remedy are:
    • Itchy dry scalp, that burns on scratching
    • Dry, unhealthy skin
    • Dry form of tinea capitis (scalp ringworm) with hair fall
    • Pus filled pimple-like eruptions on the skin
    • Itching, which gets worse with warmth and often recurs in the spring season

Complaints are aggravated in the morning (especially at 11 am), when the person is at rest,  and on consuming alcohol. Symptoms get better in dry weather. 

  • Tellurium
    Common Name:
    Tellurium metal
    Symptoms: This remedy is very useful for skin and spine affections. It works well for people who develop symptoms gradually and have pains all over the body. Tellurium helps heal the following symptoms:
    • Ringworm eruptions which have a foul smell 
    • Severe itching in hands and feet
    • Offensive foot sweat
    • Circular areas of eczema

All the complaints get aggravated at night, in cold weather, from touch and when the person is resting. Symptoms get better in dry climate. 

To get the best results from homeopathic treatment, homeopathic physicians also advise lifestyle and dietary modifications to the patient. This includes avoiding certain foods that may interfere with the medicinal properties of the remedies and leading a healthier lifestyle. Here are some of the do's and don't that you should keep in mind if you are taking homeopathic medicines:

Do’s: 

  • Consume nutritious and healthy foods.
  • Stay in a clean and hygienic environment.
  • Physical exercise should be a part of your daily routine.
  • Maintain personal hygiene at all times.

Don’ts

  • Do not consume foods and beverages which may have medicinal properties.
  • Do not drink caffeinated beverages or drinks that have a strong odour.
  • Do not use strong perfumes. 
  • Avoid extremes emotions such as anger and grief that may aggravate the symptoms.
  • Avoid all excesses in foods, such as an excess of salt, sugar and spices.

Homeopathy is a very safe and gentle mode of therapy, which aims at stimulating the patient's immune system so it can clear out the infection on its own. These medicines are prepared from natural sources and are hence devoid of side effects and suitable for all age groups.

When taken under the supervision of an experienced practitioner, homeopathic medicines help control fungal growth, reduce the inflammation, redness and itching and help restore normal healthy skin. They also prevent future recurrences of the condition.

(Read more: Fungal infection types)

Homeopathic remedies are diluted natural products. The dilution renders them free of side effects, but does not affect their medicinal properties. Although safe and effective in a vast population, these remedies should be taken only after consulting a registered homeopathic practitioner. A qualified homeopathic doctor has the best knowledge about the composition of these remedies and will prescribe the most suitable medication based on the symptoms of the person and their tendency to suffer from a condition (miasms).

Ringworm is a common fungal infection of the skin. The conventional treatment for ringworm usually includes topical creams and antifungal drugs. However, with the growing drug resistance in modern medicine, fungal infections are taking longer to treat. Homeopathy offers a safer and quicker mode of treatment for ringworm infections, without the risk of drug resistance or side effects. They improve a person's immunity to root out the disease and prevent its recurrence. Never take a homeopathic remedy without talking to a doctor first.

Dr. Ram Kumar

Dr. Ram Kumar

Homeopathy
11 Years of Experience

Dr. Ajit Prasad Singh

Dr. Ajit Prasad Singh

Homeopathy
10 Years of Experience

Priyanka Gupta

Priyanka Gupta

Homeopathy
6 Years of Experience

Dr. Varun Kapadia

Dr. Varun Kapadia

Homeopathy
2 Years of Experience

References

  1. American Skin Association. [Internet] New York, U.S. What is tinea (ringworm)?
  2. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. [Internet] US National Library of Medicine; Ringworm
  3. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne [internet]: Victoria State Government. Ringworm
  4. Johns Hopkins Medicine [Internet]. The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System; Tinea Infections (Ringworm)
  5. Piyu Amit Uttamchandani, Aditya Dilipkumar Patil. Homoeopathy an Alternative Therapy for Dermatophyte Infections International Journal of Health Sciences & Research, January 2019, Vol 9, Issue 1
  6. William Boericke. Homeopathic Materia Medica. Kessinger Publishing: Médi-T 1999, Volume 1 Homoeopathic Materia Medica
  7. The European Committee for Homeopathy. [Internet] Belgium Homeopathy: a holistic approach

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