Eric Bakker N.D.May 9, 2022

Ringworm is caused by a microscopic fungus, not an actual worm or bacteria as some may think. Some people worry a great deal about the term “ringworm” because they actually believe they have a worm or parasite problem.


What Is Ringworm?

Do you have ringworm? It is much more common than you think and most probably one of the most misdiagnosed yeast skin infections I have seen, commonly viewed as eczema in children.It’s truly amazing how many patients with ringworm get misdiagnosed as having eczema, dermatitis and even psoriasis instead of ringworm. What is ringworm, do you know what it is?

Ringworm Causes

Ringworm is caused by a microscopic fungus, not an actual worm or bacteria as some may think. Some people worry a great deal about the term “ringworm” because they actually believe they have a worm or parasite problem. This is simply not the case, those with ringworm simply have a fungal type of skin problem that causes these peculiar round red lesions, they are quite characteristic of ringworm – look at the picture, do you recognise it if you look at your itchy skin lesion?

Now you will be able to understand the word “ring”, it comes from the characteristic ring shaped skin lesion common to this skin condition.

When a person has ringworm the infected area spreads out slowly from its central starting point and creates a slightly raised, circular and intensely red ring surrounding a less red, flaky, itchy area.It is not hard to recognise ringworm and is impossible to miss, once you have seen this condition you won’t forget it.

Over a period of a few to several weeks, the red ring slowly enlarges and spreads. It can occur anywhere on the body and in multiple sites at once.

Is Ringworm Contagious?

Ringworm occurs only if you are susceptible to it, your immune system must be susceptible. Doctors will often have you believe that you get ringworm ‘easily by touching a person who has the infection, but in my experience this is simply not the case.

When a person is run-down with a poor immune response they will be more prone to getting the infection because they will have an increased susceptibility and a decreased resistance. If you have a heightened susceptibility you can be open to not only contracting ringworm, but a whole host of other acute skin or other conditions.

Animals such as cats, dogs, guinea pigs and even cattle can have fungal conditions they can spread to humans, but again – a person needs to be susceptible with a low resistance before they get a condition to ringworm. Those who have poor diets, especially diets high in refined and processed foods under stress will be more susceptible.

I read on a well known medical website that even by “touching a farm gate where infected animals pass through may be enough to infect your skin with ringworm”. This is nothing more than fear-mongering and is typical what i would expect of those who believe in the ‘hygiene hypothesis’, i.e, if we keep everything sterile around us we won’t get sick. This is crazy thinking and is one of the contributing factors of what we now find so prevalent, bacteria that are becoming increasingly antibiotic-resistant.

Do Anti-Fungal Creams Cure Ringworm?

No they don’t, they may temporarily reduce the symptoms but they are no guarantee of curing ringworm permanently. They best way to cure this annoying skin complaint is to not contract it in the first place by having a powerful immune response and this is achieved by having good nutrition and lifestyle habits and if you do happen to develop any skin complaints to treat them promptly with natural medicines. That way you will be much less likely to develop any unwanted side-effects that are so prevalent with pharmaceutical drugs.

How to Prevent And Eradicate Ringworm Naturally

Prevention is obviously the intelligent solution, and by having a strong immune response a person is much less likely to succumb to a fungal skin complaint like ringworm. A good tip is to use Australian Tea Tree Oil  (Melaleuca alternifolia).  This treatment works very well for most of my patients whether they are children or adults.

Sometimes I may use other natural products as well such as oregano oil or grapefruit seed extract straight onto the skin lesion, but it all depends on the case. I like patients with chronic ringworm to have a diet change for a period of at least 6 – 12 weeks. Another good tip is to use a good probiotic, a product that has an amazing effect of restoring the digestive function of a person with a yeast infection, regardless if it is based on the skin or in the digestive system.

In most cases we can have a quick resolution of this annoying skin condition. Don’t forget, ringworm is easy to spot and diagnose, so don’t be fooled anymore by those who tell you you may have eczema. Common sense prevails when it comes to hygiene, so be sure you observe cleanliness as well, washing your hands regularly makes sense especially if you have been to a farm or have played with any animals.

Another good tip is to try and rub some freshly cut garlic on the affected areas, I have seen miracles occur with garlic and ringworm. But be careful, because garlic may burn sensitive skin, so try a little amount on your skin before you use it extensively.

Discussion (2 comments)

  1. Hello,
    My 16 year old daughter has been suffering from athletes foot for 8 months.
    She now appears to have a bacterial infection in her big toe. Her toe is red up to the knuckle and there are fleshy looking lumps on either side of the nail. When we do a foot soak it seems to draw out pus from either side of her big toe nail.
    She has seen multiple naturopaths but they haven’t been able to help.

    1. Have you tried Australian Tea Tree Oil? It has to be the real deal, Melaleuca alternifolia. Buy thgis brand: Thursday plantation, get the pure oil. Watch what happEns. I’m surprised they haven’t banned it yet.

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