Ringworm (Tinea) is a fungal skin infection caused by a family of microorganisms called Dermatophytes. Ringworm can affect any part of the body including the scalp, beard, the groin, nails as well as the skin between toes etc. Several home remedies can be used to treat ringworm quite effectively and one of these is Aloe Vera for ringworm. Extensive research has been conducted on the medicinal properties of Aloe Vera extracts. One such study was performed in the Rivers State University of Science and Technology in Nigeria. This research has definitely helped us answer the question: does aloe vera help ringworm?
Let us study the positive effects of Aloe vera for tinea versicolor and even a homemade recipe using which you can make your own Aloe Vera gel for ringworm.
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe Vera is the oldest medicinal plant known worldwide for its healing properties. Extracts obtained by cutting open the leaf of Aloe Vera are proven skin healers known to help soothe cuts, burns, acne and even provide relief from itching and burning. The reason why Aloe Vera for tinea versicolor is so effective is because it contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals including:
- Vitamin B12 and other B group vitamins
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Folic Acid
- 19 of the 20 amino acids needed by the human body.
The sap in Aloe leaf has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that help fight pain and inflammation. The plant produces at least 6 antiseptic substances including Lupeol, Salicylic acid, Phenols, Sulphur, and even Urea and nitrogen. These help kill funguses and bacteria explaining why Aloe vera for Tinea Versicolor is so effective. In fact; thanks to its antifungal properties, Aloe Vera is also used as a fish tank water conditioner.
Side effects of Aloe Vera gel are also rare as it is completely non toxic. Many people even consume Aloe Vera juice to increase their immunity and prevent bacterial and fungal sink infections including ringworm.
Studies and research on Aloe Vera for Tinea infections
As stated above, lot of research has been conducted on Aloe extracts to answer the question does Aloe help ringworm.
Here is the Nigerian study that was conducted on 2 groups of students suffering from Tinea Capititis (head and scalp ringworm) and Tinea Corporis (body ringworm). In both cases, Aloe Vera gel extracts were left for 3-7 days on the infected areas. The gel was extracted from matured leaves of Aloe and also, for the control group, the researches used fermented Aloe. Faster cure was obtained using the fresh Aloe extracts. Physio-chemical analysis of skin sample also showed increased moisture content. You can read the entire study results here.
Let us now study how to make homemade Aloe Vera Gel for treating ringworm.
Homemade Aloe Vera Gel Recipe for Ringworm
Tinea begins as a small discoloration of the skin. It gradually grows in size and is characterized by severe itchiness and dryness. The skin also flakes and clears at the center appearing to spread outwards to ts side. The ring like rash then forms a raised red and scaly boundary that appears as if a worm is crawling under the skin. The middle portion of the rash may have broken or missing hair. In case of Tinea infections of the scalp, there may be patchy hair-loss, itching and dandruff. You can use the following homemade Aloe vera gel recipe for treating Tinea infections on any part of the body.
- If you have a mature Aloe Vera plant (at least 2-3 years old) in your yard, you can use the outward older yet stronger leaves that are large and fleshy. Avoid leaves that are dried and yellow.
- Cut up to 2 leaves. This will give you enough gel to use on the Tinea versicolor or other tinea infections for up to two weeks.
- Place the leaves at a 45 degree angle keeping them upright and resting against a support. This will allow the yellow sap from the cut leaves to drain away. You can place a dish underneath the leaves to collect the yellow sap. Discard the yellow sap as it is usually very strong.
- Wash and dry the Aloe leaves.
- Now take a knife and cut the leaf at the tips starting from approximately 4 inches from the top. Discard the thin tips.
- If the leaves are large, divide them into 2 halves as you work further on them.
- Now cut off the side thorny layers from the leaves on both sides.
- Next insert the knife at the bottom of the leaves and slice them open laterally. Remove the hard green portion from top and bottom.
- You will be left with strips of pure aloe vera gel cubes. You can store them in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
- Add fresh Aloe to your smoothies to boost immunity.
- You can also run the aloe cubes in the food processor to make smooth gel.
Apply the gel to your Tinea infection 3 to 4 times a day for at least 2-3 weeks or until the Tinea disappears completely. Allow it to dry naturally.Continue applying Aloe Vera on the ringworm afflicted skin to prevent recurrence. If the tinea versicolor shows no signs of reducing or appears to spread or worsen despite using Aloe Vera gel, see a doctor immediately. Some infections may require medical intervention such as oral antifungal medication etc.