Readers with ringworm often have queries pertaining to their diet. They want to know whether certain foods can cause ringworm. This is natural since ringworm is difficult to treat and it keeps recurring which leads the sufferers to question their dietary intake. I have had readers wondering if they are doing something wrong and whether their diet is to be blamed for the infection. They want to know if the foods they are eating might be feeding those pesky fungal spores. So today we will speak about ways to avoid ringworm spread and how to cure ringworm permanently.
Ringworm is a fungal skin disease that can affect humans and animals alike. It is highly contagious since the fungal spores that cause the skin disease easily spread from infected people to healthy ones. Humans can also get ringworm from their pets. School going kids are most susceptible to ringworm since they come in close contact with each other. Typical symptoms of ringworm are:
- Circular skin lesions that appear to spread outwards with a central clearing
- The hair in the region appears broken.
- Ringworm rashes and lesions are very itchy. Scratching the rashes traps the infecting spores in the fingernails, spreading the disease around. Moreover, scratching can cause bleeding, secondary infections and pus filled blisters in the rash.
- Ringworm lesions can appear anywhere on the body including the groin, the toenails, arms, legs, torso, armpits and even the scalp and beard in men.
What foods to avoid if you have ringworm?
I get many patients asking me this question. Definitely diet is of utmost importance since you are what you eat. If you eat a lot of junk or processed foods then your body’s natural immunity will be low. This has been scientifically proven. Also sugar fuels fungal infections. So if you are in the habit of eating sugary foods, you need to limit your intake or try and quit sugar completely. Here is the summary of foods to avoid if you suffer from recurring ringworm infections:
- Processed frozen and ready to eat foods
- Foods with sugar, preservatives, dyes, artificial colors, monosodium glutamate etc
- Gluten based foods
- Carbohydrate rich foods-these get converted into simpler sugars which causes the ringworm lesions to flare up again.
- Sodas and sugary beverages
- Alcoholic drinks
- Caffeinated drinks
Ringworm and food allergies
Many food allergies start off with skin symptoms. The skin is the largest organ of the body so if you are allergic to certain foods, it is highly likely that the symptoms will first show up on the skin. A variety of skin diseases have symptoms similar to those of ringworm. Conditions that mimic a food allergy and ringworm include:
- Bacterial skin infections
- External parasites-insects bites, fleas, ticks, scabies mites can cause rashes that are somewhat similar to those caused by ringworm or by food allergens
- Contact dermatitis.
If you or your pet has a rash that you are unsure of, please see a dermatologist (or a vet). Your doctor might recommend a skin swab or test the lesions under a microscope or special light to ascertain whether the rash is caused by an allergen or fungal/bacterial elements.
Ideal diet of a ringworm patient
Here are some holistic dietary changes that can help a ringworm sufferer. Also check out my article on 4 Foods That Fight Ringworm.
Add garlic to your diet
Garlic treatment for ringworm is a popular folk remedy. Holistic doctors recommend adding garlic (raw or cooked) to the diet. Also, crushed garlic can be applied to the ringworm lesions. While this remedy stinks terribly, many patients swear by it. Garlic has natural anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiseptic compounds that kill off the spores and clear the rashes within no time. You can also consume garlic pills. Take at least 1 garlic pill of 500 mg once or twice a day or as per the product label instructions.
You must take at least 2-3 tbsp of Brewer’s yeast per day to eliminate ringworm and stop it from coming back. It is full of B-complex and that is good for strengthening the body’s natural defense against ringworm.
Wheat-grass juice has hundreds of health benefits and one of them is giving you a great skin. Drink a glass of wheat grass juice daily, preferably in the morning.
Apple cider vinegar
ACV as it is popularly known cures just about everything from skin issues to obesity to heart burn to hair problems. Many people have used apple cider vinegar with great success. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with some juice or molasses to a glass of water. Drink this on an empty stomach to clear ringworm from inside out. You can also apply this topically over the lesions. Be consistent to see results.
Turmeric is naturally antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial. Add half a teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of warm milk and drink it up to fight ringworm internally. You can also apply turmeric topically to the ringworm to clear the lesions quickly.
As coconut oil has antifungal properties it can clear up ringworm quickly. You can apply coconut oil topically and also take it internally to get healthier, clearer, smoother skin.
Oregano oil can be taken internally for ringworm and it is one of the best foods for fighting this disease. Add a few drops of oregano oil to glass of water and drink up. Be careful with this remedy-the oil can cause heart burn. If possible, take pills of oregano oil to prevent these side effects. Alternatively, apply oregano oil on the ringworm lesions to curb its spread. However, taking the oil internally has greater benefits as it strengthens the body’s natural defense system.
Anti fungal diet consists of lean meat (chicken and fish) with berries, green apples, nuts (no peanuts), and grapefruit. You are not allowed to eat potatoes, bread, pasta and sugar on the diet. Also avoid caffeine and alcohol. These foods do not cause ringworm but they do feed the microbes and cause them to spread to healthy areas of the body.
Paleo diet is also very good for those suffering from recurrent ringworm episodes. The diet consists of low carb and high protein which reduces inflammation. It requires eliminating grains, dairy and processed foods. Follow this diet for as long as possible to eliminate ringworm rashes.