Ringworm, a condition caused by a skin fungus, can affect your skin on any area of your body. According to the National Institutes of Health, ringworm on your feet is often referred to as athlete's foot, in the groin area it can be called jock itch, and it is simply referred to as ringworm when it affects other areas of the body. Tea tree oil, extracted from the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), is noted in a medical study in the August 2002 issue of the "Australasian Journal of Dermatology" as being an effective treatment for ringworm, curing the fungus in four weeks of treatment for more than 64 percent of the test subjects. It's a simple procedure to apply the tea tree. You'll need to use 100 percent pure tea tree oil, which you can buy from a health food store or natural health center.
Cleanse and thoroughly dry the skin area that is affected by ringworm. Immediately place any linens used on the affected skin in the dirty laundry to avoid risk of further contamination.
Put several drops of tea tree oil on the end of a sterile cotton swab, and apply it directly to the ringworm. Completely cover all affected areas with the oil.
Repeat this process three times per day.
Dilute the tea tree oil if you find that using it full strength irritates your skin. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, you can mix 1 1/2 tbsp. of tea tree oil to 1 cup of warm water to effectively dilute it. Diluting the tea tree oil is also a good way to stretch it if you have a large area to cover, and you can use a sterile cotton ball instead of a small cotton swab.
Use the tea tree oil treatment for up to four weeks, if necessary. If you are not seeing any improvement in your condition at that point, see your physician.
Things You'll Need
100 percent pure tea tree oil
Sterile cotton swabs or cotton balls
Make sure your tea tree oil is labeled "100 percent pure." Tea tree oil that is diluted with other oils will not be as effective against ringworm, and can also cause skin irritation.
If you experience redness, soreness or pain when applying tea tree oil, discontinue use.