By Dr. J.P Nautiyal, Homeopathy
Ringworm is a type of fungal infection occurring on the skin of a person. Ringworm does not involve the presence of any kind of actual worms whatsoever. It is so named because of the circular scaly infection on the skin, which almost appears as if a worm is present beneath the skin.
Why the fungi arise on the skin is unclear. However, these skin infections are highly contagious, so people coming in contact with those already having the disease could naturally develop the ringworm lesions. The fungi also require warm and moist conditions to thrive in. People working in waterlogged conditions or those walking barefoot on wet floors near swimming pools; public washrooms etc could all develop ringworm based on their immunity levels.
Symptoms of Ringworm:
- Reddish, scaly or white patches on the skin.
- The lesions may appear raised and blistered.
- The circular lesion might have a clearing in the centre.
Hair loss is a common side effect of this disease. Ringworm of scalp especially is characterized by patchy hair loss where the hair might be bent and broken at an odd angle. Dandruff might also be present. Thankfully, there are many effective homeopathic remedies for ringworm on the scalp.
Though mostly ringworm is treated with conventional medicines and allopathic treatment, there are certain recurring ringworms on which traditional medicines slowly lose effect. Such infections can be controlled and cured with the help of homeopathic medicines.
Homeopathy is based on the principle of ‘like curing like’. This means, the homoeopath takes a bit of the plant material, deactivates it and just like a vaccine, infuses the patient’s body with small quantities of it. Popular homeopathic remedies for treating ringworm are:
- Sepia: It is obtained from the ink of a squid. It has been found that contact with the squid causes symptoms similar to the ones caused by ringworms. Thus, it is a remarkable cure for this disease. However, before actually administering this medicine, the homeopath doctor would ask several questions to understand the nature of the disease occurring to you. Such questions would include your sensitivity to heat and cold or how many times in the past has ringworm infected you. Only when the practitioner is sure of the fact that sepia is the correct treatment, would he prescribe it to you. This is a great cure for ringworms occurring in children as well.
- Sulphur: Ringworms not only affect a person on the skin of his/her body, but it might also occur on the scalp. These ringworms can cause a lot of itching, irritation, hair loss, pus in the scalp etc. For treating such types of ringworm, one can apply sulphur-based creams or ointments on the affected area on the scalp. Sulphur is seen to help in fighting the ringworms and thus providing relief from all the itching and irritation on the scalp.
- Rhus Toxicodendron: This medicine is obtained when leaves of the poison ivy plants are distilled overnight. Contact with poison ivy leaves also causes similar symptoms as ringworms and thus, it is known to be a good cure for the disease.
Ringworms on Animals -
At times, even animals like cats and dogs can be affected by ringworms. Symptoms would include loss of hair in patches, itchy hair, white or blackish patches on the body and others. A specialised vet should be referred to for a medicated shampoo besides a homeopath. Medicines like Sepia or Chrysarobinum are administered to treat ringworms in animals.
Thus, ringworm is a very common form of a disease and is easily treatable whether in humans or animals. One would need to follow the course of their medicine and take to patience for getting it cured as soon as possible.