When it comes to preventing ringworm, the two important points you need to focus on are your health and surroundings. Just as you need to eat nutritious food to fight off fungi, you also need to keep your surroundings clean to prevent fungi from growing. Having a clean home will keep your relatives and pets safe from fungi, too.
Top 4 Foods That Fight Ringworm
Although they won't make you immune from the disease, consuming the following foods may help you avoid ringworm or improve your body’s ability to fight it off.
1. Coconut Oil
Just as coconut oil is an effective topical solution for ringworm, it's also one of the healthiest foods that can boost your immune system against fungi.
Coconut oil's main compound is lauric acid, which converts into monolaurin, a monoglyceride that can help combat viruses such as herpes, influenza, measles and protozoa. It also helps maintain your healthy skin. To take advantage of these benefits, replace your cooking oil with organic coconut oil.
One of the strongest points of papaya is its vitamin C content, which is an incredible 144 percent of the daily recommended value.
Vitamin C is known for plenty of health benefits, such as helping improve immune function, treat allergy-related conditions such as eczema and hay fever, alleviate dry mouth and fight viral illnesses, such as mononucleosis.
Papaya is also a good topical solution against ringworm rashes. You can apply papaya slices directly to your rashes to stop the fungi from spreading.
If you're not fond of the taste of papaya, then pineapples may be a better fit for you. Pineapple contains 133 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C. Pineapple helps promote the formation of healthy skin, and fight off colds, coughs and flu symptoms. Pineapple is also a good source of manganese, which may help eradicate free radicals in your body.
4. Raw, Grass-Fed Milk
Raw milk from grass-fed cows contains healthy bacteria, healthy fat and cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid, which work together to maintain your healthy skin. Another bonus is that raw milk is clean and tastes better compared to pasteurized milk, and is devoid of antibiotics and other harmful chemicals that may potentially harm you in the long run.
Protecting Your Home Against Ringworm
Below are some important house-cleaning tips that will help stop ringworm-causing fungi from spreading:
• Your shower or bathtub can be a breeding ground for dermatophytes due to the mixture of heat and moisture, so it's important to clean your bathroom regularly. One effective cleaning method is to spray it with vinegar. This may also stop molds from forming.1,2
• Never share towels with other people to minimize fungi from spreading. Washing your towels once a week is enough to keep them free from fungi.3
• Change your sheets once a week and wash them in hot water, at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the recommended temperature to effectively kill fungi.4
• Your family and pets walk on your carpet daily, which can turn it into a breeding ground for fungi. Spray your carpet with a natural antifungal spray and then use a safe carpet cleaner and hot water to further kill the fungi.5 If you can, avoid carpeting altogether in favor of less toxic flooring surfaces (like hardwood, bamboo or stone/tile). If not, it’s important to know how to “green” your carpet.
• Use vacuum cleaners equipped with HEPA filters. In a study published by the Journal of Environmental Health and Research, researchers found that regularly vacuuming furniture and carpets led to lower levels of fungi growth when HEPA filters were used.6
Other General Tips to Prevent Ringworm7
• Avoid sharing your clothing. If you know that someone else used your clothes, wash them and use new ones.
• Wear slippers when in public locker rooms or bathing areas to protect yourself from athlete's foot.
• Dry yourself properly after showering to prevent leftover moisture from harboring fungi.