How To Use Coconut Oil For Ringworm

This plant-based oil can help you ward off fungal infections due to its beneficial properties.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Priya GillDr. Priya Gill, MBBCH, MRCP
By Anjali SayeeAnjali Sayee  • 

Coconut oil is a common home remedy for managing ringworm (tinea corporis), a fungal infection of the skin. It has both antimicrobial and antifungal properties and is effective against several strains of bacteria and fungi. In this article, we explain why coconut oil may help manage ringworm and how to use it. Keep reading to know more!

What Is Ringworm And What Causes It?

Ringworm infection

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Ringworm (tinea corporis) is caused by the fungi Microsporum canis. This strain of fungi feeds on highly keratinized tissues, such as the hair, nails, and skin, destroys the epidermis, and causes inflammation.

Ringworm looks like a red, circular, flaky, and bumpy rash on the skin. It is highly contagious and may itch.

Quick Tip
Children and people with a compromised immune system are more prone to getting ringworm infection (8).

This condition is commonly treated with oral and topical antifungal medications. However, many people use coconut oil as a home remedy for ringworm. Is it effective? Let’s find out.

Is Coconut Oil An Effective Treatment For Ringworm?

Coconut oil in a glass bottle

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Here are the reasons coconut oil may work for ringworm:

  1. Coconut shell oil has antimicrobial and antifungal properties, is effective against Microsporum canis, and may help reduce tinea corporis or ringworm (1), (2).
  2. Coconut oil promotes wound healing as it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (3). It soothes skin irritation and flakiness and may also help reduce the other symptoms and discomfort caused by ringworm.

Here are some ways you can use coconut oil to manage ringworm.

How To Use Coconut Oil For Ringworm

  1. Wash your hands and the affected area and pat them dry.
  2. Apply coconut oil to the affected area with a cotton swab or ball.
  3. Leave it overnight.
  4. Apply coconut oil 3-5 times a day.
Coconut oil in a glass bowl

Image: Shutterstock

You can combine coconut oil with essential oils with antifungal properties (4), (5), (6), (7). They include:

Coconut oil with other essential oils

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  • Tea tree
  • Peppermint
  • Oregano
  • Marjoram
  • Clove
  • Garlic
  • Myrrh
  • Helichrysum
  • Lavender
  • Geranium
  • Mastic
  • Terebinth
  • Santolina
  • Turmeric
Quick Tip
Continue to apply coconut oil to the affected area for a week after the symptoms reduce or disappear. This will reduce the risk of recurrence.

Coconut oil is safe for the skin. However, it may cause some side effects.

Side Effects Of Coconut Oil

Hand of a woman with rashes

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Avoid coconut oil if you are allergic to it as it may cause:

  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Dryness
  • Itching
  • Blistering

It may even worsen the rash. Therefore, to prevent any adverse reactions, perform a patch test on the back of your hand or neck. If there is no inflammation or irritation, you can apply coconut oil to the affected area.

Key Takeaways

  • Ringworm (tinea corporis) is a fungal infection commonly treatedwith oral and topical medications.
  • The antimicrobial and antifungal properties of coconut oil make it an effective home remedy for ringworm.
  • To treat ringworm, you can combine coconut oil with some essential oils with antifungal effects like tea tree, clove, and garlic.
  • However, avoid using coconut oil if you are allergic to it, as it may cause hives, rashes, and blistering.

The antimicrobial and antifungal properties of coconut oil make it one of the effective ways to treat ringworm. You can use coconut oil for ringworm infection as it is effective against several strains of bacteria and fungi. It also helps soothe the skin and reduce the discomfort caused by ringworm. You may directly apply the coconut oil to the affected area or combine it with other essential oils like tea tree oil or lavender oil. However, always perform a patch test before using it, as some people are allergic to coconut oil.

Frequently Asked Questions

What cures ringworm fast?

Ringworm can be treated with over-the-counter antifungals. They destroy the fungus quickly and facilitate healing. In addition, aloe vera is the most effective home remedy for ringworm. (1)

Why do I keep getting ringworms?

There are numerous reasons why a person gets ringworms on their body. For example, a person is more likely to show symptoms if they live in a warm climate, have close contact with an infected person or animal, and so on.

Can I put Vaseline on ringworm?

No, an OTC antifungal medicine is the first line of defense for most ringworm cases that affect the skin. On the other hand, more severe infections may require prescription topical or oral medications.

How do you stop ringworm from spreading?

To stop ringworm from spreading,

  • Don’t touch or scratch the lesion.
  • Wash the hands thoroughly after handling the lesion.
  • Wash clothes, blankets, and towels in soap and warm water
  • Do not share personal items.
  • Avoid walking barefoot at home.
  • Seek veterinarian treatment if your pet has ringworm.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Control of Tinea (Ringworm) using Aloe vera Gel in River State
  2. Antifungal Potential and Antioxidant Efficacy in the Shell Extract of Cocos Nucifera (l.) (arecaceae) Against Pathogenic Dermal Mycosis
  3. Effect of Topical Application of Virgin Coconut Oil on Skin Components and Antioxidant Status During Dermal Wound Healing in Young Rats
  4. Commercial Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobials to Treat Skin Diseases
  5. Efficacy of Origanum Essential Oils for Inhibition of Potentially Pathogenic Fungi
  6. Antifungal Activity of Clove Oil on Dermatophytes and Other Fungi
  7. Antidermatophytic Properties of Ar-Turmerone, Turmeric Oil, and Curcuma Longa Preparations
  8. Tinea Corporis
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