Does vinegar kill ringworm?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does vinegar kill ringworm” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not vinegar is effective in getting rid of the ringworm. Moreover, we are going to discuss what ringworm is and the remedies for ringworm.

Self-medication refers to the use of medicines to treat self-diagnosed disorders without consulting a medical practitioner and without any medical supervision. It is a common form of healthcare practiced in most parts of the world, with over 50 % of antibiotics purchased and used over-the-counter (5).

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Does vinegar kill ringworm?

Yes, the vinegar, or more specifically the apple cider vinegar can be used to treat ringworm owing to its antifungal properties (1). 

So what you gotta do is to soak some cotton in the apple cider vinegar and gently swab it on the skin. It has to be topically applied to the area where ringworm is present. Moreover, you should repeat this process thrice daily to treat the ringworm.

What is ringworm?

Ringworm is a fungal infection that starts from a small itchy circle and gradually expands. The ringworm is associated with itchy, red, scaly, and swollen (slightly raised) skin. Moreover, this fungal infection can appear anywhere on your skin and can even appear on your face. Most commonly ringworm appears on the arms or the scalp.

Ringworm also called tinea, is a highly contagious fungal infection and can spread from skin to skin contact therefore special care should be taken in order to prevent it from spreading further on your skin. Clinically Tinea may be classified as follows:Tinea pedis (foot), Tinea unguium (nails), Tinea manuum (hand), Tinea cruris (groin), Tinea corporis (body), Tinea capitis (scalp), Tinea faciei (face), Tinea barbae (beard), Tinea imbricata (overlapping pattern), Tinea nigra (black), Tinea versicolor (various colors), Tinea incognito (disguised). Fungi are eukaryotic, free-living, parasitic and cosmopolitan microorganisms that mostly require a weakness in the body’s immune system to establish a disease.Thus every fungal infection can be termed as opportunistic. In humans, it is mostly young children and old age people who are infected (1).

You can read more about ringworm here.

What are the remedies for ringworm?

There are several remedies for this fungal infection and some of these are discussed below.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Therefore it can be used for the treatment of a variety of fungal infections including ringworm (1).

What you gotta do is to take a cotton ball and soak it in tea tree oil. Afterward, gently swab it over the skin. This process has to be repeated at least twice or thrice a day. If you have sensitive skin, you can try to dilute the tea tree oil with some other oil like coconut oil that also has antifungal properties.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil has antimicrobial and antifungal properties (1). Therefore it can be used not only to treat ringworm but can also be used to treat the fungal infections caused by Candida Albicans.  In a study, coconut oil was active against species of Candida at 100% concentration compared to fluconazole, a common synthetic medication. Coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections in view of emerging drug-resistant Candida species (4). Coconut oil is an extremely effective remedy against ringworm and as it can be easily used for massaging your scalp therefore it can be easily used to treat scalp ringworm.

What you have to do is to warm some coconut oil in the microwave and apply it to the affected area with the help of your fingers. Repeat this process thrice a day for effective results.

Oregano oil

Oregano oil is effective in the treatment of ringworm and Athlete’s foot owing to its extraordinary anti-fungal properties. Oregano has terpenes, carvacrol, p-cymene, and thymol and has demonstrated antifungal and antimicrobial activity (2).

So you have to mix the oregano oil with some other carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. Afterward apply this mixture to the affected skin. You have to apply this oregano oil mixture twice a day to the ringworm.


Turmeric has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it effective in the treatment of ringworm (1).

The procedure for using turmeric is quite simple. You have to make a paste of turmeric powder and water. Afterward, apply this paste to the affected area and leave it there until it gets dry. 

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is well known for its soothing effect on the skin. It can be used to alleviate the itchiness, redness, or swelling of the affected area. Moreover owing to its antifungal properties it can also be used to treat ringworm (1).

You can either opt for ointments containing aloe vera or can even use the aloe vera gel directly on the affected skin. You should apply aloe vera thrice a day.

Powdered licorice

Licorice is known for its antimicrobial properties. Moreover, different studies have also found that it can also be used against various fungal infections. 

Numerous studies have revealed many pharmacological activities of licorice, such as antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antimicrobial and many other activities. Among the components isolated from licorice, 73 bioactive components and 91 potential targets have been identified to date (3).

Take a cup of water and add 8 tsp of powdered licorice to it. Let it boil and afterward let it simmer with constant stirring until it acquires the same consistency as that of a paste. Apply the paste on the ringworm and leave it for 10 minutes. Repeat this process twice a day.

Lemongrass oil

Lemongrass oil also has antifungal properties. All you need to do is to mix some lemongrass oil along with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil and apply it directly to the affected area. You have to repeat this process twice a day.

Smaller phenolic compounds, such as allyl isothiocyanate and citralon in lemongrass have shown effectiveness against fungal infections (2).

OTC antifungals

You can use the OTC antifungal ointments twice a day to get rid of the ringworm.

Other FAQs about Vinegar which you may be interested in.

Does balsamic vinegar need to be refrigerated?

What does malt vinegar taste like?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “does vinegar kill ringworm” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not vinegar is effective in getting rid of the ringworm. Moreover, we discussed what ringworm is and the remedies for ringworm.


  1. Antony, Reena. Natural Management of Ringworm (Tinea) Infection. Pharma Sci Monitor, 2017, 8, 197-203.
  2. Tajkarimi, M. M., Salam A. Ibrahim, and D. O. Cliver. Antimicrobial herb and spice compounds in food. Food control, 2010, 21, 1199-1218.
  3. Wang, Liqiang, et al. The antiviral and antimicrobial activities of licorice, a widely-used Chinese herb. Acta Pharma Sin B, 2105, 5, 310.
  4. Ogbolu, David Olusoga, et al. In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. J med food, 2007, 10, 384-387.
  5. Ocan, Moses, et al. Household antimicrobial self-medication: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the burden, risk factors and outcomes in developing countries. BMC public health, 2015, 15, 1-11.