Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Ringworm?

Fact Checked

Ringworm is a fungal infection that develops on the top layer of the skin. It is a red, circular itchy rash that appears in a ring-like form. The name comes from the ring shape as there is no actual worm under the skin, so nothing can be killed, simply treated. Ringworm is caused by small fungal infections that become parasitic. Patients can become infected by other humans, animals, objects or soil.

Traditional Treatment for Ringworm

Traditional treatments for ringworm include over-the-counter topical anti-fungal medications. However, if the infection becomes difficult to get rid of, prescription-strength lotions, creams or ointments can be used. Doctors may prescribe one of the following topical treatments: Butenafine, ciclopirox, Econazole, Miconazole, Oxiconazole or Terbinafine. Oral medications may also be prescribed; these include oral Terbinafine, Traconazole, Fluconazole or Ketoconazole.

Rubbing Alcohol

According to Earth, rubbing alcohol can be used to treat ringworm with some success. To treat ringworm, soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and douse the area until it is wet. Allow the area to dry and keep it uncovered if possible. Apply the alcohol two to four times daily.

Because hand sanitizer is alcohol based, it may also be used. Rub a thin layer of clear, unscented hand sanitizer onto the ringworm and allow to dry. Reapply two to four times per day. It may sting or burn the infected area, but it can work to cleanse and dry out the infection. Continue using alcohol several times daily until infection is no longer visible. Once ringworm can no longer be seen, continue treatment for two days in the area to ensure all traces of the infection are gone.

Other alternative treatments for ringworm that have proven successful include Vicks Vaporub, the liquid inside green walnuts, drinking or applying apple cider vinegar to the skin, and Absorbine Jr., which is a blend of botanical extracts.