Disclaimer: This article was not written or endorsed by a doctor or dermatologist. Follow at your own discretion.
Every grappler, wrestler, and BJJ practitioner at some point in their grappling careers have undoubtedly encountered ringworm (or in worse cases, staph). Ringworm is a fungal infection that grapplers get on their skin after sweating and training. Either they didn’t wash their clothing, didn’t immediately shower with soap right after training, or they have an open cut / some kind of a scratch that came into contact with the sweat and bacteria found on gym mats and your sweaty training partners.
You know you have ringworm if a red circular patch forms on your skin, usually inflamed and / or itchy. If left unchecked it will start to grow and even form bubbles of pus or liquid, and really worsen. You must treat and kill this fungal infection before it gets any worse.
Regular creams prescribed by the doctor may not work, as the medication may not be strong enough to stop the infection depending on how bad it is. Getting prescribed anti-fungal medication that you intake into your body can also get expensive. So we share with you our method of treating it quickly, effectively, and for cheap.
How do we know this works and is safe? We’ve treated our past fungal infections at least three times this way, and we can tell you it 100% works with no scarring, and works better than prescribed creams.
Step 1: Get a strong antiseptic such as a bottle of Dettol, or alternative like Clorox bleach
Get it from your local pharmacy store. In our experience we used Dettol, which is a strong antiseptic used to treat wounds to prevent infections.
Step 2: Clean & wash area / take a shower
Wash the infected area with hot water first, or take a hot shower. The hot water will open up the pores on the infected skin / area.
Step 3: Scrub the area harshly (just bleed!)
This part might seem a little harsh, but if your ringworm / fungal infection is bad enough to form small, itchy pockets of pus, you need to kill this infection that’s already seeped inside of your skin. Using your nails, scratch the area with your fingers or scrub it with a cloth under hot water to purposely open the skin / scabs. You might bleed, and it may sting a bit, but you’re doing this to prepare the area for the next step.
Step 4: Use the antiseptic on a tissue, and dab it all around the affected area
Be generous with the amount you’re using, as you want to get all around the infected area and kill all the fungus. Don’t take little dabs, literally drown the area out and try to kill your skin with the antiseptic or bleach. This means drowning your open pores, wound, scab, etc. It might string a bit but hey – you’re a martial artist right? This is necessary to completely kill the ringworm or it will just come back later if it’s not completely killed off.
Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4, 1-2 times a day, for the next week or two, or until it’s gone
Repeat the steps listed above. Do it as many times as you can, or at least one time before bed every night.
If your infection is REALLY bad – use the same tissue or cloth that’s drenched in the antiseptic and leave it covering your skin, and tie it down with tape as you sleep overnight with it on top of the area.
Warning: The antiseptic / Bleach WILL erode your skin. That’s the point. But if you have ringworm in a sensitive area or an area where you don’t want possible scarring such as your face, do NOT do this overnight trick – seek professional help.
For your arms, knees, legs, etc. it’s 100% SAFE to do this overnight trick, as the skin will heal over these areas afterwards and you won’t notice anything other than a slight shadow, like a faintly tanned area after the infection is gone. Or you might not see anything at all.
Honestly, this won’t be any different than if you scrapped your knee or got cut in some way – the affected area will always heal over and you will barely notice the infection was ever there.
Step 6: Check the area to make sure it’s gone
You should get to the point that your dead skin will fall off and the ringworm will look like it’s gone, and it no longer itches or forms bubbles. The affected area will be red but it will have formed a scab and the area will have become scaly and dried up – but otherwise it will look fairly clean of signs of fungal infection.
If there are still signs of the ringworm, such as bumps coming back or if its forming on just outside of the original area, continue the treatment until it’s all killed off. Once the skin is clear of bumps, you can stop the treatment and let the area heal.
You’re done. You’ve just successfully treated ringworm / fungi with only a $10 bottle of Dettol.