Is Nail Polish for Ringworm Really Effective ?

Updated on November 25th, 2020
nail polish for ringworm

Ringworm is one of the most frustrating fungal infections that affect the skin, scalp, or even nails. The inside of the infection is patchy or scaly, while the outside of it is bumpy or raised. The common symptoms of ringworm infection are red, scaly, itchy, flaky, and sore skin. Even though ringworm is not a life-threatening disease, it can cause a lot of irritation and hamper the activities of one’s daily life. Leaving it untreated can make it worse that can spread to other parts of the body.

Home remedies are generally hailed for its straightforward approach, practical benefits with minimal to no side effects at all. Apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, coconut oil, turmeric, and aloe vera are the most commonly used remedies for treating ringworm. Of these many remedies, nail polish has gained prominence in the home remedies for treating ringworm.

Let us find out more.

How Does Clear Nail Polish Help in Curing Ringworm?

Nail Paint

Being the most uncommon cure for ringworm, one might doubt how nail polish can prove to be effective.

But some people have vouched for this treatment option. People have also tried to offer an explanation saying that the nail paint works as it tends to suffocate the fungi which cause the infection. The coating of nail polish seals the pores present on the affected area of the skin, which becomes challenging for the fungi to thrive. Consequently, the skin dries up in that area, and the fungi subsides.

Eventually, the body sheds off the skin on the affected area, which also gets rid of the infection. It thus makes the skin clear and healthy.

How to Use Clear Nail Polish in the Affected Area?

Use Nail Polish

Before going for any home remedy, it is essential to keep the affected area clean and dry, so that the infection does not spread all over. It is a good idea to use clear nail polish rather than the colorful ones to treat ringworm. The added advantage is the transparent nail paint blends with the skin tone, making the infection appear less prominent.

How to use it?

  • Dip a Q-tape in the clear nail polish and apply it to the affected area.
  • After applying the nail polish, allow some time for the nail polish to dry.
  • Once dried, wash off the nail polish from the skin.
  • It generally takes up to 60 minutes for the nail polish to dry thoroughly. You can apply it once again after waiting for 10 minutes.

The process can take a couple of weeks to heal the ringworms and clear the skin (1). The clear nail polish is a great option not only to cure the ringworms but also to prevent it from recurring.

[Also Read: Bleach Treatment For Ringworm]


Now, once the Q-tape is placed on the infected skin, it must be discarded. Care should be taken while doing this. Make sure not to dip the used Q-tape in the nail polish again, or else it can worsen or cause some other infections.

Side Effects of Using Nail Polish on a Ringworm

  • In case a person is allergic to the contents of nail polish, then using it on the skin could cause severe damage to the skin.
  • The treatment is also not recommended for people with highly sensitive skin. It is essential first to identify whether the person is allergic to nail polish before applying it to the infected skin. In such cases, it is advisable to see a doctor or dermatologist for a thorough medical checkup.
  • It is not generally recommended to apply nail polish in certain surfaces like genital areas. It is advised to use an environment-friendly nail polish available, especially in the drug stores, to prevent any side effects from its constituent chemicals.

[Also Read: Get Rid of Ringworm Using Natural Treatments]

How Long Does It Take to Cure the Ringworm Using Nail Polish?

It usually takes 2 to 3 weeks to cure ringworm using nail polish. But that again, it depends on the severity and the size of the affected area.

The Bottom Line

For smaller ringworms, you can easily use clear nail polish, (2) to get rid of the problem. But for the vast affected area, or if the problem has occurred on the face or private parts, then it is advisable to consult an experienced dermatologist before doing so.


1. Can You Use Colored Nail Polish for Ringworm?

Ans: Colored nail polish contains more toxins compared to clear nail polish. The toxic chemicals present in the colored ones might irritate the skin and make the problem even worse. Hence it would be best if you used only clear nail polish to treat ringworms on the skin.

2. Can Nail Polish Remover Be Used to Cure Ringworm?

Ans: Nail polish remover can be coupled with a ringworm cream to treat the infected area of skin. You can apply this mix along with clear nail polish on the ringworm after a shower, to get more effective faster results. They work great together and can cure the skin faster.

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