Tinea capitis, also called ringworm of the scalp, is an infection caused by fungus. The common causative organism is Microsporumcanis. The condition generally happens in children, but people of any age can get affected.
Tinea capitis causes hair loss.
According to doctors, the fungus can present itself in several ways.
As per research, the chief clinical characteristic of ringworm scalp is hair loss. Scaling and itching are another couple of characteristics. Some patients, in rare cases, experience pain.
Often, the infection shows no symptoms, but yes, hair loss is prominent. You may find a single patch of balding scalp or multiple patches. Also, individual or hair clusters may also fall off. In addition, you may find hair breaking along their lengths at just above their roots.
In some patients, broken and swollen hair stubs can be clearly seen. This is a case of black dot ringworm.
According to researchers, scaling may or may not accompany hair loss, but the latter is seen in most of the cases.
You can also find comma-shaped hair at the affected area.
In severe case of tinea capitis, inflamed lesions called kerion may occur. These are big bog masses of inflamed tissues accompanied with pustules and covered with crust.
It is important to remove the upper crust and take samples of pus present in the pustules to detect the organism causing this condition.
Spread of disease
Tinea capitis is a highly contagious scalp disease.
In case any family member has it, other members should stay some distance away from the infected member.
Do not share hair combs, brushes, and other hair products and tools.
It spreads mainly by:
Tinea capitis can cause permanent hair loss at the affected area.
Consult a dermatologist as soon as you experience itching and scaling on scalp and hair loss. Only when left untreated, the condition reaches the stage where it develops kerion.
Antifungal shampoos are the best bet here. It is important to first treat the scalp condition. Only then can you do anything about your hair loss.
Avoid scratching the scalp to prevent spread of infection.
Once your scalp condition improves, you can begin hair loss treatment. Switch to mild, sulfate-free shampoos fortified with vitamins and moisturizing agents.
Eating probiotic-rich foods is also found to be helpful in accelerating the treatment of tinea capitis.
To revive hair growth, your dermatologist may prescribe you minoxidil-infused hair regrowth treatment.