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Cause of Ringworm | How Do You Get Ringworm | Ringworm Symptoms | Ringworm Prevention | Ringworm Contagious | Ringworm Incubation Period | Ringworm Treatment | Athletes Foot | Jock Itch | Ringworm of The Nail | Scalp Ringworm
Scalp Ringworm What Causes It?
Ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis) is a superficial fungal infection of the scalp. Scalp ringworm is caused by a mold-like fungi called dermatophytes. Ringworm infection occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and multiplies anywhere on your skin, scalp, or nails.
Scalp Ringworm, Who Does it Affect?
It is most common in children 4-12 years of age, especially black children and involves red, itchy patches on the scalp, leaving bald patches. It rarely occurs in adults. It can be persistent and contagious, almost to the point of epidemic; however, it often disappears spontaneously.
Is Scalp Ringworm Contagious?
Scalp ringworm is highly contagious, especially among children. It can be passed from one person to the next by direct skin-to-skin contact or by contact with contaminated items such as unclean clothing, combs, and shower or pool surfaces. You can also catch ringworm from pets that carry the fungus. Look for pets that have patches of missing fur.
Scalp Ringworm Symptoms
The first sign of ringworm of the scalp may be dandruff-like flakes appearing on the hair. Round and/or oval bald patches may appear. The skin may feel itchy and may be red and peeling. The rash may gradually spread over a large area if left untreated. Once the hair is infected, it becomes brittle and breaks off near the root, resulting in bald spots. If treated early, the baldness is temporary. The skin of the infected area may become very tender if swollen areas and blister-like bumps with pus develop. It causes scaly, swollen blisters or a rash that looks like black dots. The blisters may become infected. If left untreated, ringworm of the scalp or beard may result in scarring and permanent hair loss.
Symptoms include itching, hair loss and scaling of the scalp (scaly patches that are itchy, red and raised pink scaly rash, that may blister and ooze pus). The pus is caused by an allergic reaction to the fungus. Scalp lesions resulting from tinea capitis may become infected with bacteria, causing severe inflammation. The patches often have sharply-defined edges. They are often redder around the outside with normal skin tone in the center. This may create the appearance of a ring. Your skin may also appear unusually dark or light. When your scalp or beard is infected, you will have bald patches.
Scalp Ringworm Diagnoses
Your doctor can diagnose ringworm primarily based on the appearance of the skin. If tests are needed, the fungus may appear florescent when your skin is examined with a blue light (called a Wood's lamp) in a dark room. A more definitive diagnosis can be made by scraping the affected area of skin and examining the cells under a microscope. Caution: Call your doctor immediately if you have any signs of a bacterial infection, which can result from scratching. These signs include swelling, warmth to the touch, sudden worsening in redness of the patches, red streaking, pus, discharge, and fever.
Scalp Ringworm Treatment
Even with treatment, tinea capitis may take weeks and sometimes months to go away. It is possible to get ringworm more than once. Ringworm may cause permanent scarring and hair loss.
Keep your skin clean and dry. Apply over-the-counter antifungal or drying powders, lotions, or creams. Those that contain miconazole, clotrimazole, or similar ingredients are often effective. Wash sheets and nightclothes every day while infected. A severe or persistent infection may require treatment by a doctor. Antifungal pills may be given and are necessary if your hair is infected. Prescription antifungal skin medications, such as ketoconazole, are stronger than over-the-counter products and may be needed. Antibiotics may also be needed to treat related bacterial infections.
Ringworm usually responds well to self-care within 4 weeks without having to see a doctor. Call your doctor if the ringworm patch continues to spread after seven days of treatment or the area becomes red, warm, tender, and swollen beyond the patch. You get shaking chills or a temperature. Take your medicine as directed by your caregiver. Do not stop taking your ringworm medicine, even if your scalp looks better. You must be sure the fungus is completely dead or risk re-infection.
Scalp Ringworm Risk Factors
Ringworm is more likely when you have minor injuries to your scalp. The fungi that cause ringworm thrive in warm, moist environments. Any warm, humid setting that promotes heavy sweating favor its spread. Athletes are at higher risk of ringworm.
Ringworm often occurs in young children. Outbreaks of ringworm are common in schools, childcare centers and infant nurseries. Children with pets are at increased risk of ringworm.
Those at increased risk of ringworm include people with weakened immune systems, such as people with diabetes or HIV/AIDS. to ringworm.
Scalp Ringworm Prevention
Stay away from people or pets that are infected with ringworm. Do not contact infected people or animals. Cats are common carriers. Infected pets also should be treated. Avoid touching pets with bald spots. Also be sure to check your pets for patches of missing fur. If you have an infected pet, take your pet to a veterinarian (pet doctor) for treatment. Without treatment, your pet can spread ringworm to you and others again.
Touching soil (dirt) that contains the fungus, but this is not common.
Keep your skin, hair and feet clean and dry. Shampoo regularly, especially after haircuts.
Do not share clothing, towels, hairbrushes, combs, hats /headgear, or other personal care items. Such items should be thoroughly cleaned and dried after use.
To keep from spreading: Wash all items that have come into contact with infected area. Wash all towels, clothes, and bedding in the washer using the hot cycle and your regular laundry soap.
Do not scratch your scalp. This may cause your ringworm sores to become infected. Scratching may also cause the ringworm to spread to other areas of your scalp.
Tell the daycare center or school about your child's ringworm. Telling others is one of the best ways to help stop spreading ringworm. Schools and daycare centers will need to disinfect equipment, mats, and toys. They may need to warn other parents that ringworm has been reported. This may help decrease the chance of others becoming infected with ringworm.
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"Thank You For Visiting Our Website"The statements and information provided on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information contained on this Website is not intended to provide or replace medical advice from a licensed Physician.