TINEA CAPITIS (SCALP RINGWORM)

How common is this condition?

  • Tinea capitis is common in children, especially those between 3-6 years of age.

What causes it?

  • Tinea capitis is caused by a group of fungi known as dermatophytes.
  • The most common dermatophyte in North America is known as Trichophyton tonsurans
  • Combs and brushes can spread the condition, especially among children 

What do individuals with this condition notice about their hair?

  • This conditions starts off as a red bump which spreads. 
  • It becomes progressively scaly and may form a ring shape.
  • The hair in the area can sometimes be lost.
  • With certain types of infections, the scalp may be very soft or “boggy” and the individual may feel unwell. In rare cases, the lymph nodes may be enlarged

Are there any special tests that are needed to diagnose tinea capitis?

  • A scraping of the scalp may be performed
  • A special light may be used to examine the scalp

What treatments are available for tinea capitis?

  • Tinea capitis must be treated with ORAL medications (pills) for 4-6 weeks. Topical lotion and shampoos are not effective.
  • Specific pill doses and names will be recommended by your physician but include drugs like terbinafine, itraconazole and sometimes grisoefulvin
  • If significant inflammation is present, oral corticosteroids may be prescribed.
  • Family members may wish to use an antifungal shampoo such as Nizoral

What will happen to my hair in the future?        

  • When diagnosed and treated early, full hair growth is expected. 


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