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Home-Articles-Ringworm of the scalp (Tinea capitis)

Ringworm of the scalp (Tinea capitis)

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The main cause of localized alopecia in boys is ringworm of the scalp. This infection can affect all hair and is the result of a mycosis causing dermatophysis. They are microscopic fungi that feed on keratin.

How to recognize ringworm of the scalp

Ringworm of the scalp is often observable by the formation of red round patches covered by a crust tending to gray. Sometimes it can look like dandruff. However, it leaves a bald portion of the scalp, which facilitates its diagnostic. When the patches expand, the sides are replace by scales while the middle of the skin returns to normal, but stays bald.

At an advanced stage, ringworm of the scalp can become inflamed. The redness and swelling will then be more apparent. This level of infection is also called kerion. Inflammatory ringworm of the hair will damaged more rapidly the scalp than a "normal ringworm."
The infection can sometimes be accompanied by headache, fever and / or swollen glands.

Fungi associated to ringworm of the scalp forms themself on a 2-day to 2 weeks incubation period.

Transmitted by other humans or animals, this infection primarily affects children from 5 to 12 years.

Transmission between humans

These fungi can be transmitted through direct contact between the scalp of an infected person and the one of the child. He can also be infected by contact with contaminated objects from everyday life. Anything that comes in contact with the hair such as hats, caps, clothes, pillows, blankets, bath towels and hairstyles accessories such as brush, comb and many others. It is therefore advise to clean thoroughly all contaminated objects.

Animals transmission

Pet such as cats and dogs are the principal transmitter of the ringworm. Infected hair may transmit fungi when there is a contact anywhere on the body. It is also possible to get ringworm by indirect contact with objects that have previously touched the hair of the infected animal.

Ringworm of the scalp treatment

An important infection of ringworm of the scalp should be treated with oral antifungal. When the infection is small, local treatment by applying antifungal lotions can also be recommended.
After a follow-up and review of ringworm state, an assessment of all the people who had contact with the infected child should be made to eliminate the risk of further contamination. Same for the animals, they should go to the vet for examination.

It is strongly advised to notify all persons who have been in contact with infected children to limit the spread.

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