Tinea Capitis

Tinea capitis has an ominous sounding ring to it. In all reality, it is little more than a fungal infection of the scalp, and quite often is referred to as ringworm of the head. When looking at a tinea capitis picture, it is quite disconcerting to see the angry, red welts that may be forming on the scalp. In time, some of these welts may result in lesions that at times might actually be filled with pus and begin to ooze. Contrary to popular belief, there is no worm involved in the formation of tinea capitis; it is strictly a highly contagious, fungal infection of the scalp.

It is noteworthy that most complainants of tinea capitis are children. Perhaps it is the fact that they share so many close quarters together, or maybe it dates back to the sharing of hats and wrestling as well as other activities. Probably not surprising, nicks, cuts and other dermatological injuries provide the access to the subcutaneous levels the fungus needs to become established, and before long the child – or in some cases the adult – will show the telltale round bald spots on the head that are so often seen in tinea capitis pictures. By the way, it is not only children who are at risk but also pet owners. Most mammals, but especially cats, may be carriers or have the symptoms outright. Thus, do not stop snuggling with Poochie when you notice a few round bald spots, but do take him to the vet if you suspect that there might be a pattern to his hair loss.

Tinea capitis treatment is not as easy as other ringworm infections might have you believe. Generally speaking, oral anti fungal pills are prescribed. They need to be used internally in addition to an externally applied special shampoo – usually it will be a shampoo that has selenium sulfide added – as well as talcum powder which may be used in between shampoos to prevent moisture, such as sweat, from building up in the area and giving the fungus a breeding ground. This kind of tinea capitis cure is not fool proof, and cases of persistent recurrence are common. What has many researchers baffled is the fact that children who have been struggling with this kind of condition may be healed overnight when puberty sets in.

Tinea capitis is not a life threatening ailment. It is uncomfortable and cosmetically challenging, since tinea capitis causes highly visible round bald spots. Extreme itchiness as well as the problems associated with exposed lesions and pus is generally considered to be the most serious side effects. Hair loss from this condition is not usually treated, since the actual ringworm will prevent proper hair growth for the time that it is present.