What Is Ringworm Hair Loss?
January, 23 2023 | By Dr. Sangay Bhutia (Hair Transplant Specialist in Delhi)
Ringwworm also known as tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp hairs. It is caused primarily by the dermatophyte species Microsporum and Trichophyton.
Clinically, it is of two types, inflammatory and non-inflammatory types. The non-inflammatory type usually will not be complicated by scarring alopecia. The inflammatory type may result in a painful nodules with pus as well as scarring alopecia. Tinea capitis occurs primarily in children between 3 and 14 years of age, but it might affect any age group. This infection may also affect the eyelashes and eyebrows.
Once this fungus is acquired, it grows and invades the keratin. The infected hair eventually becomes brittle and then break. These are mainly seen in patients with immunosuppressed states like patients having diabetes, or who are on prolong steroid use or who are on immunosuppressant medicines.
Hair typically get infected in one of three ways:
1) Endothrix: the fungi mainly affects the hair shaft
2) Ectothrix: where the fungi affect the outer sheath root
3) Favus: where there is an inflammation, crusting, and hair loss.
The infection usually starts as red papules that will increase in size with the time. As the infection spreads, it might involve the whole scalp. Symptoms of ringworm infection generally include redness, itching, scale formation, and alopecia. Commonly, the infection may look like severe dandruff.
A fungal culture swab or a biopsy may be required to establish a diagnosis. Ringworm infection is treatable with antifungal medicines. Inflammatory type of infections may also need anti-inflammatory medicines Antifungal shampoos can be used as they may prevent the spread of infection.