Tinea capitis (or ringworm of the scalp) is considered to be one of the most common pediatric dermatophyte infections all over the world. Especially widely spread the disease is in some urban areas of Central, South and North America, in several parts of India and Africa. In Europe tinea capitis is known to spread sporadically.
There are lots of factors possible to increase the person's susceptibility to tinea capitis. Among them are poor hygiene, permanently moist skin, and minor skin or scalp injuries are the factors. As a result, the disease manifests itself in various ways: either scaly non-inflammed dermatosis or inflammatory presentation with scaly lesions and hair loss. One of the most severe cases can be represented by inflamed deep abscess called kerion with further permanent alopecia. Be aware that it can be contagious and persistent almost to the point of epidemics.
The mentioned variety of tinea capitis clinical presentations calls for the wide range of tinea capitis treatment methods. But before this it is very important to make the correct diagnosis of illness. It depends on the examination type and the culture of scrapings, pluckings, rubbings from lesions. The best sample for examination is usually an infected hair. Their microscopic examination is able to provide the person with the diagnosis immediate confirmation.
The goal of tinea capitis treatment should be controlling the spread of infection using special tinea capitis medications. The easiest tinea capitis treatment method is application of medicated shampoo containing selenium sulfide. This shampoo is aimed at reducing the disease transmission to others.
In more severe cases the doctor prescribes oral antifungal medications. The most efficient of them are Griseofulvin, Itraconazole or Terbafine (common alternatives of Griseofulvin). Griseofulvin is known to accumulate in the keratin of the hair, horny layer, nails. It makes them resistant to the fungal infection invasion. This tinea capitis treatment must be carried out for quite a while (as a rule from four to six weeks). Be aware that any oral medication may cause diarrhea. Anyway the patient should consult the medical expert and ask for appropriate help and advice. The choice of the medication usually depends on the patient's nutritional and immunologic status, the inflammation degree, species of fungus present.
If a person has inflammatory lesions he or she will likely require compresses to pus and infected scale. Whether the tinea capitis treatment helps or not can be monitored with the help of regular clinical examination monitored by a wood lamp for fluorescent species.
Please take into consideration that all the methods of tinea capitis treatment must be managed and monitored by your physician.
It's worth mentioning that if you don't want to be infected with tinea capitis you will have to pay proper attention to the basic ways of tinea capitis prevention. People should avoid close contacts with infected people or animals as well as shampooing the scalp regularly (especially after haircuts).