Stop and Reverse Ringworm Hair Loss

Edited by Donna, Eng, Alma

Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection that can occur anywhere on the human body but when it occurs on the scalp, the infection invaded the hair follicles and it can cause round patches of hair loss. Officially known as tinea capitis, Ringworm's name is misleading. This medical condition has nothing to do with worms. It gets its name from the fact that it occurs in a ring-like pattern on the skin.

A severe case of ringworm hair loss.

The Causes of Ringworm Hair Loss

There are five fungus types that causes hair loss and bald patches:

  1. 1
    Microsporum audouinii is the most common causes of scalp ringworm globally and when this fungus causes ring-like sores on the foot, it is called Athlete's Foot
    It is picked up from contact with an infected person, contaminated floors, sheets and clothing. Ringworm fungus can also be picked up from contaminated combs and hair appliances at salons. This fungus also really thrives on surfaces at public gyms and pools, which is why it often also occurs on the feet.
    Wearing thongs can help prevent fungal infections like ringworm, which easily spread to the scalp and cause hair loss.
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  2. 2
    Microsporum gypseum is a cause of scalp ringworm that is very common all over the world
    It is caused by a fungus that thrives in soil and hay. It can be transferred to humans by other humans, livestock and pets. This fungal infection also lurks in carpets and pet bedding.
    Hay and places where livestock live harbor the ringworm fungus.
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  3. 3
    Trichophyton tonsurans is a skin fungus common in the US and Latin American countries
    It is mostly picked up in schools and barbershops and can live in any fabric or carpet. It can also be caught by pets, who then transfer it to humans.Image:Barbershop.jpg|center|frame|Barbershops are a point of contagion for scalp ringworm if combs are not disinfected before use.]]
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  4. 4
    Trichophyton schenleinii is a skin fungus common in Southern Europe and Africa
    Trichophyton megninii exists mostly in Southern Europe and Africa. It spread to humans, livestock and pets by infected mice.
    Some forms of skin fungus are spread by rodents.
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  5. 5
    Trichophyton violaceium is a fungus found in the Middle East and India
    It is a fungus that is less common in adults and very common in school-age children. It is spread by humans, animals and by objects that have been touched by infected people.
    Scalp ringworm fungus can be spread by pets.
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Symptoms of Tinea Capitis Also Known As Ringworm

Tinea Capitus or ringworm of the scalp is identified by the following symptoms:

  • a small blemish that over a period of days expands into a much larger scaly patch of bald skin that is white in the center and surrounded by a ring of redder skin
  • brittle hair at the site of the infection that snaps off easily
  • red, inflamed scaly patches with blisters that may bleed
  • ringworm on other parts of the body
  • a fungal infection in the toe nail or finger nail

A fungal infection in the toe nail along with round balding patches can indicate ringworm.

How to Stop And Reverse Ringworm Hair Loss

  1. 1
    Do not scratch the infected areas of the scalp
    Every time you scratch the infected area you increase the chance of making the infection worse. The flakes from the distressed scalp also help grow and shed the fungus as they land on pillow cases, furniture and floors.
    Avoid scratching the infected areas on your scalp as that can cause permanent hair loss.
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  • 2
    Go to the doctor and have him identify the type of fungus that is causing your case of Tinea Capitis
    It is mostly likely, if you live in North America or the UK that you have contracted Microsporum audouinii or Microsporum gypseum.
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  • 3
    Fill the prescription for anti-fungal medication and take it as directed
    Usually people are prescribed an anti-fungal medicine called griseofulvin, which blocks the fungus from binding with skin or nails. Some people, who have experienced frequent fungal infections on their scalp, may develop a resistance to griseofulvin and will instead be prescribed either itraconazole or floconazole.
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  • 4
    Throw out all of your combs and brushes
    Get rid of any hair implements that may have been in contact with your infected scalp to prevent further contagion and reinfection.
    Get rid of any dirty combs and brushes that could be harbouring the ringworm fungus to prevent yourself from being reinfected.
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  • 5
    Throw out your shower curtain and your thongs or slippers
    Shower curtains are a great growing medium for tinea capita fungi. Footwear worn in and out of the bathroom may also be infected.
    Throw out old or dirty shower curtains that might be harboring the contagious ringworm fungus.
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  • 6
    Wash all of your clothing, towels and sheets in hot water and dry them at the highest setting
    Heat helps kill the fungus and prevent it from spreading.
    Washing and drying your clothing on a very high heat can help kill the ringworm fungus
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  • 7
    Wash or steam clean all of the fabrics couch covers, curtains and rugs that you or an infected person has been in contact with
    It is important to kill the fungus using steam or you could reinfect your scalp again. You may want to wash or throw out your pillows as well, especially if they are foam, as the fungus likes to grow on foam.
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  • 8
    Disinfect every surface in your home with Lysol or Dettol
    This will help stop the growth of fungi that might be causing your infection.
    Keeping your enviroment very clean is important to discourage the growth of infectious funguses.
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  • 9
    Keep a dehumidifier running in damp rooms
    Rooms that are a bit moist or that have wet floors tend to be home to ringworm fungi.
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  • 10
    Wash your hair with an anti-fungal shampoo
    An anti-fungal shampoo is the same thing as an anti-dandruff shampoo. It can help prevent fungal infections from reaching your scalp. Head and Shoulders is a common anti-fungal shampoo. You can also use shampoos that have selenium sulphide or Zinc pyrithione
    Washing your hair with an anti-dandruff shampoo containing pyrithione zinc such as Head & Shoulders can help ward off fungal infections of the scalp.
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  • 11
    Eat foods that increase the power of the immune system so your body can fight off the effects of the fungal infection
    Foods that may help combat fungal infection are carrots, spinach, papaya, basil and all citrus fruits.
    Drinking fresh carrot juice is excellent for boosting your immunity.
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  • Tips and Tricks

    • Avoid going to nail salons or hair salons that do not disinfect their combs, scissors, sinks and tubs
    • When giving pets a bath, especially if they are outdoor pets, always wear gloves
    • To prevent fungal infections it is a good idea to always wear thongs or appropriate footwear to the gym or pool so that you are not infected with ringworm
    Fungal infections like ringworm thrive in public swimming places.
    • Do not borrow another person's make-up, brush or comb without disinfecting it first
    • If not treated ringworm usually goes away by itself within a couple of months, depending on the severity of the infection, but it is best to get treated by a doctor so that you do not experience severe hair loss
    • Avoid physical affection or sleeping in the same bed while you have this highly contagious infection
    • Until you are over the infection, do not share clothes or washcloths with another person
    • Do not apply anything to your scalp but they prescribed topical anti-fungal ointments prescribe by your doctor as natural remedies in the form of a paste or hair mask may interfere with the action of your prescribed ointment

    Questions and Answers

    Help Identify Type of Scalp Fungus?

    It's going on seven months now that my scalp has been infected. It all started with what I thought was an allergic reaction of some sort. My right arm started itching and the itch slowly progressed over my entire body, including my scalp. There were no visible signs of a rash except for a few small bumps randomly scattered throughout. I couldn't stop scratching. This lasted for a few weeks at which time the itching pretty much subsided everywhere else excluding my scalp. I developed a large knot that was warm to the touch and excruciatingly painful on the bottom right of my scalp so I went to urgent care. The doctor failed to examine the knot, but did notice how dry my scalp was. He prescribed an oral antifungal antibiotic and shampoo. The shampoo was too drying to my scalp so I only used it a few times, however I did finish the antibiotics. To cut to the chase, here I am, seven doctors later, three different diagnoses, over half of my hair gone, painful sores and scabs all over my scalp, and whatever it is causing the horrid pain and hair loss is still alive and well.

    The last doctor which I saw two days ago at the county hospital, (no insurance as I lost it in December as I am not able to work in this condition), came full circle and gave me the second fungal infection diagnosis and referred me to a dermatologist. She recommended Lotrimin locally on my scalp, wrote my third prescription of bactroban which once again I was not able to fill as it runs over two hundred dollars for cash pay, and no oral antibiotics as the recommended course can cause liver damage and must be prescribed by a dermatologist.

    I am basically back at square one. I am using the Lotrimin in the spray form but I can't tell if the goosebumps like reaction and thick film feeling is because it is working or fueling the infection.

    So, I am at your mercy. I plan to schedule the appointment with the dermatologist, but it may be a bit before I can actually be seen and could quite possibly be completely bald by then.

    I want to thank you in advance and pray you can assist in any possible way.

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    Why is my ringworm not healing?

    I have had tinea capitis for the last 2 and 1/2 months. The doctor told me that I should heal by the 8th week of griseofulvin. And hear I am, I have lost 2/3 of my hair. I am even afraid that I might just be suffering from alopecia. My hair patches are not scaly nor are they very itchy. Help me please. I have tried: Grisofulvin oral antifungals, clotrine B and terbinafine cream. Candid TV shampoo. I think it was caused by: Tinea capitis, Allergic reaction Stress, Alopecia

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    Article Info

    Categories : Hair Loss | Hair Care And Treatment

    Recent edits by: Eng, Donna

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