Ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis) is a fungal infection that
grows in the outer layer of the scalp and in the hair. The infection is not
caused by worms but is called "ringworm" because it produces a rash with small,
blisterlike bumps on the edges that look like worms.
The infection also causes red, sore, irritated areas that may have
pus (abscesses); broken, crusted, matted hair; dead skin flakes (dandruff); and
hair loss resulting in round or oval bald patches.
Ringworm is contagious. It can be spread easily by contact with
people, objects, or animals infected with or carrying the fungus. Some carriers
can have and spread ringworm without actually having symptoms of
Standard treatment for ringworm of the scalp includes prescription
antifungal medicine and, usually, special shampoos.
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology
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