Tinea capitis is a fungal infection that occurs on the head, particularly in children. The condition is caused by dermatophytes, skin fungi that are able to grow on skin, hair and nails. Other words used for the same condition are 'ringworm' and 'head fungus.
In this article you can read what tinea capitis is, what causes it and how you can get rid of it.
What is tinea capitis?
Tinea capitis is a fungi that can originate from humans, animals or soil. The infection can manifest itself in various ways, ranging from discrete flaking of the scalp to bald patches and deep abscesses.
It is highly contagious and often occurs in clusters within families and schools.
Infection occurs following adhesion of the spores to non-living cells of the upper skin layer. The spores germinate, after which adhesion, multiplication and invasion of the fungus takes place. The hair follicles are affected and the fungus wraps itself around the hair shaft or is absorbed into the newly formed hair.
The symptoms of tinea capitis manifest themselves in different ways: there are inflammatory and non-inflammatory forms, deep and superficial forms. It is often accompanied by itching and sometimes baldness (alopecia). Dry scaling may occur, giving a dandruff-like appearance. It also consists of smooth and bald patches.
The fungal infection causes an inflammatory reaction, which results in cellular immunity and increased skin peeling. This can prevent further invasion into deeper layers of the skin and bring about healing. It is less likely that older people get tinea capitis, because of that the sebum of adults contains a higher concentration of fatty acids than that of children, which has a fungistatic effect.
What causes tinea capitis
Fungi called dermatophytes cause tinea capitis. In the United States, the dermatophytes Microsporum and Trichophyton are the most common causes of the infection. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments. They are particularly common in tropical regions.
Tinea capitis also spreads very easily, as mentioned above. Your child can get tinea capitis through contact with infected people, animals and soil. It can also be contracted by using objects and touching surfaces where the fungus resides. Tinea capitis can survive for a long time on contaminated objects and surfaces.
There are a couple risk factors for getting tinea capitis these include:
- Living or visiting areas with tropical, hot and humid weather.
- Living close with many other people, such as schools, retirement homes or student flats.
- Playing contact sports, where you get close to your teammates of competitors. Also, sharing objects and materials such as sport equipment or clothing.
- Having minor scalp injuries from scratches, rubbing or something else.
- Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
- Having a weak immune-system due to conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and diabetes.
When you get infected with tinea capitis the incubation period can differ from 10 days to 3 weeks. If your pet or an animal that you are treating suffers from tinea capitis it can take between 2 to 4 weeks, before disease symptoms are seen. When fluorescence occurs using a Wood's lamp, it can be observed on the skin after 7 days.
How to get rid of it
Tinea capitis can not be treated by an gentle shampoo or topical treatments, according to dermatologists. But you can use a selenium sulfide shampoo, such as the exfoliating shampoo of Neofollics. You need to apply the antifungal cream directly to the scalp or your child’s scalp. You’ll need to wash your child's hair with the shampoo at least twice a week. This shampoo may help prevent tinea capitis from spreading, but it won’t heal the condition. Some antifungal cream or effect can also help to combat it. Because it may help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of scarring and permanent hair loss.
How long does it take to get rid of Tinea Capitis
The start of your combat against tinea capitis is one of the most important things to get rid of it. It depends per person if it takes weeks or months to get rid of it. But the chance of it dissapearing increases when you consistently treat it. You can add to the exfoliating shampoo of Neofollics an Nourishing Mask, that helps to further stimulating the process of healing against tinea capitis.
Prevention measures against tinea capitis
You can take prevention measures against tinea capitis. Hand hygiene is one of the most important measures to decrease the risk of spreading tinea capitis to you from an animal or another person. Cleaning your hand is important to prevent mould spores of the scalp to spread.
You should also be aware that coat racks can help the spreading on a school or institution. That is why we advise you to hang up your coat on a place that is safe and has distance from other coats. You can also get tinea capitis from barbers, if they do not rinse their tools well.
Tinea capitis is a fungal infection that occurs on the head. You can get it from different causes and by having close contact with different people or animals. Because it is highly contagious. Although dermatologists state that tinea capitis is not possible to treat, but it is possible to reduce certain symptoms with an effective shampoo.