Tinea Capitis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
It is a contagious fungal infection of the scalp by mold-like fungi called dermatophytes. It is caused by fungi of the genera Microsporum or Trichophyton, characterized by itchy, scaly patches and sometimes hair loss and ringworm of the scalp. It may be spread by skin-to-skin contact, as well as via contact with contaminated items such as hairbrushes. Humans can contract ringworm from animals(cats and dogs are often carriers).
It is most commonly found in children ages 10 and under, even though it can occur in older people. Tinea capitis appears as scalp scaling that is associated with bald spots.
Causes of tinea capitis:
The some main causes of tinea capitis are:-
- A variety of microorganisms, including bacteria, mold-like fungi (dermatophytes) and yeast-like fungi such as Candida are the main cause of tinea capitis.
- The main cause of tinea infection include T tonsurans , characterized by chains of large spores and T schoenleinii , characterized by hyphae with air spaces.
- M audouinii and M canis are the most common cause of tinea capitis.
- Tinea infection is increased by poor hygiene, prolonged wetness of the skin (such as from sweating) and minor skin or scalp injuries.
- Tinea capitis may spread by sharing towels, hairbrushes, combs and hats with an infected person.
Symptoms of tinea capitis:
The possible symptoms of tinea capitis are :-
- Itching over the affected area is the primary symptom of this disease.
- The main symptom of tinea capitis includes- hair loss or give a stubbly appearance.
- In severe cases, a kerion (a swollen mass discharging pus) may appear on the scalp.
- Baldness may develop at this stage.
- The lymph nodes of the neck may also have swelling and tenderness.
- Dry scaling : like dandruff is common in case of tinea capitis.
- The round, scaly and small black dots may occur as a skin lesions.
- The occurrence of yellow crusts and matted hair during tinea capitis is normal.
Treatments of tinea capitis:
The effective treatments for tinea capitis includes:
- A topical anti fungal medication is usually sufficient in case only skin is involved. Anti fungal drugs have become increasingly effective in the treatment of tinea infections.
- An oral and topical anti fungal medication may be prescribed if a large body surface area is involved,
- Griseofulvin can also be used to treat tinea infections.
- Blistering skin eruptions on the palms and soles should be treated with cool compresses, such as Burrow's solution.
- Itraconazole and Terbinafine, are also very effective for nail infection in case of tinea capitis.
- Selenium Sulfide Shampoo(ingredients:selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione and povidone-iodine.) may also reduce transmission of tinea infection to others
- Terbinafine is also a very effective treatment for tinea capitis caused by T tonsurans.