Scalp Ringworm

Scalp ringworm, also known as tinea capitis, is an infection caused by a fungus.

Ringworm of the scalp is most common in toddlers and school-age children.

Scalp ringworm is infectious and easy to catch. Therefore, it is very important that any of your child’s siblings, close friends and relatives be carefully screened to see if they have any signs of infection. Ringworm can be spread by:

  • Human to human contact
  • Object to human contact
  • Animal to human contact

The infection affects the scalp and hair deep into its roots and may produce flaking, small infected bumps, and loss of hair. It can also produce small, scaly, red to brown patches on the skin which should be treated.

Because the scalp ringworm infection is deep down in the hair roots, your child must take medicine by mouth in order to cure it. Your doctor will prescribe an oral medicine to be taken daily with fatty foods such as milk, yogurt or ice cream. A special shampoo will also be prescribed also to get rid of the infection on the scalp.

Once your child is on treatment and using the shampoo regularly, he/she should be allowed to return to school. The medication must be taken for at least 6 weeks. It should not be stopped until the doctor has decided the infection is cured.