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Hair Ringworm - An Actual Worm or a Fungus?

Updated on June 5, 2010

Hair ringworm is triggered by a fungus called tinea capitis and not by a real worm. Around six percent of the U.S. population has ringworm, with the bulk of these cases being amid children. It is contagious and usually transferred through hats, pillows, combs, pets, and any place where your head comes in contact where other people place their heads such as headphones at the library or the headrest on a plane.

Hair ringworm causes the scalp to become red and irritated and get crusty and scaly, just like the symptoms of severe dandruff. Scalp ringworm can cause partial balding, the truth is over 50 percent of hair loss cases in children are due to ringworm. Hair will typically come out in round balding areas, sometimes leaving small black dots and sometimes looking red and swollen. Some kinds of ringworm attack the shafts of your hair causing the hair to become weak and break off right at the scalp.

Treating Ringworm

Commonly, a visual evaluation is all that a health care provider needs to diagnose ringworm. Medical professionals typically suggest oral anti fungal medicines to heal the ringworm. The most common prescription is Griseofulvin; it is taken on a daily basis for one to two months or until a lab sample indicates that the ringworm is eliminated. Shampoos that contain the ingredients selenium sulfide or zinc pyrithione, these can be found in shampoos such as Selsun Blue or Head & Shoulders, work well as further hair ringworm treatment.

Once your hair ringworm is eliminated, there are important defensive actions you will want to take. Be certain to stop using old hairbrushes, pillows and other things that touch your head such as hats or headphones. Hot water and a full drying cycle are best for washing cloth that has come in contact with the ringworm fungus. The combination of hot water in the washer and the hot dry heat of the dryer will help to successfully destroy ringworm.

Preventing Ringworm

Keep away from exchanging hats, pillows and hairbrushes with other people. Don’t lean your head on public headrests, for instance at movie theaters, until you cover or clean the headrest. Pets often carry ringworm so make sure to not touch yourself after petting a dog and wash your hands soon afterwords.

Hair ringworm is in many cases an exceedingly irritating and uncomfortable problem. Getting an official diagnosis from the medical doctor and appropriate prescriptions is your best weapon for beating ringworm. Always be watchful of everyday items your hair comes in contact with and if they are possible carries of ringworm.

You can understand additional information regarding hair ringworm and other difficulties concerning ringworm.


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