Tinea Capitis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Tinea capitis is an infection of the scalp. It happen due a fungus name as Tricophyton tonsurans. Tinea corporis is also called ringworm of the body. It is a common skin disorder, especially among children. However, it may occur in people of all ages. The fungus causing tinea capitis prefers hair follicles. therefore tinea capitis favors the scalp area. The affected hairs can harbor the fungus for a year or more.


Tinea capitis is caused by infection of fungi known as dermatophytes on the scalp. It is also known as fungal infection of scalp or ringworm of scalp. We know that the body has several of microorganisms such as dermatophytes, bacteria and Candida. And among them some microorganisms are helpful to the body and some microorganisms may grow frequently and cause signs and symptoms. Tinea capitis is a disease of skin and it happen only due to this type of microorganisms. Tinea capitis may cause in several ways.

  • Dry scaling – like dandruff but usually with moth-eaten hair loss .
  • Black dots – the hairs are broken off at the scalp surface, which is scaly
  • Smooth areas of hair loss
  • Kerion – very inflamed mass, like an abscess
  • Favus – yellow crusts and matted hair
  • Carrier state no symptoms and only mild scaling (T. tonsurans).


It can occur on any area of the body not covered by hair. Tinea capitis is usually seen in young children. Tinea pedis (Athletes foot) typically occurs on the feet. Ringworm begins as a small red bump or papule that spreads outward, so that each affected area takes on the appearance of a red, scaly outer ring with a clear central area.

Common symptoms are-

  • Itching of the scalp it may be slight or absent
  • Skin (scalp) lesions
    • Round, scaly
    • Gray or reddened.
  • Occasionally localized area of swelling, raw skin, or pus filled lesion on the scalp (kerion)


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. If a large body surface area is involved an oral and topical anti fungal medication may be prescribed.

Tinea capitis is also treated with FungRx which is also an effective natural treatment, or Nizoral shampoo. This shampoo is used to wash the scalp 2-3 times a week. It is very important to continue the use of the oral medication and shampoo for the entire 8 weeks. Treatment failure is common when medications are not taken everyday for the full 8 weeks.

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