Nottinghameczema.org.uk

Written by Professor Hywel Williams, Dr Ruth Murphy, Dr Jane Ravenscroft, Nurse Consultant Sandra Lawton and parents on behalf of the Nottingham Support Group for Carers of Children with Eczema.
Scalp Ringworm (tinea capitis) - Information for Parents
Introduction
Ringworm is not a worm. It is a general term for a common fungus infection of the skin. It is called ringworm becausethe infection often appears as a round shape or ring. The general medical name for these infections is 'tinea', thoughthe full name depends on the location of the infection on the body. Ringworm is particularly common among children,but people of any age can catch it.
What causes it?
Ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis) is a superficial fungal infection of the scalp. Scalp ringworm is caused bymould-like fungi called dermatophytes. Ringworm infection occurs when a particular type of fungus grows andmultiplies anywhere on your skin, scalp, or nails.
Who does it affect?
It is most common in children 4-12 years of age.
Is scalp ringworm contagious?
Some scalp ringworm is highly contagious, especially among children. It can be passed from one person to the nextby direct skin-to-skin contact or by contact with contaminated items such as unclean clothing, combs, and shower orpool surfaces. You can also catch ringworm from pets that carry the fungus. Look for pets that have patches ofmissing fur.
What does scalp ringworm look like?
The first sign of ringworm of the scalp may be localised dandruff-like flakes appearing on the hair. Round and/or ovalbald patches may appear. The skin may feel itchy and may be red and peeling. The rash may gradually spread overa large area if left untreated. Once the hair is infected, it becomes brittle and breaks off near the root, resulting in baldspots. If treated early, the baldness is temporary.
How is scalp ringworm diagnosed?
Diagnosis of ringworm can often be made by a healthcare professional by its appearance and confirmed by takinga small sample of skin by gently scraping the affected area or plucking the hair. The hair and scalp may also bebrushed to collect samples of skin and hair. The sample can be tested and looked at under a microscope or grownin a lab (takes 6 weeks). The fungus sometimes appears fluorescent (glows in the dark) when your skin is looked atusing a blue light, called a Wood's lamp.
How is scalp ringworm treated?
Even with treatment, tinea capitis may take weeks and sometimes months to go away. It is possible to get ringwormmore than once. Ringworm may cause permanent scarring and hair loss if not treated. Scalp ringworm must betreated with antifungal tablets. Cream and shampoos alone are no good. The most commonly used drug is calledgriseofulvin, and you usually have to take it for up to 8 weeks. It should not be used if you are pregnant, and menshould not father a child within 6 months of treatment. It has an unpleasant taste, which may discourage childrenfrom taking the full course of treatment. Other antifungal drugs such as terbinafine for 4 weeks are sometimes usedinstead of griseofulvin. A shampoo containing selenium, povidone-iodine or ketoconazole may be used as well asantifungal tablets. Antibiotics may be used if there is a bacterial infection as well.
website - www.nottinghameczema.org.uk
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2007-2009 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission in
writing from Paediatric Dermatology Team, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham , NG7 2UH

Written by Professor Hywel Williams, Dr Ruth Murphy, Dr Jane Ravenscroft, Nurse Consultant Sandra Lawton and parents on behalf of the Nottingham Support Group for Carers of Children with Eczema.
Are there any complications?
Severe forms of tinea capitis can cause a large oozing boggy swelling called a kerion. This can cause pain andfever, and without treatment may lead to permanent scarring and hair loss.
Can my child go to school?
For practical reasons children should be allowed to return to school once they have been commenced onappropriate treatment.
Do my family need to be treated?
Family members as well as other close contacts should be screened and samples taken if they have no signs of theinfection. Your dermatology doctor will discuss this with you.
For further advice please contact
Nurse Consultant Dermatology Sandra Lawton
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

For advice on support issues please contact the NSGCCE via the website
Queen's Medical Centre
Clifton Boulevard
Nottingham

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Website :
www.nottinghameczema.org.uk
website - www.nottinghameczema.org.uk
email - [email protected]
2007-2009 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission in
writing from Paediatric Dermatology Team, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham , NG7 2UH

Source: http://www.nottinghameczema.org.uk/nsgcce/documents/scalp-ringworm.pdf

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