Q: Please Doc what can be used to treat ring worm on the scalp in children?
A: Fungal infection of the scalp, called Tinea Capitis, is often found in children and is commonly called ringworm too. If you’re a parent and your child has had this, the embarrassment factor alone is significant enough to seek therapy 😀 Parents try all sorts from the conventional to the not-so conventional to take care of this. Anti-fungal creams, lotions and powders applied to the scalp for ages, don’t quite work. Creative solutions like rubbing petrol on the scalp, leaves a screaming child who still has holes and patches in his hair from the fungal infection. Where on earth, did that therapy come from? Petrol??? Seriously???? (like my daughter would say :D)
I have actually discussed this on this page before…but it certainly bears repeating 😀 Tinea Capitis may involve all or some parts of the scalp. The involved areas may look bald and patchy with small, round spots from broken off hair, swollen and inflamed etc. As is typical of fungal infections, they love moist and warm areas and will be encouraged to grow when one has a cut or bruise on the scalp, does not wash his/her hair regularly, sweats a lot and does not wash this off quickly and/or shares personal items of clothing like caps, hats, head scarves, towels etc The infection can also be spread by coming contact with ringworm on someone else’s body or even contacted from a pet.
Treatment is not achieved on the surface by using anti-fungal creams. This is achieved by taking anti-fungal drugs orally. This will usually be for a significant period of time, between 6 to 8 weeks. Using anti-fungal shampoos may limit the spread of the infection but does not get rid of it. Again, even if signs of quick results are seen, this does not mean therapy should be stopped immediately. The drug should be taken for the full period prescribed by the doctor.
During the course of treatment, pillowcases, combs, towels et al which are probably infected, should be disposed of, where possible. If not, they should be disinfected with bleach and washed in warm water.
Moving forward, personal things should be kept personal and not shared with other people 😀 Personal hygiene is key… children should be taught to take a bath and frequently too, especially after sweating. They should also stay away from stray dogs or those that have the infection (a bald patch on the dog’s fur may be observed)
Have a great weekend people 😀