What Is Fungus of the Scalp?

Fungi are microorganisms such as yeast and mold. Fungus of the scalp, also called ringworm of the scalp or tinea capitis, is an infection caused by fungi called dermatophytes. Most often, scalp ringworm occurs in children, but anyone can get it.


Symptoms of scalp fungus include itching, pus-filled sores, round and scaly lesions that may be red or swollen, small black dots and hair loss, according to Medline Plus.


Treatment for tinea capitis usually consists of anti-fungal medications taken by mouth. You may reduce the spread of infection by using medicated shampoo containing ketoconazole or selenium sulfide, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center


Fungi thrive in warm, moist areas, so staying dry is an important way to prevent fungus infections. You have an increased risk for tinea capitis if you have minor skin or scalp injuries, poor hygiene or wet skin for a long time.


Tinea capitis is contagious and can be spread by direct contact with someone who has ringworm or by touching contaminated items such as combs, hats, clothing or pets, especially cats. If one person in the family is infected, check other family members and pets.


Tinea capitis often returns after treatment. For children, in many cases problems with ringworm improve when they reach puberty.

Fungi are microorganisms such as yeast and mold. Fungus of the scalp