Having an itchy scalp due to dryness or dandruff is a frequently experienced condition. However, when that itchiness is combined with hair loss, it is the classic hallmark of a scalp infection.
Tinea capitis, also known as black dot ringworm, is a fungal infection that covers the scalp. This infection may cause hair loss, but it is treatable.
This infection is caused by a mold-like fungus called dermatophytes; these fungi live in warm, moist places. It mainly affects children although it can affect people of any age.
Risks for contracting tinea capitis are skin or scalp injuries, poor hygiene, wet skin (for a long time, such as from sweating) and stray animals (mainly cats).
Symptoms of tinea capitis include bald patches on the scalp, itchy scalp, pus-filled lesions on the scalp, round and scaly lesions and small black dots on the scalp.
You will have to take anti-fungal oral medication to treat tinea capitis. Medications that are often prescribed are griseofulvin, terbinafine and itraconazole. You should also keep the infected area clean and use medicated shampoos found over the counter.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Klaus Post