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Tinea Capitis And Tinea Barbae

What is Tinea Capitis or Tinea Barbae?

Scalp ringworm (tinea capitis) is a common mild fungal infection of the scalp and hair that appears as flaky spots and patches of broken hair on the head.

Though several different types of fungus may cause scalp ringworm, they are generally known as dermatophytes.


Who’s at risk?
Scalp ringworm may be passed among humans by direct contact with infected people or with contaminated objects (such as combs, pillows). Less commonly, the fungus may be spread from infected animals or from the soil.

It is most frequently seen in male children, especially those between 3 and 7 years old.

What are the signs and symptoms?
Scalp ringworm appears as one or more round to oval itchy areas covered with scale and is often accompanied by hair loss. The patches may be red and inflamed, and small pus-filled bumps (pustules) may appear. Also, tiny black dots may appear on the surface of the scalp, consisting of broken hairs.

Certain areas (lymph nodes) at the back of the scalp, behind the ears, or along the sides of the neck may be swollen.

One complication of scalp ringworm is a kerion, which is a large, oozing, pus-filled lump.

What is the treatment?
Have any household pets evaluated by a veterinarian to make sure that they do not have a dermatophyte infection. To confirm the diagnosis of scalp ringworm, the physician might scrape some surface skin scales onto a slide and examine them under a microscope. The doctor shines a black light at the scalp, and certain strains of dermatophyte may appear as yellow-green fluorescent spots.

Scalp ringworm is treated with oral antifungal medicines because the fungus invades deep into the hair follicle, where topical creams and lotions cannot penetrate. Scalp ringworm usually requires at least 6–8 weeks of treatment with oral antifungal pills or syrup, including:

  • Griseofulvin
  • Terbinafine
  • Itraconazole
  • Fluconazole
  • Ketoconazole

Often, the doctor will also prescribe a medicated shampoo to reduce the risk of spreading the scalp ringworm to someone else:

  • Selenium sulphide shampoo
  • Ketoconazole shampoo

Occasionally, untreated scalp ringworm seems to heal on its own when a child reaches puberty.

What is Tinea Barbae?
Beard ringworm (tinea barbae), also known as barber’s itch, is a fungal infection of the skin, hair, and hair follicles of the beard and moustache area.


Who’s at risk?
It is seen almost exclusively in older teens and adult males.

Beard ringworm may be passed to other people by direct contact with infected people or animals, with contaminated objects, or from the soil.

Beard ringworm is more commonly seen in warmer, more humid climates. It is most frequently passed to humans from animals, so agricultural workers are the most commonly infected people with beard ringworm.

What are the signs and symptoms?
Beard ringworm appears as a pink-to-red scaly patch ranging in size from 1 to 5 cm. Alternatively, small pus-filled bumps (pustules) or firm red nodules may be seen around hair follicles in the affected skin. Beard ringworm is usually itchy. Deeper forms of beard ringworm may be accompanied by fever and swollen lymph glands.


What is the treatment? 
To confirm the diagnosis of beard ringworm, your physician might scrape some surface skin material (scales) or pluck an affected hair and place it onto a glass slide for examination under a microscope.

Stop shaving the affected area until you start treatment. If you must shave, use a new disposable razor each time you shave.

Have any household pets or farm animals evaluated by a veterinarian to make sure they do not have a fungal (i.e. dermatophyte) infection.

Since beard ringworm usually requires oral antifungal pills the following oral medications can be prescribed:

  • Terbinafine
  • Itraconazole
  • Griseofulvin
  • Fluconazole
  • Ketoconazole

Beard ringworm should go away within 4–6 weeks after using effective treatment.

How much would be the estimated cost of treatment?

The cost for the treatment is dependent upon the type of treatment chosen. Generally, a single consultation with Dr. Rinky Kapoor would cost approximately INR 1000/-. It is very important that, along with the treatment, you should follow all the preventive measures to get rid of this ringworm infection once and for all.


For more information on Dr. Rinky Kapoor’s work, click on:



About Dr. Rinky Kapoor

Dr. Rinky Kapoor- Best Dermatologists in Mumbai, India

Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Co-founder of The Esthetic Clinic, is one of the best dermatologists in the world & currently practices in Mumbai, India. Dr. Rinky Kapoor is a Consultant Cosmetic Dermatologist, Cosmetologist & Trichologist at S L Raheja Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, India. Dr. Kapoor is trained at the National Skin Centre, Singapore & at Stanford University, USA. A celebrity skin doctor, Dr. Rinky Kapoor has won many honors such as “Best Dermatologist Mumbai”, “Top 10 Cosmetologist India”, etc for her evidence based expert dermatology care, affordable & reliable skin care, hair care & nail care …Read more

E: drrinkykapoor@gmail.com | M:+91-22-33756374


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