Ringworm of the Scalp or Beard (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
Doctors can often easily recognize ringworm when there is a distinct ringworm-patterned rash. Your doctor will probably also look at a hair or skin sample (KOH preparation) under a microscope to find out whether a fungus is present.
Tests used for ringworm of the scalp or beard include:
If someone in your family has ringworm of the scalp or beard, talk to your doctor about whether other family members should be examined. It is quite common for one family member to spread the fungus to other family members.
Ringworm of the scalp or beard is treated with antifungal pills in combination with antifungal shampoo or lotion.
Topical antifungal medicines, such as shampoos or lotions that you apply directly to the infected area, do not work when used alone. They cannot get deep enough into the infected hair shaft to kill fungi there. But antifungal shampoo helps prevent spreading the fungus to other people, because it decreases fungal shedding from the scalp or beard area.
Doctors also recommend occasional use of antifungal shampoos for ringworm carriers, people who can spread the fungus but do not have ringworm symptoms. Often an adult becomes a carrier after exposure to an infected child.
A veterinarian can treat pets or farm animals for ringworm.
What to think about
Ringworm of the scalp or beard can come back after treatment has cleared the infection.
Ringworm of the scalp or beard can cause scarring and permanent hair loss.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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