Ringworm on Scalp (cont.)
Scalp ringworm must be treated systemically (with medicine that spreads throughout the body) with oral medications to penetrate the hair follicle and eliminate the scalp ringworm. Children may return to school once they have started oral therapy.
- Griseofulvin (Fulvicin, Grisactin)
has been the drug of choice since 1958 because of its safety. This medication
also comes in a liquid formula which makes it easier to administer to children.
The usual dose involves taking the medicine every day with a fatty meal to
enhance absorption for six to eight weeks. Therapy should continue until the ringworm is gone and you are told to stop by your physician. Occasionally a scalp culture may be performed to confirm that no fungi are present. Side effects caused by griseofulvin, such as headaches and GI disturbances, are rare. Routine liver and other blood test monitoring is not necessary for healthy children with scalp ringworm.
- The following are available to those who are allergic to or not responsive to griseofulvin:
- For inflammatory scalp ringworm: Prednisone during the first 10-15 days of treatment can be added for symptom relief, but no data have shown an increase in cure rate.
Lisandro Irizarry, MD, MPH, FAAEM
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