Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
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: