A to Z: Tinea Capitis

A to Z: Tinea Capitis

A to Z: Tinea Capitis

Tinea capitis (ringworm of the scalp) is a fungal scalp infection that can be cured with medication.

More to Know

Tinea capitis occurs when a type of fungus infects the scalp and hair follicles. This can cause the scalp to itch, flake, swell, and become red. Fluid-filled sores might appear in the affected area, and hair may fall out in patches. In some cases a swollen, soft lump with many sores (called a kerion) develops, caused by the body's reaction to the fungus.

Tinea capitis needs to be treated with oral (taken by mouth) antifungal medications. In cases with a kerion, a steroid medication also might be needed to help reduce inflammation. Without treatment, scarring and permanent hair loss may occur.

Keep in Mind

Tinea capitis is contagious, but usually only spreads among people who have frequent close contact with each other, such as family members.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2015 KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Dermatology Provides up-to-date information on the treatment and management of disorders of the skin, hair, and nails.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.
Related Articles
First Aid: Ringworm Ringworm is a common fungal infection of the skin. Here's what to do if your child has ringworm.
Athlete's Foot Anyone can get athlete's foot. Find out how to avoid this itchy skin condition in this article for kids.
Ringworm Ringworm isn't a worm at all - it's the name for a type of fungal skin infection. The good news is that ringworm is easy to treat.
Fungal Infections What do you think of when you hear the word fungus? Do you think of mushrooms? A mushroom is one type of fungus, but fungus is also a type of germ that lives on all of us.
Jock Itch Jock itch is a pretty common fungal infection of the groin and upper thighs. It is generally easy to treat - and avoid - by following a few simple steps.
Athlete's Foot Although the name athlete's foot sounds funny, if you have this skin infection, you're probably not laughing. The good news is that it is generally easy to treat.
Tinea (Ringworm, Jock Itch, Athlete's Foot) Jock itch, athlete's foot, and ringworm are all types of fungal skin infections known collectively as tinea. Most are easily preventable and treatable.
Skin, Hair, and Nails Our skin protects the network of tissues, muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels, and everything else inside our bodies. Hair and nails are actually modified types of skin.
Developments Developments
Sign up for enewsletter
Get involved Get involved
Discover ways to support Akron Children's
Join the conversation Join the conversation
See what our patient families are saying