Tinea capitis is a disease caused by dermatophyte fungal infections of the scalp and hair shaft. Symptoms can be scaly scalp and banding, to widespread inflammation and baldness.
The disease is more common in children, especially boys aged 3-7 years. Tinea capitis is very easily spread through the intermediary of objects that have been exposed to dermatophyte fungus, or direct contact with infected animals or people.
What is Tinea Capitis?
Tinea capitis is the name for ringworm that attacks the scalp. Ringworm itself is a disease caused by a fungal infection. This condition not only affects the skin, but can also affect the hair shafts.
Tinea capitis is characterized by the appearance of circular bald patches that look dry and scaly on the head. The size of the spots can vary, both large and small.
This disease belongs to the type of infectious skin disease. If you live with someone who is affected by tinea capitis, your chances of contracting the same disease are higher.
Tinea Capitis Symptoms
Symptoms of tinea captis may vary in each sufferer, including:
- There is a seborrheic shape on the scalp characterized by scaly skin and hair loss that is not very noticeable.
- There is a pattern of pustules crusting in one location or spreading.
- There is a black dot, which is a sign of hair loss from the scaly scalp.
In addition, tinea captis can also be accompanied by symptoms of swelling of the lymph nodes at the back of the neck, and a mild fever. While the symptoms that appear in more severe conditions are the presence of kerion (scabs) with scaly skin patterns, circular, and the onset of favus or a crust of yellow skin with tangled hair.
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Tinea Capitis Risk Factors
This disease is classified as a highly contagious disease, making the prevention process very difficult. The risk factor will be very high if a person pays less attention to personal hygiene. The trigger for transmission of this fungus can occur due to sharing a comb or other personal items. In addition, those who often play with pets without cleaning their hands immediately afterwards can also experience this condition.
Tinea Capitis Causes
Tinea capitis is an infectious disease caused by dermatophyte fungus on the outer layer of the scalp and hair shaft. A person can easily contract tinea capitis when in direct contact with the skin of the patient. Cases of transmission like this are the most common. In addition, a person is also at risk of contracting tinea capitis if he touches the disease-carrying animals. Examples of animals carrying tinea capitis are cats, dogs, horses, sheep, cows, and pigs.
In addition to direct transmission, tinea capitis can also be transmitted indirectly, that is, when we touch the surface of objects containing dermatophyte fungi because it has previously been touched by the patient or animal carrier of this disease. Examples of intermediate objects are towels, clothes, brushes, combs, and sheets.
What is diagnosis of tinea capitis?
Often, tinea capitis can be diagnosed by a dermatologist simply by looking at the scalp condition of an infected patient. During the examination, your doctor will also ask about your perceived symptoms and your contact history with other people or pets.
If needed, the doctor can perform a follow-up examination by taking a sample of skin and hair that will later be observed using a microscope. This is done to determine the presence or absence of fungi that inhabit the skin.
Sometimes doctors also use a wood lamp, a similar tool of ultraviolet light that will be illuminated on the scalp to see the type of fungus that infects the skin.
There is also a cultural examination of the samples that have been taken. On this examination, the doctor will observe how the fungus grows and develops. However, since it can take up to weeks to get results, this way is rarely done.