Scalp infection is perhaps the leading cause of hair loss among children. Caused by ringworm of the scalp, called tinea capitis, this infection can lead to hair loss in patches and can become serious if left untreated.
While the signs and symptoms of ringworm infection may differ from one person to another, the infection usually manifests itself through itchy, bald patches on the head.
What is particularly worrisome about a fungal infection on the scalp is that it is highly contagious, and can easily pass on from one child to another, especially in the classroom, where frequent interaction among children can take place.
What Causes Fungal Infection on Scalp?
A fungal infection is a skin disease that is usually caused by a fungus. A fungus is a living organism that can live on garden soil, household items, surfaces, and the skin. They can lead to skin rashes and problems and can cause irritation and itchiness. However, a fungal infection is not fatal although it is highly contagious.
One of the most common fungi is the ringworm on the scalp. This variety of ringworm is called tinea capitis. They attack the skin cells and can lead to hair loss. The infection occurs in small patches.
A fungal infection is more likely to develop when a particular part of your body is abnormally moist and not exposed to a free flow of air. When dirt, oil, pollution or dead cells have clogged the pores of your hair, the scalp attracts fungus.
You start losing a lot of hair because of the fungus as it makes your scalp tender and your hair fragile.
Typically, not washing and cleaning your scalp regularly, living in dirty, unhygienic conditions and coming into contact with someone who already has this disease are some of the most common reasons why fungal infection can occur. However, following a few, simple steps can help you to get rid of this problem.
What Does Scalp Fungus Look Like?
Scalp fungus infection is caused by ringworms. They are called so because they leave ring-shaped infection spots on the affected area. Usually, such ringworms enter the body through skin cuts or through hair follicles. The infection often spreads outwards, while the inside heals up.
Apart from fungus of the scalp, there may be a fungal infection in other parts of the body, including the moist areas between the toes or the genital areas (the latter can cause what is called jock itch).
The fungal infection that occurs on the beard does not lead to a bald spot. In fact, the hair of that area falls off leaving black dots.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Kill Fungus on Scalp?
Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting the sugar from apples. It has a host of benefits, especially for the scalp and hair follicles. What makes apple cider vinegar extremely potent against scalp infections is its antimicrobial properties.
Doctors say that the vinegar is an effective scalp fungus treatment as it can kill all kinds of bacteria, fungus and yeast found on body surfaces. However, apple cider vinegar must be applied raw as once it is diluted, it loses its effectiveness by at least 25 percent.
However, apart from apple cider vinegar, antifungal shampoo can also help in preventing scalp fungus hair loss. Just apply the vinegar to your scalp and leave it for a few minutes. Shampoo your hair follicles with an antifungal shampoo and rinse thoroughly with water.
Will Hair Grow Back After Fungal Infection?
Effective scalp fungal infection treatment can stop hair loss and gradually you can see new hair follicles growing. After successful scalp fungus treatment, hair can grow within six to twelve months. Till then, the infected person can hide his or her bald patches by getting a hair loss treatment.
Some children may develop a kerion – a soft inflammation of the infected spot that can develop pus. However, this can be easily cured with antifungal ointment.
How Can I Prevent the Spread of Fungal Infection?
Fungal infection, especially ringworm on the scalp is highly contagious. So if you know anyone who is suffering from scalp fungus hair loss, try to avoid that person. Do not share personal items with others. Also, remember that this highly contagious disease is common among children.
By maintaining social distance and adhering to norms of personal hygiene, preventing ringworm should not be a problem. Using natural remedies like apple cider vinegar and medically reviewed products like shampoos and ointments can also act as an effective ringworm on scalp treatment.
Follow these tips to prevent scalp fungus from developing:
Keep your scalp clean, dry and cool.
Avoid overusing steroids and antibiotics.
Practice healthy scalp hygiene.
Eat and drink a healthy and assorted diet.
Avoid starchy food, alcohol and sugar.
Don’t wear caps, hats, hoods, or scarves more than required.
What Are the Natural Hair Remedies for Fungal Infection?
Following are some of the most effective natural hair treatments for hair fungal infection:
Lemon juice is good for hair as it keeps them shiny and healthy. Lemon also works as a hair fungus treatment. Here’s how you can use it:
Add three to four tablespoons of lime juice to one glass of lukewarm water. Wash your hair with this solution after you wash your hair. And then, pour cold water on your head to close your scalp pores as a final rinse. Use this therapy more than once a week.
2. Coconut oil
Coconut oil contains fatty acids that can turn out the fungus that has made its home in your scalp. If you apply it regularly, the fungus will make a quiet exit in a few weeks, leaving behind a healthier and nourished scalp. Here’s how you can use it:
Apply coconut oil deep into your scalp and hair, massaging it for a few minutes. Leave it for the night and wash your hair the next morning. You can do this 2-3 times a week.
3. Garlic and honey
Garlic has strong antifungal properties which if combined with honey’s gentle power can help you fight the fungal infection in your hair. Here’s how you can use it:
Take 5-6 garlic cloves, crush them and let them sit in their own juice for 10-15 minutes. Now add 5-6 tablespoons of honey to this. Spread this mixture on your scalp and massage it thoroughly for a few minutes. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then rinse it thoroughly. Shampoo your hair to remove all traces of the pack.
4. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar not only kills fungus, but also helps in the recovery of your scalp skin. Here’s how you can use it:
Add 4 cups of water to 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. Wash your hair using this solution before shampooing your hair. You can try this 2-3 times a week.
5. Raw papaya
Raw papaya contains an antifungal enzyme which works best for your fungal scalp. Here’s how you can use it:
Crush 2-3 pieces of raw papaya and apply it on the fungus-affected parts of your scalp. Let it remain for 15-20 minutes until it dries and wash your hair afterwards. You can try this hair fungus home remedy at least once a week.
Fighting hair fungus is possible with these remedies. To prevent getting it again, make sure you do not share pillows, combs, pillow covers, towels, hairbrushes, etc. with anyone.
This blog looked at one of the most common causes of hair loss among children — tinea capitis or ringworm on scalp. The disease, as we have seen, leads to patches of hair loss. Highly common in children, cases of ringworm can be effectively dealt with by maintaining personal hair hygiene.
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