All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Parents > A to Z > T > 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.

Related Articles
K    Athlete's Foot
T    Athlete's Foot
P    First Aid: Ringworm
K    Fungal Infections
T    Jock Itch
T    Ringworm
P    Skin, Hair, and Nails
P    Tinea (Ringworm, Jock Itch, Athlete's Foot)
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2014 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
Employment
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor
News
CME

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2014 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved