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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Tinea capitis is a scalp infection caused by a fungus. Tinea capitis is also called ringworm of the scalp or head. It is most common among children.
- Antifungal medicine: This is used to fight the infection. It may be given as a cream or pill. Take the medicine until it is gone, even if your scalp looks better sooner.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Use an antifungal shampoo: Ask your primary healthcare provider which shampoo to use. Wash your hair every day with this shampoo. Use a clean towel each time you wash your hair. Do not scratch your scalp. This may cause the infection to spread to other areas of your scalp. If your child has an infection, he can go to school once he is using medicine and shampoo regularly.
- Do not share personal items: Do not share towels, brushes, combs, or hair accessories.
- Wash items in hot water: Wash all towels, clothes, and bedding in hot water. Use laundry soap. Wash brushes and combs, barrettes, and hats in hot, soapy water.
- Keep your skin, hair, and nails clean and dry: Bathe every day. Wash your hands often.
- Avoid infected pets: A patch of missing fur is a sign of infection in a pet. Take your infected pet to a veterinarian for treatment.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- Your infection continues to spread after 7 days of treatment.
- Other areas of your scalp become red, warm, tender, and swollen.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.