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Common Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment of Scalp Fungus

Fungal infection on the scalp can make you irritable and place you in embarrassing situations. Here we will tell you about the causes, symptoms, and treatment for scalp fungus which will help you to get rid of this condition faster.
Kalpana Kumari
Last Updated: Aug 21, 2018
Fungal infections are common and can affect any part of the body, specially skin, foot and scalp. Fungal infection on scalp is usually caused due to scalp ringworm whose scientific name is Tinea capitis. Scalp fungus is an irritating and very uncomfortable condition, as it induces excess itching and dandruff.
In some cases severe inflammation may cause scarring or permanent hair loss. Though this condition appear quite alarming yet it is not life-threatening. However, treatment is necessary to get rid of irritating symptoms and social embarrassment. The best option to get relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of scalp fungus is to treat the cause behind it.
Scalp ringworm is the most common cause of scalp fungus but Pityrosporum ovale, or P. ovale is another type of fungus which can be found on the scalp. This yeast-like fungus causes problems only when there is an overgrowth.
It may also result in excessive itching and flaking of the scalp which is known as dandruff. It is believed to run in families but is not infectious. As infection from P. ovale is considered a minor infection of the scalp, we will not be discussing it in detail in this article.
Common Symptoms of Fungal Infection on the Scalp
Fungal infection on scalp is very common among toddlers and children. This condition is contagious and you can easily get it from an affected person. Poor hygiene, sharing personal items like towel and other toiletry, health condition like hyperhidrosis and living in a overcrowded condition can make you more susceptible to getting scalp ringworm infection.
You can also get affected with scalp ringworm from puppies, kittens, cow, goat, pigs, horses, etc. Following are some of the common signs and symptoms of fungal infection on scalp.
  • Round patches on the skin where the hair may or may not be broken.
  • Change in the skin color of the patchy area to gray or red.
  • Fragile hair strands that come out easily if pulled.
  • Unbearable itching and irritation on the affected area.
  • In some cases the affected area may be tender to touch.
  • Hair loss and bald patches may be observed.
Medical Treatment for Scalp Fungus
When you visit a dermatologist for suspected scalp fungus, he begins the diagnosis by conducting a physical examination and studying the medical history. To confirm the presence of fungi on your scalp, he may take scrapings of your skin or hair for further tests. If the data collected by all these tests are insufficient, your hair and skin may be tested.
The treatment of scalp fungus rarely involves application of topical creams. This is because the infection goes down into the roots of the hair where topical creams cannot reach.
The treatment involves the prescription of oral medicines. The medicine may come in the form of liquid or pill. They are meant to be taken once or twice a day, as per the direction of the doctor. Some of such antifungal medicines are meant to be taken with whole milk, ice cream, cheese or other fatty foods for better absorption into the body.
Home Remedies for Scalp Fungus
You can get relief from the symptoms of scalp fungus by making use of some substances readily available at your home.
Raw Organic Green Papaya
► One such item is raw papaya. Take a raw papaya and peel it. Chop it into small pieces and grind them. Apply a layer of this papaya pack on your scalp. Leave it on for about half an hour. Wash it off with a good quality mild shampoo. Do it every alternate day.
Mustard Seed
► Another item that may prove to be of some use is mustard seeds. Take a cup of mustard seeds, and grind them to make a paste. Wash your hair with lukewarm water. Apply the paste of mustard seeds on your scalp. Leave it on your scalp for about 20 - 30 minutes. Wash it off with a mild shampoo.
Fenugreek leaves with seeds
► Take 2 - 3 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds and soak it in water for about 9 hours. Drain the seeds from water and grind seeds into a fine paste. Apply it all over your scalp. Leave it for an hour. Wash the application off with a mild shampoo.
Lavender oil
► You can make use of a few essential oils to improve the condition of your affected scalp. They include rosemary, tea tree, neem, lavender and jojoba oil. Before using any of the oil consult a herbalist to avoid adverse reactions.
In addition to the medical treatment and home remedies, you should follow a healthy diet to get rid of scalp fungus fast. Eating carrot and spinach will help you a lot in accelerating the treatment. Maintaining personal hygiene, avoiding infected animals and staying in a clean environment will give you an added advantage in treatment.
Even after you completely get rid of scalp fungus, you should maintain your healthy eating habits and proper hygiene. This will help in preventing you from getting infected with fungus as well as other types of infectious micro-organisms in the future.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.