What are possible complications of tinea capitis (scalp ringworm)?

Updated: Feb 21, 2020
  • Author: Marc Zachary Handler, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

The causative fungal organisms of tinea capitis destroy hair and pilosebaceous structures, resulting in severe hair loss and scarring alopecia. Since tinea capitis is the most common dermatophyte infection in the pediatric population in the United States, without accurate diagnosis and proper treatment, the disease is detrimental, both physically and mentally, to children who are affected. Young patients with itchy scalp and patchy or total hair loss frequently are ridiculed, isolated, and bullied by classmates or playmates. In some cases, the disease can cause severe emotional impairment in vulnerable children and can destabilize family relationships.


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