What Is Tinea Capitis?

Tinea Capitis is a disease caused by a fungal infection of the scalp. The disease is highly contagious and mostly affects children, ranging from toddlers to school age. Complications of tinea capitis may include hair loss and permanent scarring of the scalp.

Symptoms of Tinea Capitis
Symptoms of this disease may vary in each patient. But generally the scalp of a person affected by this disease will feel very itchy. In addition, on the scalp will look round the bald, scaly, red, and sometimes swollen.
Baldness can also occur in the infected area. Usually on the side of the head that experienced baldness will look the pattern of black dots that actually is a broken hair. In the case of severe tinea capitis, there is a scar on the scalp that secretes pus.

In addition to the above symptoms, tinea capitis can also be accompanied by swollen lymph nodes in the neck and a mild fever.

Causes of Tinea Capitis
Tinea capitis is a contagious disease. Infection attacks due to dermatophyte fungus on the outer layer of the scalp and hair shaft are the main causes of this disease.
A person can be infected with tinea capitis when in direct contact with the patient's skin. Such cases of transmission are the most common. In addition, a person is also at risk of contracting tinea capitis if it touches the animals carrying the disease. Examples of animals carrying tinea capitis are:
  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Horse
  • Sheep
  • Cow
  • Pork
In addition to direct transmission, tinea capitis can also be transmitted indirectly, that is when we touch the surface of objects containing dermatophyte fungus because previously been touched by the patient or animal carriers of this disease. Examples of intermediate objects are:
  • Towel
  • Clothes
  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Bed sheets
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Diagnosis of Tinea Capitis
See a doctor if you have symptoms of tinea capitis. Usually the doctor will be able to directly diagnose based on symptoms suffered and observation of the scalp of the patient. When observing signs of infection on the scalp, doctors will usually need a tool called Wood lamp.
To strengthen the allegations, doctors will usually suggest follow-up tests. One common test in tinea capitis is a fungal culture test by wiping the infected part. The results of this test usually can be obtained within three weeks. In addition to the fungus culture test, another test that can be done is a scalp biopsy. However, this test is rarely performed. Microscopic examination of the hair or scalp scratches is also possible.

Treatment of Tinea Capitis
In treating tinea capitis, doctors will usually combine a special shampoo with oral medications (drugs taken). Oral medication serves to kill the fungus that causes tinea capitis, while the shampoo serves to prevent the spread of infection and eradicate fungal spores on the head.
The most commonly prescribed oral agents for tinea capitis are terbinafine hydrochloride and griseofulvin. While the prescribed shampoo usually contains selenium sulfide (at least 2.5 percent) and ketoconazole.

In order for the treatment to be effective, it is important that you use the medication for a set period of time. Usually doctors will recommend using terbinafine hydrochloride and griseofulvin for one and a half months. As for the use of shampoo in general is several times a week for a month. When using an anti-fungal shampoo, leave the shampoo on the head for 5 minutes before rinsing. If still not clear, ask your doctor about how to use the correct antifungal shampoo.

Side effects terbinafine hydrochloride and griseofulvin
Just like other drugs, the use of terbinafine hydrochloride and griseofulvin are also at risk of side effects. Possible side effects after consuming terbinafine hydrochloride are:
  • Headache
  • Stomach ache
  • Rashes or hoops
  • Itchy
  • Allergic reactions
  • Changes in taste or loss of taste in the mouth
  • Fever
  • Liver disorders (this is rare)
While the side effects that may occur after taking griseofulvin are:
  • Headache
  • The body feels tired
  • The skin becomes sensitive to sunlight
  • Rashes or hoops
  • Gag
  • Allergic reactions
  • Dizzy
  • Fainting

Prevention of Tinea Capitis
Here are some ways that can be applied to minimize the transmission of tinea capitis disease, including:
  • Always keep your hands clean.
  • Wash your hair and scalp regularly with shampoo.
  • Do not share the use of items, such as combs, towels, and clothes, with others, or lend them with others.
  • Avoiding infected animals.
  • Sharing information about tinea capitis with others on how to avoid getting infected and how to prevent it.

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