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Are there alternative treatments for tinea capitis (scalp ringworm)?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
There are no alternative treatments for tinea capitis. The only proven treatment for tinea capitis, or scalp ringworm, is a course of antifungal medication. Good hygiene, medicated shampoo, and a topical anti-fungal cream can help, but the oral medication is necessary to actually eliminate the fungus in the skin causing the infection. Talk to your doctor about getting this medication.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Alternative treatments and home remedies cannot cure tinea capitis, which is also called scalp ringworm. The most effective treatment is prescription antifungal medicine that is taken by mouth. Ask your doctor about applying an antifungal cream to the scalp. That may shorten the amount of time you need to take the oral medicine. In addition, wash hair two or three times a week with an antifungal shampoo.

Ringworm is contagious, so take steps to prevent spreading the infection to all family members. Check each person’s scalp. Check the family pets, too. Wash all bedding and nightclothes in hot water each day. Don’t share combs, hairbrushes, hats, pillows, helmets, or anything that comes in contact with the scalp. Wash combs and brushes by soaking them for an hour in a mixture of one-half bleach and one-half water.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.