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How is scalp ringworm diagnosed?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Many doctors can identify the skin infection tinea capitis, or scalp ringworm, just by looking at it. To confirm that you or your child has scalp ringworm, your doctor can scrape skin samples or pluck hairs that will be analyzed under a microscope. Another test is called the Wood's lamp test, where the scalp is examined under an ultraviolet light that makes fungus glow.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
To diagnose tinea capitis, or scalp ringworm, your doctor may start by doing a physical examination to look for symptoms of the fungal infection. These include a raised circular rash on the scalp, and patches of skin that may be swollen, scaly, blistered, and itchy. Your doctor may also take a small scraping of the affected skin or a sample of hair and look at it under a microscope, or send it out to a lab, to identify the exact type of fungus you have. See your dermatologist to learn more about scalp ringworm.

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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.