What are the symptoms of scalp ringworm?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Tinea capitis, referred to more commonly as scalp ringworm, is a skin infection named for the ring-shaped patches which characterize it. The infection is caused by fungi which assaults the top layer of your skin. Signs that you or your child has scalp ringworm are:

  • itchy or painful round patches of lost hair where hair appears to have broken (broken dark hair might leave little dark dots)
  • Patches of scaly pink, red, or gray skin that gradually enlarge
  • scalp sores that ooze pus
  • sensitive scalp

Children are especially at risk for this highly contagious infection. If you suspect that you or your child has this condition, speak to your doctor about treatment.

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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.