Fungal Infections That Cause Hair Loss

close up of man controls hair loss

Hair Loss and Fungal InfectionsWhen you seek hair loss treatment in Toronto or your local area, the treatment options you have will depend on the type of hair loss you are suffering from.

Many people are aware of the most common causes of hair loss, which include genetics, hormones, menopause, medical conditions, and stress. However, there are a wide variety of factors that can cause balding and hair thinning, some of which are often overlooked.

Fungal infections of the scalp can cause balding. Treating hair loss from these fungal infections requires a different approach than with other types of hair loss.

What Is Ringworm of the Scalp?

Ringworm of the scalp is a fungal infection that affects the scalp and hair fibers, causing hair loss and other irritating issues. With ringworm, small patches of itchy and scaly skin appear on the scalp, leading to excessive dandruff, flaking of the skin, and inflammation.

There is a good chance that you are aware of ringworm. It is the exact same condition as athlete’s foot or jock itch, just affecting the scalp instead of the foot or groin area. Ringworm has nothing to do with actual worms—it is caused by species of fungi that can infect tissue and spread easily. These fungi can eat dead skin, nails, and hair, which is why the scalp is commonly affected.

What Causes Ringworm of the Scalp?

Ringworm of the scalp is caused by fungi, but how do these fungi manage to infect the scalp?
In fact, ringworm is easily spread and transmitted by affected individuals. Physical contact, either directly with an affected person or with objects they have touched, can cause ringworm and other fungal infections. Touching someone’s skin or sharing bedding, pillows, hats, or towels can spread ringworm.

It’s not just people that can spread ringworm and fungal infections. Animals, including pet dogs and cats, can carry these fungi and transfer them to human hosts. Often, pets do not exhibit the same symptoms as humans, which makes it hard to tell if they do have ringworm.

Some other factors can raise the risk of developing ringworm. For instance, overcrowding or being in close proximity to another person could lead to transfer of the infection. As well, these fungi thrive on moisture, so excessive sweatiness or poor hygiene can lead to an infection. This is why covered areas, such as the feet and groin, are often susceptible to fungal infections.

Signs and Symptoms of Scalp Ringworm

Before you rush out for hair loss treatment in Oakville or your local area to see if you have ringworm, there are some common signs and symptoms that can help you determine whether you’re suffering from the condition.

Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Itchiness of the scalp
  • Scaly or red patches on the scalp
  • Flaking skin or excessive dandruff
  • Bald spots on the scalp
  • Hair that breaks off
  • Brittle hair
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Crusty or pus-leaking swellings on the scalp

Treatment of Ringworm of the Scalp

Ringworm of the scalp is one of the few conditions that won’t benefit from traditional hair loss treatment in Detroit or other cities. When ringworm is present, treatments need to focus primarily on eliminating the fungal infection, not on promoting more hair growth. Once the ringworm is eliminated, the hair loss will stop.

If you have ringworm of the scalp, it’s important to keep your scalp clean. Shower and wash hair at least once daily. Avoid wearing hats that can lead to excessive sweating of the scalp. Fungi feed off of warmth, moisture, and dead tissue, so hygiene is important.

Usually, hygiene won’t be enough to solve the problem. Specialized anti-fungal shampoos are typically needed to help kill the fungal infection. Some of these can be purchased over-the-counter, but for stronger solutions you may need a prescription from a doctor or hair loss specialist. Look for shampoos that contain ketoconazole or selenium sulfide.

If the ringworm has been treated and permanent hair loss has occurred, then it is important to see a hair loss specialist to explore your treatment options. Hair loss treatment in Mississauga and other major cities can often effectively restore hair growth.

For a free hair loss consultation, contact The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists, an experienced hair transplant organization located in the heart of Mississauga. We have 20 years of experience in hair transplants and replacements and hair loss treatment procedures. Feel free to contact us for more information about hair transplants or any other hair or scalp concern at (905) 272-0190.

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by Ken Robson

In business since August 1, 1986, I am the president and also a client at The Canadian Institute of Hair & Scalp Specialists. Having worked with a team of Doctors and Chemists over the years I have compiled a great deal of knowledge in this area, originally involved with a Pharmaceutical company manufacturing vitamins for the hair loss industry. Years ago I was fascinated by the new developments in this area as my own hair was beginning to thin. Studying Trichology at the Toronto clinic I then opened my own office and have enjoyed it ever since.