Does anybody actually like dealing with scalp infections? Well, actually we do. Yes, we know scalp fungus causes hair loss—and can be uncomfortable and itchy. But we’ve done our scalp infection research and have solutions for you. Not only will we tell you the difference between scalp fungus and plain old dry skin, but we’ll also share how and why scalp infections happen. Plus, we’ve got scalp fungus treatment options. Here’s what we know.
What Causes Scalp Infections? / How do scalp infections happen?
The main type of fungal infection on the scalp that can cause hair loss comes from a class of fungi called dermatophytes—which cause ringworm. Ringworm (which has nothing to do with worms, btw) is an infection that can develop anywhere on the body—it’s also responsible for athlete’s foot and nail fungus. Also known as tinea capitis, ringworm normally starts out looking like a pimple on the scalp and then expands making the skin scaly and red. In fact, ringworm is often confused for dandruff, as the symptoms are similar.
Another form of fungal infection on the scalp is a scalp yeast infection. Yeast infections can form on or in any part of the body— feet and fingernails are common victims. A scalp yeast infection, however, is caused by too much yeast on the scalp. A result of unbalanced conditions on the scalp, some common conditions that contribute to a scalp yeast infection are:
- Unhealthy diet
- Medical conditions
- High levels of stress
- Medication side effects
- Chemicals in hair products
Is Dandruff a Fungus?
Dandruff is a common concern for many people. Dandruff itself is not fungus, however, it can form as a result of fungus such as yeast on the scalp. Sickness, stress, and cold weather can also cause dandruff to form or worsen. When you have dandruff, dead skin cells and oils build up on your scalp and cause the skin to itch and flake.
How Do I Know it is Scalp Fungus?
- The symptoms of scalp infections normally look like severe dandruff and may be mistaken for psoriasis. Make sure to get a diagnosis from a doctor before taking any medicine to treat a fungal infection the scalp.
- Scalp fungus causes hair loss in patches because it affects the hair fibers. Fungus can cause those hairs to break and fall out more easily than normal, leaving a bald patch of skin. It also contributes to hair loss by causing itchiness, which makes us scratch the scalp and worsen hair loss.
- Sometimes small blisters can develop on the skin.
- In serious cases, scalp fungus can cause big bumps or swellings in certain areas of the scalp. These can hurt and, if not treated, can cause permanent hair loss and scars.
- In case of a very severe infection, a fever and swollen glands may also develop
- Still in doubt? Search online for some scalp fungus pictures to get an idea of what scalp infections look like. Compare your scalp to the scalp fungus pictures to see if it looks similar. Again, it’s important to get a firm diagnosis from a doctor before beginning a scalp fungus treatment regimen that involves medicine.
Ugh. How Did I Get Scalp Fungus?
Sometimes a scalp infection forms on its own because of the conditions on your scalp. Medications, cleanliness, weather, and other elements can all play a role in scalp health. However, scalp fungus can also be spread through outside sources.
Ringworm, or scalp fungus, spread from person to person through touch or sharing towels. It can also spread via animals, as dogs and cats sometimes have fungal infections on their skin. It primarily affects children. The fungi spores can stay alive for a really long time and spread from hairbrushes and even furniture. It is even possible to get fungus because the spores were floating in the air and then landed on your head! Although it is really easy to catch a scalp fungus, it does not affect all people. Some are just carriers of the spores and pass them on to others.
What Can Be Done About Scalp Fungus
To deal with scalp fungus, you can use a topical scalp fungus treatment like shampoo. But if you have a stubborn case of the infection, or you want to get rid of it as fast as possible, you might need to take medication for it. There are also natural home remedies for scalp fungus treatment.
- Azadirachta Indica leaves can help fight skin irritations, fungus, itching or excessive oil. They come from a tree that grows in India and South Asia. To use the leaves as a remedy, put three handfuls of them in hot water overnight. The next morning, use the water to rinse out your hair. You can also mash the leaves up and turn them into a paste that you apply to your scalp.
- Apple cider vinegar is a classic remedy for scalp fungus. One good scalp fungus treatment is to mix apple cider vinegar with green tea, lemon juice, and rosemary. Try rinsing your hair with it or spray it onto your scalp and leave it in for 40 minutes before washing out.
- You can also use Fenugreek seeds, an herb from the Mediterranean, to get rid of fungi. Boil a tablespoon of crushed seeds in a cup of coconut oil for at least five minutes. After it cools, strain it and massage the liquid into your scalp. Let it sit for a few hours and then wash your hair as usual.
Whichever technique you use to get rid of your scalp fungus, make sure to avoid sharing towels and hairbrushes with other people to reduce the risk of spreading this very contagious infection. Although scalp fungus can be easy to get rid of, it can take a while to get hair growing again. Eating a well-balanced diet plays an important role in promoting scalp health and keeping infections at bay. If you’re stressed or have trouble getting enough vitamins and minerals, choosing a natural hair supplement with all the essential nutrients for healthy hair might be a good option.