Scalp Fungus Overview

Scalp fungus can be more difficult to treat than other forms of ringworm. See more pictures of skin problems.
© Dyer

Scalp fungus is commonly referred to as ringworm, which is a bit of a misnomer because the condition is not caused by worms. Rather, it has its name because of the round rings that appear on your scalp. The skin on infected areas may appear normal near the center of the round patch, but it will probably look irritated near the edges. These areas may be reddish in color and feel sore or itchy. They may even develop blisters [sources: Lewis].

Ringworm is more common among children than adults, although anyone can get it. It occurs on the scalp or, on an adult, even underneath facial hair. Some cases even infect the eyebrows and eyelashes, but this is rare. Other fungal infections on the body are caused by ringworm, too. Jock itch and athlete's foot, caused by fungus that thrives in sweaty places like locker rooms and gym shoes, affect the groin area and feet, and they're also forms of ringworm [source: Lewis].

The main difference between scalp fungus and fungus elsewhere on the body is that scalp fungus can be trickier to treat, so you need to see a doctor if you think you may be infected. Just as it's easy to pick up athlete's foot by following in the bare footsteps of someone else who has the condition, scalp fungus is contagious through contact. So think twice about trying to hide a ringworm outbreak under a hat -- anyone else who wears it could become infected, and you could also re-infect yourself.

Preventing scalp fungus is easy once you know what causes it. For more tips, read the next page about the causes of scalp fungus.