While scalp fungus can't be completely cleared up without medication from a doctor, there are many things you can do at home to speed up the recovery process.
Get rid of any items that have touched the affected area. This includes combs, brushes, hats, headbands, barrettes or anything else that has come in contact with your scalp. If you are using a hat or scarf to hide your condition in public, wash the hat after each use to keep from re-infecting yourself. Additionally, wash your sheets and pillowcases every day. That may sound like a hassle, but it will prevent the fungus from living there.
Wash your hair regularly with an antifungal shampoo. Afterwards, make sure your scalp is dry. Also, be sure to clean your scalp immediately if you get sweaty, because scalp fungus grows well in damp environments. Your antifungal shampoo should contain selenium sulfide or ketoconazole as ingredients.
Make sure other family members and pets get tested if they have been exposed. Contrary to some myths, you do not need to shave your head if you have scalp fungus. If you do shave your head, be very careful about the disposal of hair and the razor. You don't want infected hairs floating around your bathroom [source: WebMD].
Most likely you'll be able to diagnose scalp fungus yourself because of its distinctive round, bald, reddish itchy patches. A doctor can quickly confirm your self-diagnosis, and the sooner you see one, the sooner you can begin treatment and rid yourself of the condition.
To learn more about treating and diagnosing scalp fungus, follow the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Family Physicians. "Tinea Infections: Athlete's Foot, Jock Itch and Ringworm." March 2009. (Sept. 30, 2009)http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/infections/common/fungal/316.printerview.html
- American Cancer Society. "Detailed Guide: Thyroid Cancer." May 14, 2009. (Sept. 30, 2009)http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cri_2_4_2x_what_are_the_risk_factors_for_thyroid_cancer_43.asp?sitearea=cri
- Berman, Kevin. "Tinea capitis." MedlinePlus Encyclopedia. Sept. 21, 2009. (Sept. 30, 2009)http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000878.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Ringworm and Animals." (Sept. 30, 2009)http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/diseases/ringworm.htm
- Hyde, Patrice. "Fungal Infections." Kids Health. Sept. 2007. (Sept. 30, 2009)http://kidshealth.org/kid/health_problems/skin/fungus.html#
- Lewis, Rachel A. "Ringworm." MedlinePlus Encyclopedia. Sept. 21, 2009. (Sept. 30, 2009)http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001439.htm
- Skinsight. "Ringworm, Scalp (Tinea Capitis)." Dec. 22, 2008. (Sept. 30, 2009)http://www.skinsight.com/child/tineaCapitis.htm
- WebMD. "Ringworm of the Scalp or Beard." March 24, 2009. (Sept. 30, 2009)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/ringworm-of-the-scalp-or-beard-cause