Fungal infections of the scalp are also called ringworm infections. This is, however, a misnomer as there are no worms involved in the infection. Fungal infections in the scalp appear as red, round spots that itch; they can eventually lead to hair loss also. Severe infections can lead to scarring, preventing hair re-growth.
Fungal infections occur through contact with infected towels, combs, brushes and so on. Pets too can be carriers of this infection. Some people are carriers, that is, they are not infected, but they carry the spores that infect others. Fungal infections are more common among children, though entire families can be affected. One can treat fungal infections with natural or prescription medicines.
1. Anti-Fungal Shampoos
The most common method of treating fungal infections is through the use of an anti-fungal shampoo. This shampoo kills the fungus on the scalp and hair. However, it cannot penetrate the scalp and reach the hair roots. For tackling the fungus that has penetrated the scalp, oral anti-fungal medicines are prescribed. Oral anti-fungal medicines are needed to get rid of the fungal infection from the root of the hair, as well as under the scalp.
2. Prescription Medicines
Prescription medicines such as Fluconazole, Itraconazole, Ketoconazole, Terbinafine and Griseofulvin are given to combat hair fungal infections. These have side effects that range from nausea to headaches. Women of child-bearing age should take care not to conceive for at least a month after they stop taking these medicines. Men should take care to use contraceptives for at least 6 months after they stop taking these medicines. In spite of their side effects, these are very effective treatments against scalp ring worm.
3. Raw Papaya
A paste of raw papaya applied on the scalp and left for 30 minutes will help get rid of scalp fungus. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo after this treatment. Continue doing this on alternate days until the scalp ringworm is totally gone.
4. Mustard Seed Paste
Many people also find a paste of mustard seeds to be effective against scalp ringworm. Again, apply the paste to the scalp and leave for 30 minutes, before rinsing with a mild shampoo. Do this everyday until the infection is cured.
5. Fenugreek Seed Paste
To make a paste of fenugreek seeds, you need to soak them in water for about nine hours. Then, grind them into a fine paste and apply on your scalp. Leave the paste on for a half-an-hour and wash using a mild shampoo. Repeat this treatment every day until the infection disappears completely.
Advantage of Home Remedies
One major advantage of home remedies is the lack of side effects. The entire family can safely use these treatments to get rid of the fungus. These are also low-cost treatment options for those on a tight budget.
Apart from washing infected combs and brushes, one needs to wash pillow cases and towels everyday. In case you use a hat or scarf to cover your head, these too need to be washed everyday. If one member of the family has scalp ringworm, inspect the heads of everyone, especially the children in the family. Warn the school about the infection so that other children can take precautionary measures to stop the spread of this infection. If you suspect a pet of spreading the infection in your home, consult a vet immediately.