Fungal infection of the scalp is known as tinea capitis. It is common in children, and less often seen in adults. Tinea capitis can present with a dry scaling and smooth areas of hair loss. A kerion or very inflamed mass, if left untreated, can result in permanent scarring and hair loss. Neck lymph nodes can also be significantly enlarged.
The diagnosis is often suspected if there is a combination of scale and hair loss, and sometimes scrapings from the scalp or hair clippings can help isolate the fungus. Fortunately, Dr Ophelia finds that tinea capitis usually responds well to tablet antifungal treatments.