What is the prognosis of tinea capitis (scalp ringworm)?

Updated: Feb 21, 2020
  • Author: Marc Zachary Handler, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Tinea capitis carries a positive prognosis, with the vast majority of those treated obtaining resolution of the infection. Those who have maintained untreated or resistant-to-treatment tinea capitis are at risk for abscess development, referred to as a kerion. [14]  

Continuous shedding of fungal spores may last several months despite active treatment; therefore, keeping patients with tinea capitis out of school is impractical. The causes of treatment failure include reinfection, relative insensitivity of the organism, suboptimal absorption of the medication, and lack of compliance with the long courses of treatment. T tonsurans and Microsporum species are typical offending agents in persistent positive cases. If fungi can still be isolated from the lesional skin at the completion of treatment, but clinical signs have improved, the recommendation is to continue the original regimen for another month.

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