Can Fungal Infections Cause Hair Loss?

Can Fungal Infections Cause Hair Loss?

May 22
Can Fungal Infections Cause Hair Loss?

Hair loss is global concern that can affect all people at some point of their lives. There’re a number of causes of hair loss including genetic and environmental factors. Most people associate with mild thinning and hair loss in their 30s and 40s because of genetics. However, many of them experience the condition due to stress, medication, poor diet and other infections. Fungal infections sometimes can be blamed for hair loss. Some fungal infections result in fragile and breaking hair strands, causing hair loss. While you can’t do more for genetic factors, you can look for medical care for environment triggers.

Can fungal infections cause hair loss?

A healthy scalp is important to reduce hair loss by pollution, dirt exposure, bacteria and fungi. But, people with a fungal infection possess an unhealthy scalp that is responsible for thinning, dry and hair loss. Some fungal infections often start out as pimple or too itching sensation and then quickly spread. The fungi commonly come into the hair strands and make the hair strands fragile, causing hair loss and bald patches. Besides, they develop when you don’t clean your hair and scalp often. So, if you’re experiencing a fungal infection on the scalp, you should seek proper treatment to destroy the fungus.

Related: 10 Causes of Hair Loss

People with a fungal infection possess an unhealthy scalp that is responsible for hair loss

What types of fungal infections can commonly cause hair loss?

Hair loss related fungal infections can be caused by three main types, including:

  1. Dermatophytes

The fungi need keratin for growth and directly cause superficial infections of the hair, face and nails. The dermatophyte Tinea Capitis, also known as ringworm, is one of the common fungal infections of the scalp. Although the infection often affects children between 2- 10 years old, it can attack people of all ages, especially males. On the scalp, ringworm starts as a small pimple that develops in sizes progressively, leaving hair loss and bald patches. Besides, the affected areas are itchy and red with scaly patches. The following symptoms may help you recognize the fungal infection clearly:

  • Round bald patches on the scalp
  • Itching like crazy on affected areas
  • Scratching, leading to hair loss
  • Fragile, broken hairs
  • Bald patches with blisters and ooze

Ringworm with round bald patches on the scalp may cause hair loss

However, most scalp conditions are linked with similar symptoms. So, when you assume a fungal infection on the scalp, your doctor may collect sample on the scalp and analyze it under the microscopic. If the result is positive, she or he will prescribe proper treatment, including:

  • A shampoo with antifungal properties, such as ciclopirox 1%, selenium sulfide 1 or 2.5%. Use them at least 2 times weekly to reduce the shedding of fungal spores.
  • Clotrimazole, Terbinafine can be used to treat ringworm. Besides, Fugacil is one of the best antifungal creams for fungal infections. It helps kill the fungus and prevent it from coming back.
  • Your doctor may give Griseofulvin, Terbafine or Fluconazole to treat. But, these may have side effects and should be used in regulated time.

Related: How to Treat Ringworm Scars

  1. Malassezia infections

Malassezia are lipophilic yeasts which are commonly on the skin surface. They often cause dandruff and pityriasis. Most people have yeasts in the body, but don’t have a yeast infection. However, when triggers come, yeast begin to develop out of control. They also enter hair follicles distended with keratin, causing dandruff or pityriasis. Dandruff with itchy, reddish brown patches can lose 2 – 3 times more hair than non- dandruff. You should notice these risk factors of Malassezia infections, such as:

  • Poor hair hygiene
  • Extreme weather
  • Stress and fatigue
  • Ages after puberty
  • Having oily scalp

Malassezia infection often causes dandruff and pityriasis, leading to hair loss

To treat the infections, antidandruff shampoos may be chosen. These shampoos should have active ingredients:

  • Selenium sulfide
  • Coal and tar
  • Zinc pyriothine

Besides, topical lotions, mousses, terbinafine covering azoles and buteneafine are effective. In cases your condition is severe, systemic antifungal agents can be prescribed.

  1. Piedra

Piedra occurs when the hair strands are infected by fungus. The infection has impact on the scalp, genitals and body. Usually, the infection is benign. But, when it’s severe, the fungus weakens the hair strands, making it break easily. There’re two basic types of the infection: white piedra and black piedra. The main factors of the infection are high humidity and semi- dry hair.

To treat them, antifungal treatment such as terbinafine, ketoconazole and fugacil are effective. Besides, doctor can advise you to cut the affected hair to creams or drugs can penetrate into the scalp. You also need to avoid moistures.

Piedra infection sometimes results in hair loss

How to prevent fungal infections causing hair loss?

Unclean scalp and hair allow fungi and bacteria to develop. Some of the useful tips are:

  • Wash your hair often
  • Dry hair as fast as possible
  • Use combs with soft bristles to stop hair damage
  • Avoid sharing towels or combs with others
  • Avoid chemical shampoos
  • If infected, try to use antifungal shampoos and other medical soaps

Fungal infections actually cause hair loss. In most cases, these infections don’t directly cause hair loss. But, they result in itching and irritation that force you to scratch your hair. Thus, it’s necessary to avoid fungal infections first. Change your diet, lifestyle and avoid poor personal hygiene to stop fungal infections.

Related: Tips to Prevent the Spread of a Fungal Infection




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