hair loss due to ringworm on scalp/tinea capitis
February 2, 2023 7:08 PM   Subscribe

How long does it take for the hair to grow back after this fungal infection (treating with oral anti-fungals)? My 11 year old niece has lost two nickel size patches of her long curly hair due to getting ringworm on her scalp. She is very distressed and anxious to know when it will grow back.

As someone who lost all my hair during chemo, I feel her pain - and as I recall, it took at least 3 years from me being totally bald to having long hair again. From what I understand, though, ringworm attacks the hair shaft and not the follicles like chemo does, meaning (hopefully?) that it won't take as long to grow out.

I'd love to hear from people with experience of this infection (themselves or their kids) or from those who work in dermatology. Maybe hair stylists too, if you've seen clients with this condition! AFAIK, the scalp takes longer to heal than other skin on the body, so please limit answers to that.
posted by CancerSucks to Health & Fitness (2 answers total)
I'm not sure exactly how long it will take to start growing once the infection is cleared.

Once it does, it will take a while. 3 years from totally bald to long hair is well within normal, regardless of the cause of the loss.

Hair typically grows at the rate of 1/2 inch a month and if it's curly then it will take longer to look long because it needs to have enough length to weigh down and not spring up. It might be a couple of months before she feels confident that it really is growing back but it should be easy to blend in to the rest of her hair after that point.
posted by plonkee at 3:18 AM on February 3

My kids had a round or two of ringworm, only one had it on the scalp. (my stepdaughter had it on the very tip of her nose, poor thing. I told her to tell people she got sunburn).

The usual ointments didn't work on my son's scalp. We had to get a special one from the doctor. Sadly, he's a boy with usually short hair so it grew back fairly fast. But for a girl with, presumably, longer hair, I'm so sorry.

Can she adopt a "look" for a bit? A headband that can pull hair back and over the problem spot? A beanie as a statement piece? I'm sorry I can't be of more help.
posted by annieb at 5:27 PM on February 3

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