UNAIR NEWS – A lecturer in Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine (FK) Universitas Airlangga, Evy Ervianti, dr., SpKK (K), FAADV recently conducted a research on tinea capitis. Tinea capitis is a name for a fungal disease from the type of dermatophyte that infects the hair shaft and scalp, especially in areas that are sweaty and damp.
Evy said tinea capitis mostly occur in prepubertal children. In prepubertal children free fatty acids are not yet produced on the scalp that are useful as ‘fungistatic’ or inhibit the growth of dermatophyte fungi.
“Please note that this disease keeps increasing in the last few decades,” she said.
She also added that the case of tinea capitis in Dr. Sutomo in 2014-2016 reached 42 new cases with most patients aged between 5-14 years old. Tinea capitis is very easy to spread through intermediaries such as combs that have been exposed to dermatophyte fungi, or due to direct contact with an infected person or from pets such as cats.
Evy revealed tinea capitis is divided into three types. The first is the gray patch with a characteristic grayish color on the scalp in the form of fine scales accompanied by baldness or local baldness due to hair loss infected by dermatophyte fungi. The second type is called ‘ black dot ‘ with the characteristics of black dots right at the mouth of the hair due to dermatophyte fungi that infect into the hair shaft. The third type, called ‘ kerion celsi ‘, is the most inflamed and wet type of infection with a pus filled lump and a yellow, circular skin crust with an unpleasant odor.
“Tinea capitis also causes enlargement of lymph nodes in the back of the neck area and mild fever,” she said.
Treatment for tinea capitis takes a long time. It needs about one month because the average antifungal drug given is fungistatic or inhibits fungal growth.
Therefore, prevention of tinea capitis can be done by reducing the risk of transmission, by starting a habit of hand hygiene. It can be done by washing hands or hair regularly and periodically every two days by using a shampoo containing antiseptics. Moreover, avoid using other people’s belongings such as combs, hats, hoods, towels, clothes and avoid fungal-infected animals.
Author: Aditya Novrian
Editor: Nuri Hermawan
Siti Amira Venitarani, Samsriyaningsih Handayani, Evy Ervianti. 2019. Profile of patients with tinea capitis, Dermatology Reports 2019; volume 11(s1):8042