The most common types of scalp infections are typically fungal, bacterial, or virus induced. In some cases, they can be the result of an infestation of parasites. Scalp infections are common and typically do not pose any major health risks. They are considered the primary cause of hair loss not related to pattern baldness. Many treatments are available to help treat these infections.
Infectious folliculitis is a common type of scalp infection. It is more likely to occur to a scalp that has already been abraded either by wounding or excessive scratching. This leaves the scalp open and more susceptible to viruses and fungus. In infection folliculitis, the area directly surrounding the hair follicle can become reddened and puss-filled. If left untreated, it can cause large boils that can spread to other parts of the body.
Seborrheic dermatitis is actually a skin disorder, but it can lead to scalp infections that sometimes spread to the skin underneath the eyebrows and eyelashes. It causes the skin to scale and can be quite painful. It also causes excessive itching in the affected areas. It is often seen in babies, and is referred to as "cradle cap." Though the actual cause of seborrheic dermatitis is still unclear, it is believed to be genetic in nature.
Another common scalp infection is tinea capitis, more commonly referred to as ringworm. It is caused by a fungus and might spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. It starts as a tiny red bump that looks much like a pimple, and then gradually spreads out into the formation of a ring. People who suffer from this type of infection will often have severe scaling of the scalp, along with irritation and hair breakage. Ringworm is sometimes contagious, so it should be treated promptly.
Treatments for scalp infections vary, and many are available without prescription. Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal shampoos and creams are available at most drug stores. In addition, there are some home remedies that sometimes cure scalp infections. One home remedy that has been around for centuries is apple cider vinegar. Used as a daily rinse, it is believed to cure most types of scalp infections.
In cases where the infection does not respond to over-the-counter medications or home remedies, a physician should probably be consulted. Doctors can perform a variety of tests to determine exactly what type of infection is present. Once that has been determined, the proper course of treatment can be determined. In some cases, antibiotics are needed to completely clear up the infection.