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Ringworm of the Scalp (Tinea Capitis) - A Natural Treatment with Essential Oils

What is ringworm of the scalp (Tinea Capitis) ?

Ringworm of the scalp is not really a worm, but a fungal infection. It gets the name ringworm because it makes circular marks on the skin, often with flat centers and raised borders. Also called Tinea capitis, this infection affects your scalp and hair shafts, causing small patches of itchy, scaly skin.

Ringworm is a highly contagious infection that’s usually spread through person-to-person contact or by sharing combs, towels, hats, or pillows. Ringworm is most common in children, but can infect a person of any age.


Fungi called dermatophytes cause ringworm of the scalp. Fungi are organisms that thrive on dead tissue, such as fingernails, hair, and the outer layers of your skin. Dermatophytes prefer warmth and moisture, so they thrive on sweaty skin.

Ringworm spreads easily, especially among children. You can get ringworm from touching the skin of an infected person. If you use combs, bedding, or other objects that have been used by an infected person, you’re also at risk.

House pets, such as cats and dogs, can spread ringworm, too. Farm animals like goats, cows, horses, and pigs can also be carriers. However, these animals might not show any signs of infection.


The most common symptom of ringworm is itchy patches on the scalp. Sections of hair may break off near the scalp, leaving scaly, red areas or bald spots. You may see black dots where the hair has broken off. Left untreated, these areas can gradually grow and spread.

Other symptoms include:

brittle hair

painful scalp

swollen lymph nodes

low-grade fever

In more severe cases, you may develop crusty swellings called kerion that drain pus. These can lead to permanent bald spots and scarring.

How it’s diagnosed

A visual exam is often enough for a doctor to diagnose ringworm of the scalp.


Your doctor will probably prescribe fungi-killing oral medication and medicated shampoo.

Medicated shampoo

Your doctor may prescribe a medicated shampoo to remove fungus and prevent the spread of infection. Another option is an all natural anti-fungal shampoo with essential oils. You can purchase ours here:

Recovery and reinfection

Ringworm heals very slowly. It can take more than a month to see any improvement. Be patient and continue taking all medication as directed.

Preventing ringworm of the scalp

The dermatophytes that cause ringworm are common and contagious. This makes prevention difficult. Because children are especially susceptible, tell your children about the risks of sharing hair brushes and other personal items. Regular shampooing, hand washing, and other normal hygiene routines can help prevent the spread of infection.


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