Ringworm, or medicinally known as alopecia areata, is a disease characterized by the sudden loss of a person's hair or other hairs such as eyebrows, eyelashes and beard in a short time. When it occurs on the scalp, it manifests itself with round or oval shaped balding areas that are easily visible from the outside. After a while, hair grows again in balding areas or new lesions develop. Ringworm occurs mainly in young people. 100 to 70 of every 80 people affected by the disease are under the age of 40. It is more common in men than in women. What causes ringworm (Alopecia areata)? What are ringworm risk factors? What are the symptoms of ringworm? How is ringworm diagnosed? How is ringworm treatment done?
What Causes Ringworm (Alopecia Areata)?
Ringworm disease the cause is not known exactly. But it is thought to be caused by autoimmune causes. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body recognizes its own cells and tissues as foreign. As a result, the immune system attacks the person's own cells. In ringworm, immune cells attack the hair follicles, stopping the hair growth and causing hair loss.
Studies show that ringworm is also associated with genetic factors. The risk of developing this condition in a child of a parent with ringworm is approximately 3 to 6 times higher than the normal population. Again, some diseases can be seen with ringworm, which supports the effect of genetic factors. Some of these diseases are;
- Chronic inflammatory thyroid disease
- Addison's disease
- Hay fever
- Atopic allergic asthma
What Are Ringworm Risk Factors?
- Age, most patients begin under the age of 40.
- Gender tends to get ringworm more often than women.
- Genetic predisposition
- Down syndrome
- Autoimmune disease
What Are Ringworm Symptoms?
Ringworm symptoms It is characteristic and manifests itself with one or more smooth, oval and hairless areas on the scalp. The skin in the affected area is healthy and there is no inflammation of the skin.
Hair loss usually starts on the scalp. However, all kinds of scalp, including eyelashes, eyebrows, armpits, beard and pubic hair, can be affected by ringworm and changes in the nail structure may occur. The clinical picture is variable and differs from person to person. The course of the disease is unpredictable and sometimes chronically recurrent.
Spontaneous recovery, stabilization or worsening of course may occur during the illness. When the hair grows back in the bald area, it is usually pigment free, ie white at first.
How Is Ringworm Diagnosed?
Ringworm symptoms Since it is quite typical, the diagnosis is mostly made by the patients and their relatives before going to the doctor. However, in some cases ringworm, hair fungus can interfere. For a correct diagnosis, it is necessary to consult a dermatologist. Your doctor will first question your symptoms and check your hair loss degree. It tries to confirm the diagnosis by examining several hair samples under a microscope. If necessary, a piece is taken for a definitive diagnosis and an examination is made in pathology.
How to Treat Ringworm?
Ringworm treatmentIt is planned by a dermatologist. The aim of treatment is to stop the progression of the disease and to reduce the severity of the symptoms. In some mild and early stages, the hair grows back on its own without any treatment.
In the more advanced stages or in the presence of severe symptoms, steroid group drugs are used in the treatment. Steroids are primarily applied in cream form. In later stages, depending on the situation, it can be applied to the scalp with an injector. Eye contour applications require attention as they may be risky for eye health. Alopecia areata can be treated with drugs other than the steroid group and a different method called immunotherapy.
If you complain of alopecia-like hair loss, it is important that you apply to a dermatologist and be examined and treated in order to prevent the disease from progressing.