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Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Ringworm of the Scalp or Beard - Symptoms

Most commonly, ringworm appears as one or more round or oval patches of baldness or scaly skin on the scalp or beard. Typically, the circular patches spread along their outer borders while clearing at the center, which gives them a ringed appearance and the name "ringworm." But you don't always see this pattern.

Other patterns include:

  • Patchy dandruff.
  • Scalp hair that breaks off at the surface, resulting in a "black dot" appearance, with mild to moderate dandruff.
  • Inflamed, reddened, crusty, tender, and swollen areas with small bumps that look like blisters.

Sometimes swollen lymph nodes and fever occur with ringworm infections.

When fungal infections occur, other areas of skin may have a delayed allergic reaction in the form of a rash that looks like blisters, known as an "id" reaction. Id reactions from ringworm of the scalp usually appear on the face.

Early diagnosis and treatment of ringworm of the scalp or beard may stop the infection from becoming uncomfortable and prevent scarring and permanent hair loss.

Ringworm can be confused with other conditions with similar symptoms.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 21, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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