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Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Ringworm of the Scalp or Beard - When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor if you suspect you have ringworm of the scalp or beard, and:

  • The skin on your scalp or beard area is scaling, peeling, itchy, red, or has swollen areas and bumps that look like blisters and that have pus.
  • You have hair loss that occurs in patches.
  • You have pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or heat in the infected scalp or beard area.
  • You have a fever of 100°F (37.78°C) or higher with no other cause.
  • Your dandruff does not improve after 2 weeks of treatment with dandruff shampoo.

Watchful waiting

Symptoms such as flakes of dead skin on the scalp can be due to dandruff, which should go away in about 2 weeks if treated with dandruff shampoos. But if the symptoms are due to ringworm of the scalp or beard, you need to be treated with antifungal pills to completely destroy the fungi.

Who to see

The following health professionals can diagnose and treat ringworm of the scalp or beard:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.


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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