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DD's scalp infection...

(11 Posts)
tkband3 Tue 20-Oct-15 16:57:19

DD1 (age 12) has an awful fungal infection on her scalp. Her whole scalp has been covered in massive bumps and flakes of rough skin. It's being treated - she's taking an oral medication to fight the infection and we're having to oil her head and wash it every night with medicated shampoo. It's definitely improving, but in order for it to get better, all the flakes have to come off her head - this makes it look like she has terrible dandruff and she's really self-conscious about it. Someone commented on it yesterday, asking her if she had crackers in her hair and she told me last night that she wasn't going to school today. I made her go in - said she could only stay home if she was actually ill and today she's come home even more upset because someone else laughed at her today.

Even more distressingly, when I try to brush out, or pick out the flakes, huge clumps of her hair come out in my hands - she has noticeable bald patches now sad and she used to have such gorgeous long, thick hair. She was already finding year 8 tough, with a few friendship issues, which have been sorted for now but this isn't helping her confidence at all.

Am I doing the right thing in making her go to school? It's only three more days till half term and I'm now wavering as to whether to let her stay home. I'm considering giving the school a call and talking to them about the situation, maybe asking them to send work home - or am I over-reacting and she should just stick it out until half term?

insan1tyscartching Tue 20-Oct-15 17:15:21

I wouldn't send her to be ridiculed, her mental health is just as importantas her physical health. Hopefully by the end of half term her scalp will be much better.

iwaly Tue 20-Oct-15 17:22:09

To be honest when I read this I was more worried about the hair loss - this doesn't sound right to me and I wonder if you have had medical advice about whether you should continue the treatment? Sorry don't want to offend but just want to check you aren't doing more harm than good. Some treatments might have adverse side effects which mean you should stop them or ask medical advice about them - were you told this hair loss could happen? Might be worth another visit to the GP or at least speaking to a pharmacist. My DD has had scalp infection once (fungal) but only topical treatments (creams and special shampoo) which did lead to flaking but not clumps of hair coming out.

Also try and be very gentle with the hair as pulling on it a lot could worsen the hair loss. I know you want to get the flakes out but it might be putting extra stress on the hair to do that.

I would probably keep her off school if she is very distressed - having been through year 8 with 3 DC I would say it is not such a critical year.

tkband3 Tue 20-Oct-15 18:36:50

Thanks both for your replies. I will go back to the doctor about the hair loss. What creams and special shampoo did your DD have to have iwaly?

I will talk to DH tonight about keeping her off - hopefully he'll be understanding - and will email her form tutor (who is lovely) about getting some work sent to us.

iwaly Wed 21-Oct-15 09:23:33

I cant remember what creams etc we used so I was just looking online to see if I could prompt my memory and see what it was we were using and I have just read that some more serious infections do need medication as creams are not enough and that some do result in hair loss - so apologies but it sounds like your DD might have the more serious one than we had. I am surprised they didn't warn you it could happen but it does look like she needs to take the full course of the medication or it could come back. You also need to make sure you keep washing all the towels, bedding etc as it can come back or someone else could get infected.

I hope the worst of it is over soon and you can keep her off school and relax over half term.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 21-Oct-15 09:29:48

Are you absolutely sure of the diagnosis?

I have terrible scalp psoriasis, have had since I was little and the best way to get rid of the scales is to use either cocois (might not be the right thing for a fungal infection) or coconut oil on the scalp. Rub it in gently and then put on a shower cap and leave on over night. Old towel and pillowcase down just in case the shower cap gets removed by accident!
Then very gently comb out what you can. It may take a few days worth of repeating this.
To remove the gunk rub in shampoo before you wet the hair, then wash and repeat as necessary.

Poor love, if I'm not on top of it I still leave a trail of snow where ever I go and it is tricky. I've found that by dying my hair very blonde it doesnt show as much, but that isnt very helpful for a pre teen.

tkband3 Wed 21-Oct-15 10:26:26

I did wonder about psoriasis and asked the doctor about it, but he said it's a fungal infection called Tinea Capitis, which (on further investigation) seems to be another name for ringworm of the scalp and highly infectious! I've checked with the doctor though and he says you'd have to try pretty hard to pass it on to someone just with normal contact, so he's not concerned.

The doctor didn't warn me about the hair loss, but on questioning him further yesterday, it seems that it's quite normal with this kind of infection and once the scalp is healthy again, her hair will grow back. She has really long hair and I'm sure it would be easier if it were cut shorter, but I think that really would be the last straw for her, poor thing. It would certainly be easier if she were blonde, or even light brown like her twin sisters, but she has really dark hair, so the flakes are even more visible.

We have been oiling her hair, but only for a few hours each evening, as there just isn't time to wash it thoroughly enough in the morning. Once she's off school, we'll start leaving the treatment on overnight and then washing in the morning.

Thanks so much for replying - I really appreciate the advice and help. It's really hard for her and I'm taking the brunt of her frustration and distress with it all, as well as trying to treat it and not show how upset I am at how much hair she's losing.

G1veMeStrength Wed 21-Oct-15 10:31:41

I think you can legitimately keep her off school - you've said yourself you don't have enough/'as much as you would like ideally' time to treat her condition - so I would let her stay off sick.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 21-Oct-15 10:34:09

If you keep her off at least you can get the overnight treatment under way.

neonshine Wed 21-Oct-15 11:00:32

Pls note I'm not in the UK so the names of meds might be different or some unavailable but There are effective otc topical treatments you can get to effectively remove the scales/flakes. I have also been struggling with scalp fungus, mainly because it's been mis-diagnosed as psoriasis and sebhorric dermatitis.
To remove the scales/flakes I find the following to be more effective than others:
Diprosalic lotion (combination of beta methasone and salicylic acid). This is non-greasy and washes out.
Elicasal (mometasone furoate and salicylic acid) it's an ointment and actually quite difficult to was out but very effective.
Over the counter: Ducray Kertyol P.S.O. Keratoreducing Cream (Sulphur, glycolic acid and Kertyol) - non greasy, easy to wash out but while on doesn't smell great. Very effective. If you can't find it in the pharmacy stores I'm sure you could find the last one on Amazon.

tkband3 Fri 23-Oct-15 12:24:18

Just wanted to say thanks again for all the help and advice. DD's scalp seems to be finally improving - it feels so much less scabby and scaly when I massage the shampoo in, and there are fewer flakes when we brush the hair. She has to keep taking the medication to ensure the follicles are completely cured of the infection, and then her hair will both stop falling out and start growing back.

I have noted down all the suggested oils and lotions etc so we can make sure it doesn't come back.

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