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Kerion Causes

Usually presenting itself as raised, pus-filled and spongy lesions, a kerion is the result of the host's response to a fungal ringworm infection of the hair follicles of the scalp and beard accompanied by secondary bacterial infections.

Kerion Definition

A scalp condition that occurs in severe cases of scalp ringworm (tinea capitis), appearing as an inflamed, thickened, pus-filled area, and it is sometimes accompanied by a fever is called kerion. Commonly seen in children, the underlying condition, scalp ringworm is a usually harmless fungal infection of the hair and scalp that occurs as scaly spots and patches of broken hair on the head.

Kerion Diagnosis

A kerion is often diagnosed by the doctor by just looking at it, however, in order to confirm the diagnosis, he or she may wish to scrape some surface skin scales onto a slide and examine them under a microscope.

Kerion Symptoms and Signs

Appearing as a thick, mushy area of the scalp, a kerion is often studded with pus-filled bumps (pustules), and can break open drain pus. If a kerion is untreated, it can lead to scarring and permanent hair loss (alopecia). Kerion may be accompanied by fever and pain, and in addition, the lymph nodes at the back of the scalp, behind the ears, or along the sides of the neck may be swollen.

Kerion Treatment

Oral antifungal pills or syrup such as ketoconazole, griseofulvin, fluconazole, terbinafine and itraconazole help treat kerion and scalp ringworm which usually require at least 6-8 weeks of treatment. This is because the fungus grows deep into the hair follicle where topical creams and lotions cannot penetrate.

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