Health warning in Málaga due to ringworm outbreak

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MÁLAGA – Dermatologists in Malaga are warning of an outbreak of ‘tinea capitis’ or ringworm, an infectious disease caused by fungi that affect the scalp. All patients had a ‘slicked back’ haircut with a ‘high shave’ fitted at ‘cheap’ hairdressers.

The longer hair on top of the head is then combed back tightly and styled. To keep the currently trendy haircut men – in this case – shave the hair on the back of their neck several times a month. And that is where the problem arose in Málaga. The ringworm appears as a reddish outline on the skin, a kind of ring, hence the name ‘ringworm’.

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In the newspaper SUR, a dermatologist explains that it is a specific ringworm that has been “very common” in Africa and the United States for a few years but is still rare in Europe and Spain. The outbreak in Malaga specifically concerns ringworm which affects the scalp. The Trichophyton tonsurans. The dermatologist points out that the fungus spreads through infected razors. He has seen dozens of cases during his consultations. And all those cases had in common that the patients had regularly visited a ‘low-cost’ hairdresser to keep their haircuts up-to-date.

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Mycological research has established that it is an anthropophilic fungus, i.e. the infection is from person to person. This is in contrast to zoophiles, in whom the infection goes from animal to human. According to tot the consulted dermatologist, the fungus is very similar to the skin disease psoriasis. This is why doctors sometimes initially treated the condition with topical corticosteroids, which brought about a worsening of the symptoms.

Cases spread across the province

The detection of the cases has already spread to the rest of the province. The Dermatology department of the Hospital Clinico in the provincial capital has confirmed this. There too, they have observed an increase in cases in recent months. And those patients also regularly received a ‘slicked back’ haircut at cheap hairdressers. That is why hairdressing professionals are instructed by dermatologists and health authorities to detect and stop the chain of transmission.

What is Ringworm?

A Ringworm is a common skin infection caused by a fungus. The name is “ringworm” because it can cause a circular rash (shaped like a ring) that is usually red and itchy. Anyone can get ringworm. The fungi that cause this infection can live on the skin, surfaces, and household items such as clothes, towels, and bedding.

Ringworm goes by many names. The medical terms are ‘tinea’ or ‘dermatophytosis’. Other names for ringworm are based on their location on the body. For example, ringworm on the feet is also referred to as “fungus.”

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