ZocdocAnswersHow to get rid of a scalp infection?

Question

How to get rid of a scalp infection?

I'm a 29 year old Army soldier. I received a large scratch on the top of my head. Which over time became infected. It itches regularly. I have used Doxycycline anit-biotic and a topical foam, and the symptoms continue to return

Answer

The treatments that you have been using for a recurrent scalp infection (folliculitis, or infection of the hair shafts) are pretty good. Therefore, I think it is especially important for you to see your primary care doctor to figure out what is going on and what treatment is necessary. Folliculitis of the scalp can be difficult to treat sometimes, especially in chronic cases. There may be issues of antibiotic resistance of the bacteria causing the infection or a need for a longer course of antibiotics. Your doctor can help you with this decision. Furthermore, sometimes what is thought to be a bacterial infection of the scalp turns out to be instead tinea capitis, a fungal infection of the scalp. This is an important distinction, because fungal infections require antifungal medications and will not respond well to regular antibiotics. Similarly, sometimes an inflammatory condition of the scalp, known as seborrheic dermatitis, is mistaken for a scalp infection, Seborrheic dermatitis, unlike a scalp infection, is more itchy and scaly. It may respond to dandruff shampoos, steroid creams, and exfoliation. As you can see, the first step will be for you to set up an appointment with your doctor and get a definitive diagnosis of what is going on.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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