In this article:
- What are topical antifungals?
- Where do you use topical antifungals?
- Can topical antifungals cause hair loss?
- How can you support hair regrowth after a fungal infection?
What Are Topical Antifungals?
A topical antifungal is used to treat a fungal infection on your skin. Indeed, fungal infections often show up in areas that are moist and where hair grows.
Fungi that colonize the human body include:
Topical antifungals come in a variety of solutions, including creams, solutions, gels, sprays, lacquers, lotions, and powders.
Many topical antifungals are available over-the-counter, but unless your infection is straightforward, it helps to consult your doctor for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.
Where Do You Use Topical Antifungals?
Topical antifungals can be used anywhere on the surface of your skin, including your:
- Toes and feet
However, they should generally stay away from mucous membranes unless specifically intended to treat a fungal infection in an area like the mouth or vagina.
The scalp is one of the most common areas we use antifungals. For this reason, we see a lot of antifungal medications in many dandruff-fighting shampoos to help curb fungal overgrowth.
Can Topical Antifungals Cause Hair Loss?
Some types of topical antifungals may cause hair loss, such as those intended to treat Tinea Versicolor. However, most topical antifungals will not cause hair loss but will rather help treat conditions that DO cause hair loss.
Common scalp conditions that may lead to hair loss include:
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Tinea capitis (or ringworm)
- Scalp psoriasis
But, the good news is most scalp fungal infections that do cause hair loss only last temporarily. However, a long-term infection can make it more difficult for you to regrow your hair. What is more, most fungal infections will not cause you to lose your hair all over your scalp but will instead show hair loss in patches.
How Can You Support Hair Regrowth After A Fungal Infection?
The most important step in treating hair loss from a fungal infection is to treat the infection itself.
Firstly, you will want to identify the type of infection you have so that you use the proper topical antifungal treatment. For example, ketoconazole can effectively treat most scalp fungal infections and is in some over-the-counter shampoos.
Ketoconazole is an ideal antifungal that combats one of the most common fungi found on the scalp--Malassezia. This type of yeast colonizes about 90% of people, but it can grow to unhealthy numbers when presented with the right conditions like:
- Excess sweating
- Oily skin
Most doctors will be able to identify Malassezia by looking at the infected area, but it can also be diagnosed by scraping the skin and observing it under the microscope.
Some shampoos that target hair loss will include ketoconazole in their recipe because it effectively treats Malassezia, which in turn heals the scalp and reduces inflammation. Excess skin and oil secretions on the scalp due to a fungal infection can hinder hair growth and damage the hair you do have on your head.
If dandruff, excess oil, or hair loss are troubling you, shop the REVITA and DANDRENE shampoo and conditioner lines at DS Laboratories. These products contain the necessary key ingredients to help combat pesky fungal infections that can lead to hair loss.