Technical Papers

Mechanism of Spontaneous Cure in Puberty of Ringworm of the Scalp

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Science  30 Aug 1946:
Vol. 104, Issue 2696, pp. 201-203
DOI: 10.1126/science.104.2696.201


With onset of puberty, the sebaceous glands of the scalp start to secrete a sebum which contains, in higher concentration than before, lowboiling saturated fatty acids with selective fungistatic and fungicidal action on M. audouini. Highly active normal aliphatic monobasic acids having odd numbers of carbon atoms, including pelargonic acid, have been isolated from hair fat of adults. The "adult type" of hair fat does not kill the fungus spores within the hair but prevents infection of the new hair following the old infected hair in the process of shedding.

Detailed reports are to be published elsewhere.