Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

Dermatology Online Journal bannerUC Davis

Tinea capitis in adults

  • Author(s): Auchus, Isabella C;
  • Ward, Kimberley M;
  • Brodell, Robert T;
  • Brents, Melissa J;
  • Jackson, Jeremy D
  • et al.
Abstract

Background: Tinea capitis is caused by dermatophyte fungi that utilize keratin as a nutrient source.  Scalp erythema, scaling, andcrusting are typical signs of this disease.  Although most commonly seen in prepubescent children, tinea capitis can occur in adults.Results: Endothrix tinea capitis owing to Trichophyton tonsurans commonly produces generalized scaling and localized perifollicular inflammation reminiscent of lichen planopilaris. Ectothrix tinea capitis owing to Microsporum sp. produces well- demarcated erythematous plaques suggestive of psoriasis. H&E stained biopsy specimens, KOH preparations or fungal cultures will confirm the diagnosis.Conclusion: Because of a low index of suspicion for tinea capitis in adults with scaling and alopecia, diagnosis and appropriate treatment are often delayed. Resistance to treatment for seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis should prompt a KOH, fungal culture orbiopsy to confirm the diagnosis of tinea capitis and initiate systemic antifungal agents.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View