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Tinea capitis in Child
See also in: Hair and Scalp
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Tinea capitis in Child

See also in: Hair and Scalp
Contributors: Susan Burgin MD, Craig N. Burkhart MD, Dean Morrell MD, Lowell A. Goldsmith MD, MPH
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Tinea capitis (scalp ringworm) is a fungal infection of the scalp caused by different species of dermatophytes. Most cases occur between the ages of 3 and 7 years, although it has been reported in infants and older children as well. In the United States and Great Britain, the most common causative agent is Trichophyton tonsurans. The most common agent worldwide, however, is Microsporum canis.

It presents as numerous scaly macules and patches of broken hairs and alopecia on the scalp. Some forms are predominantly scaly with little alopecia and may resemble seborrheic dermatitis. More severe forms are associated with inflammatory papules, pustules, and plaques as well as systemic symptoms (ie, fever and malaise).

Majocchi-like granulomas, deep ulcerated fungal infections, severe tinea capitis and corporis, and fungal nail involvement are characteristic of an inherited deficiency of CARD9 (caspase recruitment domain-containing protein 9), an inflammatory cascade-associated protein. The disorder is autosomal recessive and is most common in North Africa countries including Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. The infections usually begin in childhood and are caused by Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton violaceum. Lymphadenopathy, high IgE antibody levels, and eosinophilia are common, and the disorder can be fatal.


B35.0 – Tinea barbae and tinea capitis

5441008 – Tinea capitis

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  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Nonbullous impetigo
  • Folliculitis
  • Discoid lupus erythematosus
  • Lichen planus
  • Psoriasis
  • Alopecia areata
  • Secondary syphilis
  • Trichotillomania
  • Folliculotropic Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • Folliculitis decalvans
  • Kerion

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Last Reviewed:08/15/2019
Last Updated:08/15/2019
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Tinea capitis in Child
See also in: Hair and Scalp
A medical illustration showing key findings of Tinea capitis (Inflammatory) : Cervical lymphadenopathy, Erythema, Scalp, Pruritus, Round areas of non-scarring alopecia
Clinical image of Tinea capitis - imageId=853703. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Small patches of scarring and non-scarring alopecia and some associated scaling on the scalp.'
Small patches of scarring and non-scarring alopecia and some associated scaling on the scalp.
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