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Tinea capitis: still an unsolved problem?

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Summary

Tinea capitis is a fungal infection specifically involving the scalp and hair. It is the most common dermatophyte infection in children under 12 years of age, with a predominance in those of sub-Saharan African descent. Common signs include hair loss, scaling, erythema and impetigo-like plaques. Adults may also be affected, but to a lesser degree. The causative species are from the Microsporum and Trichophyton genera. Limited treatment options and diverse modes of transmission complicate the clinician’s ability to address this disease adequately. Although dermatophytes are ubiquitous in our environment and tinea capitis is common, therapeutic options can be utilised to reduce morbidity.
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Keywords: Tinea capitis; alopecia; dermatophytes; fungal disease; hair disease

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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