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Tinea capitis in adults: not so rare

Sheikh M. Ahmed, Suhail R. Rather, Hina Kousar, Shahab-ud-din Bukhari.

Abstract
Background: Tinea capitis is the dermatophyte infection of the scalp with varied clinical presentation. Tinea capitis is predominantly seen in preadolescent adults and is rare in adults. Growing number of authors have reported increase in incidence among adults. Clinical presentation in such case is often atypical leading to delay in diagnosis.
Methods: The study included all patients older than 18 years. Informed consent was obtained from all patients. Clinical material was microscopically examined with the use of 20% KOH for hyphae and arthroconidia. The Samples were also inoculated on Sabourauds Agar and Mycosel Agar for 15 days. For each patient we collected information about sex, menstrual status, predisposing factor, symptoms and etiological agent.
Results: Out of 457 cases of tinea capitis 14 patients were adults and represented 3.06% of all cases. All patients were females. The most common etiological agent was T. violaceum (35%), followed by T. mentagrophytes (21.43%), T. tonsurans (14.29%), T. rubrum (14.29%) and T. schoenleinii (14.29%).
Conclusions: Tinea capitis in adults is not so rare, particularly in post-menopausal women. The presentation is often atypical mimicking other inflammatory conditions of scalp and should be included as a differential diagnosis of inflammatory conditions not responding to conventional treatment.

Key words: Adults, Clinical presentation, Immunity, Tinea capitis


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