Ana Ion, Liliana Gabriela Popa, Elena Porumb-Andrese, Alexandra Maria Dorobanțu, Raluca Tătar, Călin Giurcăneanu, Olguța Anca Orzan

A Current Diagnostic and Therapeutic Challenge: Tinea Capitis

  • General Medicine

Tinea capitis is a dermatophyte scalp infection with a marked prevalence among the pediatric population. However, in the last few years, its epidemiology has changed due to increasing population migration worldwide. Host-specific and environmental factors contribute to the pathogenesis of tinea capitis. Clinically, tinea capitis may present as a subtle hair loss accompanied by scalp scaling, alopecia with scaly patches, or alopecia with black dots. A more severe form of tinea capitis is represented by kerion celsi, which clinically presents as a tender plaque covered by pustules and crusts. If left untreated, this dermatophytic infection may resolve with permanent scarring and alopecia. The pathological changes found in tinea capitis are reflected by a spectrum of clinical changes. Zoophilic infections typically prompt an extensive inflammatory reaction, while anthropophilic dermatophytoses often lack inflammation and result in more persistent lesions. Tinea capitis typically requires systemic antifungal therapy. Griseofulvin, terbinafine, itraconazole, and fluconazole are the main antifungal agents used. Currently, the duration of antifungal therapy varies based on the clinical presentation and type of dermatophyte involved. Through the reported cases and literature review, we aim to emphasize the importance of the early recognition of atypical variants of tinea capitis in immunocompetent children for the prompt initiation of systemic antifungal therapy, minimizing the need for prolonged treatment. Additionally, we emphasize the importance of regular laboratory testing during systemic antifungal therapy, particularly liver enzyme tests, to prevent adverse events, especially in cases requiring long-term treatment.

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