Tinea capitis is a fungal scalp infection typical of childhood and caused by dermatophytes. Dermatoscopy may be useful to address a rapid differential diagnosis, ruling out other causes of patchy alopecia, including alopecia areata, although it does not allow the identification of the causative agent. The main dermatoscopic findings are “comma hairs,” “morse code hairs,” and “zigzag hairs” due to hair shaft bending and breaking as a result of fungal invasion and subsequent abnormal fragility. High magnification dermatoscopy (X150) allows the visualization of additional features such as horizontal white bands and translucent/transparent easily deformable hairs. Erythema, scaling, pustules, and crusts can be detected in inflammatory tinea capitis.
KeywordsTinea capitis Scalp ringworm Kerion celsi Fungal infection Ectothrix Endothrix Comma hairs Morse code hairs Zigzag hairs
- 1.Hay RJ, Ashbee HR (2016) Fungal infections. In: Griffiths CEM, Barker J, Bleiker T, Chalmers R, Creamer D (eds) Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology, 9th edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp 32.38–32.41Google Scholar
- 2.Ziegler W, Lempert S, Goebeler M, Kolb-Mäurer A (2016) Tinea capitis: temporal shift in pathogens and epidemiology. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 14:818–825Google Scholar