Tinea Capitis

  • Francesco Lacarrubba
  • Simona Boscaglia
  • Giuseppe Micali


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.


Tinea capitis Scalp ringworm Kerion celsi Fungal infection Ectothrix Endothrix Comma hairs Morse code hairs Zigzag hairs 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Lacarrubba
    • 1
  • Simona Boscaglia
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Micali
    • 1
  1. 1.Dermatology ClinicUniversity of CataniaCataniaItaly

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