• Tinea capitis, a disease of children, occurs throughout the United States. We studied 144 clinically diagnosed cases of tinea capitis within a 12-month period. Ninety-six of them had positive cultures; Trichophyton tonsurans grew in 89% and Microsporum organisms in 11%. Ninety-five (99%) of the patients with positive cultures were black, and one (1%) was hispanic. The peak incidence was in the 4-to-5-year age group. Boys and girls were equally affected. Sixty percent of the 96 culture-proved cases were noninflammatory, and 40% were inflammatory (kerions). In four patients, the initial clinical manifestations were severe diffuse seborrhealike scales and crusting of the scalp with minimal alopecia. Mycologic and clinical cure were obtained by a mean of 4.7 weeks of griseofulvin therapy. Neither systemic erythromycin, topical antifungal agents, nor systemic prednisone resulted in earlier eradication. However, prednisone caused the inflammation of the kerions to subside dramatically.
(Am J Dis Child 1982;136:1047-1050)