The epidemiology of tinea capitis has changed over the past 40 years. The major organism responsible for tinea capitis today is Trichophyton tonsurans. This dermatophyte accounts for more than 90% of ringworm infections of the scalp in the United States and replaces Microsporum audouinii and to a lesser extent Microsporum canis, which were associated with the ringworm epidemics of the 1940s.1-4
Trichophyton tonsurans is an anthropophilic organism producing endothrix invasion of the hair shaft that does not fluoresce on Wood's light examination.5 Tinea capitis is epidemic in black school-age children, but only rarely in whites. The reason for this racial predilection is not known.1
- Received May 28, 1992.
- Accepted January 12, 1993.
- Copyright © 1993 by the American Academy of Pediatrics