Tinea barbae is a dermatophyte infection of the beard area most often caused by Trichophyton mentagrophytes or T. verrucosum.
Tinea barbae is a dermatophytosis (see see Overview of Dermatophytoses) that manifests in the beard area as superficial annular lesions, but deeper infection similar to folliculitis may occur. Tinea barbae may also occur as an inflammatory kerion that can result in scarring hair loss. Diagnosis is by potassium hydroxide wet mount of involved skin or plucked hairs, culture, or biopsy.
Treatment is micronized griseofulvin 500 mg to 1 g po once/day until 2 to 3 wk after clinical clearance. Terbinafine 250 mg po once/day and itraconazole 200 mg po once/day have also been used. If the lesions are severely inflamed, a short course of prednisone should be added (to lessen symptoms and perhaps reduce the chance of scarring), starting with 40 mg po once/day (for adults) and tapering the dose over 2 wk.
Last full review/revision March 2013 by Denise M Aaron, MD
Content last modified November 2013