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Research Letter
March 2011

Corkscrew Hair: A New Dermoscopic Sign for Diagnosis of Tinea Capitis in Black Children

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Nice (Drs Hughes, Chiaverini, Bahadoran, and Lacour), and Pediatric Hospitals CHU-Lenval (Dr Chiaverini), Nice, France.

Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(3):355-356. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2011.31

Tinea capitis (TC) is the most common dermatophytosis of childhood and has an increasing incidence worldwide.1 The presence of Microsporum canis, the most prevalent causative organism in Europe,2 is usually easy to diagnose: it classically presents with a patch of alopecia, a scaly plaque, and a positive finding under Wood lamp examination. An increase in anthropophilic organisms is widely reported,3 mostly among immigrant populations and associated with a noninflammatory TC, which may present with little alopecia or scale and a negative finding under Wood lamp examination.4 Diagnosis in black patients, where subtle erythema of the scalp is more difficult to appreciate, often presents a diagnostic challenge. The absence of a rapid, reliable, confirmatory test, coupled with a nonspecific presentation, means that patients often wait several weeks for a fungal culture result before commencing appropriate systemic therapy.