(See also Overview of Fungal Skin Infections Overview of Fungal Skin Infections Fungi usually make their homes in moist areas of the body where skin surfaces meet: between the toes, in the genital area, and under the breasts. Common fungal skin infections are caused by... read more .)
Tinea barbae is a type of dermatophytosis Overview of Dermatophytoses (Ringworm, Tinea) Dermatophytoses are fungal infections of the skin and nails caused by several different fungi and classified by the location on the body. Dermatophyte infections are also called ringworm or... read more . It is most often caused by Trichophyton mentagrophytes or Trichophyton verrucosum.
Tinea barbae usually causes superficial, circular patches, but deeper infection may occur. An inflamed kerion Kerion Scalp ringworm is a dermatophyte (fungal) infection of the scalp. Symptoms of tinea capitis include a dry patch of scale, a patch of hair loss, or both on the scalp. Doctors base the diagnosis... read more (a swollen patch generally on the scalp that sometimes oozes pus) may also develop, which can result in scarring and whisker loss. Tinea barbae is rare. Most skin infections in the beard area are caused by bacteria, not fungi.
Doctors diagnose tinea barbae by examining plucked hairs under a microscope or by doing a culture Culture Doctors can identify many skin disorders simply by looking at the skin. A full skin examination includes examination of the scalp, nails, and mucous membranes. Sometimes the doctor uses a hand-held... read more (the process of growing an organism in a laboratory for identification) or biopsy.
Treatment of tinea barbae is with an antifungal drug, such as griseofulvin, terbinafine, or itraconazole, taken by mouth.
If the area is severely inflamed, doctors may add a corticosteroid such as prednisone taken by mouth to lessen symptoms and perhaps reduce the chance of scarring.