Skin-nontumor / Clinical dermatology
Infectious disorders
Fungi - Superficial fungal infections

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 25 May 2016, last major update July 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Fungi - Superficial fungal infections [title]

Cite this page: Fungi - Superficial fungal infections. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://pathologyoutlines.com/topic/skinnontumorfungisuperficialinfections.html. Accessed December 7th, 2016.
Definition / General
  • Due to pathogens restricted to the stratum corneum, with little or no tissue reaction
  • Scalp and beard lesions may have superimposed bacterial folliculitis / perifolliculitis
  • Superfical fungal infections may also be found on neoplastic skin lesions
  • Usually caused by dermatophytes; in children, usually due to Trichophyton, Microsporum and Epidermophyton (Am Fam Physician 2008;77:1415)

  • Kerion celsi: superimposed bacterial folliculitis on tinea of scalp
  • Majocchis granuloma: nodular granulomatous perifolliculitis; inflammation of dermis and subcutis by dermatophytes, usually Trichophyton rubrum
  • Sycosis barbae: tinera barbae with superimposed bacterial follicultis
  • Tinea barbae: infection of beard area of adult men
  • Tinea capitis: infection causing hairless patches of skin in scalp, usually in children
  • Tinea corporis: infection of trunk of children and adults, associated with excessive heat and humidity; scaly red annular plaques (ringworm)
  • Tinea cruris: "jock itch", infection of inguinal area of obese men during warm weather
  • Tinea pedis: "athletes foot", infection causing diffuse erythema and scaling, initially in web spaces, often with bacterial superinfection
Clinical Images

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Kerion celsi, Majocchis granuloma, and Tinea capitis



Tinea corporis: well-demarcated margins and diffuse erythema

Micro Description
  • Cellulitis, abscesses, pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia, fungal spores and hyphae in horny cell layer and near hair shafts
  • Spores, hyphae and neutrophils usually are present in stratum corneum or hair shafts
  • Variable intercellular epidermal edema, dermal inflammation
Micro Images

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Tinea capitis

Cytology Images

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Epidermophyton floccosum



Microsporum audouinii



Trichophyton tonsurans

Positive Stains
Additional References