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Tinea is a geographically widespread group of fungal infections caused by dermatophytes. Predominance of type depends on the organism, its hosts, and local factors. Infection may occur through contact with infected humans and animals, soil, or inanimate objects. Tinea should be suspected in any red, scaly, pruritic, enlarging lesion or in pruritic scalp lesions that manifest scaling, folliculitis, or an inflammatory reaction.

Gruby, Remak, and Schonlein described the causes of favic tinea in the early 1800s. In the early 1900s, Saboraud classified the dermatophytic fungi. In the 1950s, Kligman further described the natural course and pathogenesis of these infections. In 1958, treatment with oral griseofulvin was introduced, obviating the need to use epilation with radiography or thallium. More recent antifungal medications, the azoles, allylamines, and benzylamines, offer new options of shorter and more convenient dosing regimens.

Tinea is a superficial infection...

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