Tinea capitis is the most common dermatophyte infection in children. The clinical presentation varies from subtle asymptomatic scaling to inflammatory suppurative nodules and draining tracks. Both chronic and acute inflammatory infections may damage the hair follicle leading to secondary cicatricial alopecia. In rare instances, the initial presentation can mimic a primary cicatricial alopecia. We present three cases of tinea capitis in children masquerading as cicatricial alopecia and discuss the possible host immune and fungal antigenic factors that may influence the course of disease and its clinical presentation. An understanding of the clinical morphology of tinea capitis in the context of both host and fungal factors may improve treatment strategies and direct future paradigms of therapy.
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