What is tinea faciei?
Tinea faciei is the name used for infection of the face with a dermatophyte fungus. It does not include infection of the beard and moustache area, which is called tinea barbae. Tinea faciei is uncommon and often misdiagnosed at first.
Tinea faciei can be due to an anthropophilic (human) fungus such as Trichophyton rubrum (T rubrum). Infection often comes from the feet (tinea pedis) or nails (tinea unguium) originally. Zoophilic (animal) fungi such as Microsporum canis (M canis), from cats and dogs, and T verrucosum, from farm cattle, are also common.
Clinical features of tinea faciei
Tinea faciei resembles tinea corporis (ringworm). It may be acute (sudden onset and rapid spread) or chronic (slow extension of a mild, barely inflamed, rash). There are round or oval red scaly patches, often less red and scaly in the middle or healed in the middle. It is frequently aggravated by sun exposure. It may also present as a kerion (fungal abscess).
Tinea faciei is often misdiagnosed as a non-fungal condition such as:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Seborrhoeic dermatitis
- Actinic keratoses
- Contact allergic dermatitis
- Perioral dermatitis
- Cutaneous lupus erythematosus
- Polymorphous light eruption
Misdiagnosis is particularly common in those treated with topical steroids or oral steroids (tinea incognita).
Diagnosis of tinea faciei
The diagnosis of tinea faciei is confirmed by microscopy and culture of skin scrapings.