Document Type : Original Article



Background: Tinea capitis is predominantly a disease of preadolescent children. Although worldwide in distribution, an increase in its prevalence in Kuwait has recently been reported, particularly in children. Tinea capitis frequently spreads among family members and classmates. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of tinea capitis among elementary school children of Al-Ahmadi province in Southern Kuwait. Method: This study was conducted between September 2006 and June 2007. All suspected cases of tinea capitis from 15 visited elementary schools were referred to the dermatology department at Al-Adan Hospital where a full history and examination was performed and the affected areas were scrapped. All obtained specimens were divided into two halves. The 1st half was mounted in a 20% potassium hydroxide solution and examined under light microscope. The 2nd half was cultured in Sabouraud's Dextrose Agar (SDA) 4% and incubated at 25-27°C for 4 weeks. Results: A total of 903 children from 15 elementary schools were included in this study out of which 191 children proved to have tinea capitis. Microsporum canis had the highest percentage (61.7%), while Trichophyton rubrum had the lowest (3.1%). Conclusion: Tinea capitis is a common fungal infection of the scalp in children. The grey patch type is the most common clinical type. A multi center study is needed to confirm the predominance of the isolated dermatophyte and to determine the modifiable and preventable risk factors.