Tinea Barbae Treatment & Management

  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
Updated: Jun 21, 2016

Medical Care

Since hairs are infected in tinea barbae, the therapeutic procedure is similar to that of tinea capitis. Shaving or hair depilation is recommended with warm compresses to remove crusts and debris. Topical formulations with antifungal compounds (eg, shampoo, lotion, cream) can be applied, but tinea barbae requires oral antifungal therapy. Details of therapeutic modalities for tinea barbae are found in Medication.

Griseofulvin remains in wide use. Newer antifungals, especially terbinafine,[24] also can be used. At the author's institution, experience with terbinafine in tinea barbae has been excellent, with all cures achieved within 4 weeks of initiating therapy. Itraconazole can be recommended as one-pulse therapy at a dosage of 400 mg/d divided into 2 doses for 1 week. Some prefer to use a second pulse after 3 weeks. Itraconazole also may be used continuously for 4 weeks at a dose of 200 mg/d. Fluconazole treatment is not well documented, but data from tinea capitis studies indicate that a dose of 150 mg once per week for up to 6 weeks also may be effective. All of these new antifungal drugs generally are well tolerated.



Eliminating the source of tinea barbae infection is of great importance. If farm workers become infected, examine all animals for the presence of fungal skin lesions. Treatment of other fungal skin infections, such as tinea pedis or onychomycosis, may prevent the infection's spread by autoinoculation.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH Professor and Head of Dermatology, Professor of Pathology, Pediatrics, Medicine, and Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Visiting Professor, Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, New York Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Jacek C Szepietowski, MD, PhD Professor, Vice-Head, Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Wroclaw Medical University; Director of the Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

Disclosure: Received consulting fee from Orfagen for consulting; Received consulting fee from Maruho for consulting; Received consulting fee from Astellas for consulting; Received consulting fee from Abbott for consulting; Received consulting fee from Leo Pharma for consulting; Received consulting fee from Biogenoma for consulting; Received honoraria from Janssen for speaking and teaching; Received honoraria from Medac for speaking and teaching; Received consulting fee from Dignity Sciences for consulting; .

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Paul Krusinski, MD Director of Dermatology, Fletcher Allen Health Care; Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Paul Krusinski, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Franklin Flowers, MD Department of Dermatology, Professor Emeritus Affiliate Associate Professor of Pathology, University of Florida College of Medicine

Franklin Flowers, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Mohs Surgery

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

  1. Beswick SJ, Das S, Lawrence CM, Tan BB. Kerion formation due to Trichophyton rubrum. Br J Dermatol. 1999 Nov. 141(5):953-4. [Medline].

  2. Gupta G, Burden AD, Roberts DT. Acute suppurative ringworm (kerion) caused by Trichophyton rubrum. Br J Dermatol. 1999 Feb. 140(2):369-70. [Medline].

  3. Sidwell RU, Chan I, Francis N, Bunker CB. Trichophyton erinacei kerion barbae from a hedgehog with direct osculatory transfer to another person. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2014 Jan. 39(1):38-40. [Medline].

  4. Braun SA, Jahn K, Westermann A, Bruch-Gerharz D, Reifenberger J. [Tinea barbae profunda by Arthroderma benhamiae. A diagnostic challenge]. Hautarzt. 2013 Oct. 64(10):720-2. [Medline].

  5. Ansari S, Hedayati MT, Zomorodian K, Pakshir K, Badali H, Rafiei A, et al. Molecular Characterization and In Vitro Antifungal Susceptibility of 316 Clinical Isolates of Dermatophytes in Iran. Mycopathologia. 2016 Feb. 181 (1-2):89-95. [Medline].

  6. Rezaei-Matehkolaei A, Rafiei A, Makimura K, Gräser Y, Gharghani M, Sadeghi-Nejad B. Epidemiological Aspects of Dermatophytosis in Khuzestan, southwestern Iran, an Update. Mycopathologia. 2016 Feb 17. [Medline].

  7. Bonifaz A, Ramirez-Tamayo T, Saul A. Tinea barbae (tinea sycosis): experience with nine cases. J Dermatol. 2003 Dec. 30(12):898-903. [Medline].

  8. Buruiana AM, Mihali CV, Popescu C. Sequence-Based Identification of a Zoophilic Strain of Trichophyton interdigitale in a Rare Case of Tinea Blepharo-Ciliaris Associated with Tinea Barbae. Mycopathologia. 2015 Jul 12. [Medline].

  9. Davis DF, Petri WH, Hood AF. Dairy farmer with a rapidly enlarging lip lesion: tinea barbae. Arch Dermatol. 2006 Aug. 142(8):1059-64. [Medline].

  10. Kiska DL, Cynamon MH. Photo quiz. Tinea barbae caused by Trichophyton verrucosum. Clin Infect Dis. 1997 Oct. 25(4):805, 871. [Medline].

  11. Maeda M, Nakashima T, Satho M, Yamada T, Kitajima Y. Tinea barbae due to Trichophyton verrucosum. Eur J Dermatol. 2002 May-Jun. 12(3):272-4. [Medline].

  12. Kick G, Korting HC. Tinea barbae due to Trichophyton mentagrophytes related to persistent child infection. Mycoses. 1998 Nov. 41(9-10):439-41. [Medline].

  13. Kawada A, Aragane Y, Maeda A, Yudate T, Tezuka T, Hiruma M. Tinea barbae due to Trichophyton rubrum with possible involvement of autoinoculation. Br J Dermatol. 2000 May. 142(5):1064-5. [Medline].

  14. Szepietowski JC, Bielicka E, Maj J. Inflammatory tinea barbae due to Trichophyton rubrum infection - autoinnoculation from fingernail onychomycosis?. Case Rep Clin Pract Rev. 2002. 3:254-6. [Full Text].

  15. Szepietowski JC, Matusiak L. Trichophyon rubrum autoinoculation from infected nails is not such a rare phenomenon. Mycoses. 2008. 51:345-346.

  16. Trotha R, Graser Y, Platt J, et al. Tinea barbae caused by a zoophilic strain of Trichophyton interdigitale. Mycoses. 2003 Feb. 46(1-2):60-3. [Medline].

  17. Ratka P, Slusarczyk E, Sloboda T, Kusmierski W. [Case of tinea barbae profunda caused by Microsporum nanum]. Przegl Dermatol. 1983 Sep-Dec. 70(5-6):549-52. [Medline].

  18. Laureano AC, Schwartz RA, Cohen PJ. Facial bacterial infections: folliculitis. Clin Dermatol. 2014 Nov-Dec. 32 (6):711-4. [Medline].

  19. Wall D, Fraher M, O'Connell B, Watson R, Timon C, Stassen LF, et al. Infection of the Beard area. Kerion: a review of 2 cases. Ir Med J. 2014 Jul-Aug. 107(7):219-21. [Medline].

  20. Kapdagli H, Ozturk G, Dereli T, et al. Candida folliculitis mimicking tinea barbae. Int J Dermatol. 1997 Apr. 36(4):295-7. [Medline].

  21. Kurita M, Kishimoto S, Kibe Y, Takenaka H, Yasuno H. Candida folliculitis mimicking tinea barbae. Acta Derm Venereol. 2000 Mar-Apr. 80(2):153-4. [Medline].

  22. Jasterzbski TJ, Schwartz RA. Pseudofolliculitis cutis: a vexing disorder of hair growth. Br J Dermatol. 2015 Apr. 172 (4):878-84. [Medline].

  23. Baran W, Szepietowski JC, Schwartz RA. Tinea barbae. Acta Dermatoven APA. 2004. 13:91-4. [Full Text].

  24. Tanuma H, Doi M, Nishiyama S, Katsuoka K. A case of tinea barbae successfully treated with terbinafine. Mycoses. 1998 Jan-Feb. 41(1-2):77-81. [Medline].

  25. Kwasniewska J. Current antifungal agents in dermatology. Postepy Dermatol (Poznan). 1997. 14:129-35.

  26. Ceburkovas O, Schwartz RA, Janniger CK. Tinea capitis: current concepts. J Dermatol. 2000 Mar. 27(3):144-8. [Medline].

Inflammatory tinea barbae resulting from Trichophyton mentagrophytesvar granulosuminfection.
Wax model of kerionlike tinea barbae. Courtesy of the Museum of the Department of Dermatology, University of Medicine, Wroclaw, Poland.
Medscape Consult
All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2016 by WebMD LLC. This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.