Guidelines for the management of tinea capitis in children

Pediatr Dermatol. 2010 May-Jun;27(3):226-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.2010.01137.x.


Practice guidelines for the treatment of tinea capitis (TC) from the European Society for Pediatric Dermatology are presented. Tinea capitis always requires systemic treatment because topical antifungal agents do not penetrate the hair follicle. Topical treatment is only used as adjuvant therapy to systemic antifungals. The newer oral antifungal agents including terbinafine, itraconazole, and fluconazole appear to have efficacy rates and potential adverse effects similar to those of griseofulvin in children with TC caused by Trichophyton species, while requiring a much shorter duration of treatment. They may be, however, more expensive (Grading of recommendation A; strength of evidence 1a). Griseofulvin is still the treatment of choice for cases caused by Microsporum species. Its efficacy is superior to that of terbinafine (Grading of recommendation A; strength of evidence 1b), and although its efficacy and treatment duration is matched by fluconazole (Grading of recommendation A; strength of evidence 1b) and itraconazole (Grading of recommendation A; strength of evidence 1b), griseofulvin is cheaper. It must be noted, however, that griseofulvin is nowadays not available in certain European countries (e.g., Belgium, Greece, Portugal, and Turkey).

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Fluconazole / adverse effects
  • Fluconazole / therapeutic use*
  • Griseofulvin / adverse effects
  • Griseofulvin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Itraconazole / adverse effects
  • Itraconazole / therapeutic use*
  • Microsporum / drug effects
  • Naphthalenes / adverse effects
  • Naphthalenes / therapeutic use*
  • Terbinafine
  • Tinea Capitis / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Naphthalenes
  • Itraconazole
  • Griseofulvin
  • Fluconazole
  • Terbinafine