Tinea barbae is an inflammation of the skin around the hair follicles of the beard and mustache area. It results in circular areas of scaling, redness, and irritation of the skin around the hairs.
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Tinea barbae is caused by specific fungi. These fungi use the protein in the outer layer of skin for growth. It is most commonly transmitted to humans from farm animals that are infected with the fungi.
Tinea barbae is much more common in men. Other factors that may increase your chance of tinea barbae include:
Tinea barbae may cause:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tinea barbae may be suspected because of how it looks and where it is located. To confirm the diagnosis your doctor may use:
Tinea barbae is treated with oral antifungal medication.
It is important to take all antifungal medication as directed, even after your skin clears.
To help reduce your chance of getting tinea barbae, wash your hands and face on a regular basis. Hand washing is especially important after contact with any skin lesions. Do not share razors.
If your occupation puts you in contact with animals, consider covering the bearded area of your face. Wash your hands and face immediately after contact with animals.
American Academy of Dermatology
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Public Health Agency of Canada
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Folliculitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 25, 2014. Accessed September 30, 2014.
Hainer BL. Dermatophyte infections. Am Fam Physician. 2003;67(1):101-108.
Noble SL, Forbes RC, Stamm PL. Diagnosis and management of common tinea infections. Am Fam Physician. 1998;58(1):163-174.
Rutecki GW, Wurtz R, Thomson RB. From animal to man: tinea barbae. Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2000;2(5):433-437.
Tinea infections. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/tinea-infections.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed September 30, 2014.
Last reviewed September 2015 by James Cornell, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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