D Kundu1, L Mandal2, G Sen3
1Department of Biochemistry, Medical College, Jadavpur, India.
2Department of Dermatology, K.P.C Medical College, Jadavpur, India.
3Department of Biochemistry, R.G. Kar Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Background: In recent years the incidence of Tinea capitis, infection of scalp by dermatophytes, has increased in United Kingdom and North America. The trend may be similar in India. The objective of this study is to find the prevalence of Tinea capitis in school going urban children in Kolkata, West Bengal state. Materials and Methods: The present study is a cross-sectional study conducted in a government higher primary school in Kolkata. Results: Totally 505 students were screened and 52 were diagnosed to have Tinea capitis by clinical examination, giving a prevalence rate of 10% among school children. Prevalence rates among the age groups of 6-8, 9-11 and 12-14 years were almost the same, ranging from 9 to 11%. The prevalence rate was significantly high among the boys (14%). There was no significant difference in prevalence of infection among coconut oil users and castor oil users. Measures of general hygiene were similar among those who were infected with Tinea capitis and those who were not. The commonest clinical type of infection found was dull grey patches. Itching with hair loss was the major symptom and most of the infected children had cervical lymphadenopathy. The potassium hydroxide studies revealed endothrix spores in majority of samples. Conclusion: Tinea capitis in prevalent in school going urban children in Kolkata, West Bengal state and necessary measures must be undertaken to curtail this incidence.
Keywords: Prevalence, school children, Tinea capitis.