Objective: To determine the influences of hair-grooming practices and envir
onmental factors as risk factors for the acquisition of tinea capitis (TC)
Design: Case-control study comparing children with culture-proved TC with a
ge-, sex-, and race-matched control subjects without scalp disease.
Setting: A multicenter study involving 3 urban referral centers in the Unit
Participants: A convenience sample of 66 patients aged 12 years and younger
presenting to pediatric dermatology clinics with clinical evidence of TC w
ere enrolled as cases. Matched control subjects (n=68), without known scalp
disease, were enrolled from the outpatient pediatric clinics at the same i
Results: Significant associations with TC in the conditional logistic regre
ssion model were a prior history of TC (odds ratio, 3.11; 95% confidence in
terval, 1.02-9.43; P=.04) and exposure to TC (odds ratio, 16.32; 95% confid
ence interval, 3.55-75.16; P=.001). The use of a hair conditioner was stati
stically significant in the univariable model but not in the multivariable
model (odds ratio, 0.46; 95% confidence interval, 0.20-1.08; P=.07). Hairst
yling, frequency of washing, use of oils or grease, and other hair care pra
ctices were not shown to be associated with the presence of TC.
Conclusion: Hair-grooming practices do not appear to plap a major role in t
he acquisition of TC. Hair conditioners may be protective in children at ri
sk for TC, but further studies are needed to confirm this finding.