Background. The causative fungi of tinea capitis vary with geography and time. This study was planned to identify the etiologic agents and determine clinicoetiologic correlations of tinea capitis in Lahore, Pakistan.

Methods. From clinically suspected cases of tinea capitis, skin scrapings and hair samples were taken and subjected to microscopy and culture.

Results. Of 180 evaluable patients, 95% were children below 12 years of age with equal sex incidence. Noninflammatory lesions were seen in 62.2% of cases. Trichophyton violaceum was the most common etiologic agent responsible for 69.4% of infection, followed by T. tonsurans (16.7%), T. verrucosum (10%), Microsporum audouinii (2.2%), and T. mentagrophyte (1.7%).

Conclusions. T. violaceum is the predominant pathogen causing tinea capitis in children and adults in this part of the world and gives rise to a varied clinical picture. Our findings agree with data from other parts of Pakistan and many countries abroad.