Tinea imbricata or Tokelau

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Abstract

Tinea imbricata (TI) or Tokelau is a superficial mycosis caused by Trichophyton concentricum, an anthropophilic dermatophyte. It is endemic in some islands of the South Pacific (Polynesia), South-East Asia, Central and South America, and Mexico, and is most often seen in individuals living in primitive and isolated conditions. The skin lesions are characteristically concentric and lamellar (imbricata: in Latin, tiled) plaques of scale. Predisposing conditions include humidity, inheritance, and immunologic factors. The diagnosis is usually made on clinical grounds, supported by skin scrapings and culture. Tokelau is a chronic and highly relapsing disease and, although no first-line treatment exists, best results are obtained with oral griseofulvin and terbinafine and a topical combination of keratolytic ointments, such as Whitfield's. TI is a disease model that allows the correlation of a series of environmental, genetic, immunologic, and therapeutic conditions.

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