• Infection of the beard area. Kerion: a review of 2 cases

      D Wall; M Fraher; Kanbal, W; B O’Connell; R Watson; C Timon; LFA Stassen; L Barnes (Irish Medical Journal, 2014-07)
      Folliculitis barbae is a common condition of both infective and non-infectious aetiology. It most frequently presents as a superficial folliculitis, with fine pustules appearing at the opening of hair follicles in the beard area, often associated with shaving; known as Bockhart impetigo and usually due to infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus. If untreated, the infection and inflammation can progress, leading to a more deeply seated infection known as sycosis barbae. Perifollicular nodules, termed furuncles, may appear and when these are multiple and coalesce, a deep-seated, communicating, pustulating plaque called a carbuncle develops, often with associated systemic upset. Such an appearance, which can prompt incision and drainage, should not, however, be assumed to be solely due to staphylococcal infection. Particularly in the context of a history of close animal contact or a lack of response to antibiotic treatment, a diagnosis of tinea barbae should be considered and investigated. Prompt treatment with antifungal agents and often systemic steroids is required once the diagnosis is made. This will help reduce an exacerbation of the pronounced destruction that results from the immune response to the fungal infection, known as a kerion, which would be compounded by surgical intervention. In this article, we review two such cases and review the investigation and management of the disease.