Tinea incognito in Korea and its risk factors: Nine-year multicenter survey

Won Jeong Kim, Tae Wook Kim, Je Ho Mun, Margaret Song, Hoon Soo Kim, Hyun Chang Ko, Byung Soo Kim, Chun Wook Park, Seok Jong Lee, Mu Hyoung Lee, Kyu Suk Lee, Young Chul Kye, Kee Suck Suh, Hyun Chung, Ai Young Lee, Ki Ho Kim, Sook Kyung Lee, Kyoung Chan Park, Jun Young Lee, Jee Ho ChoiEun So Lee, Kwang Hoon Lee, Eung Ho Choi, Jong Keun Seo, Gwang Seong Choi, Hai Jin Park, Seok Kweon Yun, Seong Jun Seo, Tae Young Yoon, Kwang Ho Kim, Hee Joon Yu, Young Suck Ro, Moon Bum Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Tinea incognito (TI) is a dermatophytic infection which has lost its typical clinical appearance because of improper use of steroids or calcineurin inhibitors. The incidence of TI is increasing nowadays. We conducted retrospective review on 283 patients with TI from 25 dermatology training hospitals in Korea from 2002-2010 to investigate the demographical, clinical, and mycological characteristics of TI, and to determine the associated risk factors. More than half (59.3%) patients were previously treated by non-dermatologists or self-treated. The mean duration of TI was 15.0 ± 25.3 months. The most common clinical manifestations were eczemalike lesion, psoriasis-like, and lupus erythematosus-like lesion. The trunk and face were frequently involved, and 91 patients (32.2%) also had coexisting fungal infections. Among 67 isolated strains, Trichophyton rubrum was the most frequently detected (73.1%). This is the largest study of TI reported to date and the first investigational report concerning TI in Korea. We suggest that doctors should consider TI when a patient has intractable eczema-like lesions accompanied by tinea pedis/unguium. Furthermore, there should be a policy change, which would make over-the-counter high-potency topical steroids less accessible in some countries, including Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Korean medical science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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