Tinea capitis favosa, a chronic inflammatory dermatophyte infection of the scalp, affects over 90% of patients with anthropophilic Trichophyton schoenleinii. T. violaceum, T. verrucosum, zoophilic T. mentagrophytes (referred to as 'var. quinckeanum'), Microsporum canis, and geophilic M. gypseum have also been recovered from favic lesions. Favus is typically a childhood disease, yet adult cases are not uncommon. Interestingly, favus is less contagious than other dermatophytoses, although intrafamilial infections are reported and have been widely discussed in the literature. Clinical presentation of T. schoenleinii infections is variable: this fungus can be isolated from tinea capitis lesions that appear as gray patches, but symptom-free colonization of the scalp also occurs. Although in the past T. schoenleinii was the dominant fungus recovered from dermatophytic scalp lesions, worldwide the incidence has decreased except in China, Nigeria, and Iran. Favus of the glabrous skin and nails are reported less frequently than favus of the scalp. This review discusses the clinical features of favus, as well as the etiological agents, global epidemiology, laboratory diagnosis, and a short history of medical mycology.