A 19-year-old farmer was referred by his general practitioner as an emergency to our otolaryngology department complaining of marked breathlessness of a few hours duration. He gave a three-day history of painful swelling and hair loss in the beard area of the right side of the neck. His upper airway was compromised unless extension of the neck was maintained. Larynx and pharynx were normal. The acute symptoms settled with intravenous antibiotics and hydrocortisone. Culture of skin scrapings revealed a growth of Tricophyton verrucosum. The neck swelling subsided after a course of oral griseofulvin followed by terbinafine. Difficulty in breathing due to fungal infection of the neck has not been previously reported in the English literature.