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Ruling Out Dermatophytoses


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"Dermatophytes (from Greek δέρμα derma "skin" (GEN δέρματος dermatos) and φυτόν phyton "plant") are a common label for a group of fungus of Arthrodermataceae that commonly causes skin disease in animals and humans. Traditionally, these anamorphic (asexual or imperfect fungi) mold genera are: Microsporum, Epidermophyton and Trichophyton. There are about 40 species in these three genera.." [1]

'Dermatophytoses are superficial fungal infections caused by dermatophytes affecting the skin, hair and/or nails. They are also termed as tinea infections. Dermatophytes are filamentous fungi that invade and feed on keratinized tissue like skin, hair and nails, causing an infection." [2]

'Topical anti-fungal therapy forms the mainstay of treatment in localized and naive dermatophytic infections. Topical anti-fungal agents are recommended for dermatophytoses affecting skin and presenting as localized infections. Systemic drugs are indicated for more extensive infections." [2]

"In addition to causing symptomatic infections with different severity degrees, dermatophytes also colonize 30%–70% of the human population without causing clinical disease, thus these keratin parasites could be considered as a component of the human microbiota. Strikingly, the presence of dermatophyte in the skin, either in commensal or pathogenic relationship with susceptible hosts, has been related to asthma, allergy or eczematous skin." [3]

"Successful treatment of these conditions depends first on accurate diagnosis, which is often quickly accomplished with a KOH examination." [4]

"Diagnosis can be confirmed by direct microscopic examination with a potassium hydroxide preparation or by culture with the dermatophyte test medium." [5]

"Dermatophyte infections can be readily diagnosed based on the history, physical examination, and potassium hydroxide (KOH) microscopy. Diagnosis occasionally requires Wood's lamp examination and fungal culture or histologic examination." [6]

End Notes

[1] Dermatophytes, Wikipedia

[2] J Fungi (Basel). 2022 Jan; 8(1): 39.
Pathogenesis, Immunology and Management of Dermatophytosis
Shishira R. Jartarkar, Anant Patil, Yaser Goldust, Clay J. Cockerell, Robert A. Schwartz, Stephan Grabbe, and Mohamad Goldust

[3] Front Immunol. 2020 Dec 2;11:605644.
Skin Immunity to Dermatophytes: From Experimental Infection Models to Human Disease
Verónica L Burstein, Ignacio Beccacece, Lorena Guasconi, Cristian J Mena, Laura Cervi, Laura S Chiapello    

[4] Postgrad Med. 1998 Feb;103(2):191-2, 197-200, 205.
Common dermatophyte infections. A simple diagnostic test and current management
J T Crissey  

[5] Postgrad Med. 1990 Apr;87(5):205-14.  
Superficial fungal infections. A practical guide for primary care physicians
D M Pariser

[6] Am Fam Physician. 2003 Jan 1;67(1):101-8.
Dermatophyte infections
Barry L Hainer  


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