Dermatophyte infections

Superficial fungal infections of the skin, hair and nails requiring keratin to grow.

The most common skin fungal pathogens are Microsporum, Trichophyton and Epidermophyton species.

Skin fungi do not infect mucosal surfaces.

Can spread form person to person, from soil, from animals and from fomites.

Humans, animals or soil may be the primary host for the fungous.

Dependent of the stratum corneum for growth and obtaining nutrition.

Most fungal infections of the skin are spread from one person to another by direct contact or from the exposure of desquamated cells.

Fungi involve the superficial layers of skin.

Characteristically have an inflammatory changes with increased redness and scaling at the border of the lesion.

Central clearing of the lesion may occur.

Diagnostic tests to confirm the diagnosis include potassium hydroxide microscopy allowing visualization of hyphae, Wood’s lamp examination, fungal culture and skin or nail biopsy.

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