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South African Family Practice

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Common cutaneous dermatophyte infections of the skin and nails

Andre Marais, Elzbieta Osuch

Abstract


Superficial fungal infections occur in approximately 20% of the population. Dermatophyte infections are mainly caused by organisms from the Trichophyton, Epidermophyton, and Microsporum genera, and should not be confused with infections caused by Candida sp. since management may differ. The diagnosis of cutaneous dermatophyte infections are confirmed with potassium hydroxide (KOH) preparations as clinical diagnosis is not always accurate, and may result in inappropriate treatment. Most dermatophyte infections are successfully managed with topical antifungal preparations; however, systemic therapy provides an increased cure rate and reduces re-occurrence. This review focuses on the most common dermatophyte infections seen by South African health-care providers and briefly describes the available treatment options, which may differ from agents used elsewhere in the world.

Keywords: Tinea pedis, Tinea corporis, Tinea capitis, Tinea crusis, Tinea unguium, pharmacotherapy




AJOL African Journals Online