Tinea manuum or ringworm infection of the hands, is a fungal infection occurring on the skin of the hands. It is less common than the same infection affecting the feet and appears to be frequently misdiagnosed because its clinical presentation is similar to other dermatological diseases.
Is tinea manuum contagious
Transmission:it can be acquired through contact with an infected person, soil, by touching an infected animal or by touching a previously infected part of your own body (like picking on infected feet, nails or groin area). Sometimes, the disease can start under rings or watches. Bad peripheral circulation in hands and excessive sweating can both play an important role in the development of the inflammation.
Aetiology: predominantly caused by Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton interdigitale or Epidermophyton floccosum. Less commonly diagnosed species include: Microsporum canis, Trichophyton verrucosum and Microsporum gypseum.
Tinea manuum symptoms
it presents with scaly, demarcated patches, which show signs of hyperkeratosis (thickening of the horny layers of the skin). Blisters and crops may be seen. The peripheral part of the lesion is well demarcated and the centre often appears to be clearing off. They are found on palms but can extend to the dorsum of the hand. Sometimes, hair follicles may be involved. The lesions are often found on just one hand (the dominant one more commonly) and are associated with Tinea pedis (fungal infection of feet) and Tinea cruris (fungal infection of the groin area). If the disease is chronic, nails are often affected.
Differential diagnosis: psoriasis, keratolysis exfoliativa, contact dermatitis, lichen simplex, atopic dermatitis. If topical corticosteroid creams have been used, diagnosis can be even more difficult to determine.
Diagnosis: scrapings of the skin or a fungal culture can aid in diagnosing this disease.
Course of the disease
The disease itself is chronic and does not heal spontaneously. Unless the usually concomitant nail infection is cleared, the hand infection will reoccur. Because the skin barrier is damaged, a new route for bacteria and possible infections is opened.
For the disease to heal it is mandatory to eradicate the nail infections on both hands and feet and on the skin of feet and groin. Oral anti fungal therapy is advised and includes drugs like terbinafine, itraconasole and fluconasole (the prescribed regimen depends on the used medication).