Tinea nigra

What is Tinea nigra

Tinea nigra (also called superficial phaeohyphomycosis or tinea nigra palmaris et plantaris) is a uncommon infection of the skin usually caused by Hortaea werneckii (a species of fungi).

The involved fungus is not rare in Central and South America, Asia and Africa. As the fungus is not very common is the United states, patients have usually travelled elsewhere (especially to the Caribbean islands) prior to noticing the lesions on the skin.

Tinea nigra Picture

Tinea nigra picture

Photo Credit: http://www.ijmm.org/

Presentation: a lot of times, the pathogen does not cause any signs of the disease. When symptoms are present, they usually consist of dark brown or even black patches on the skin of the hands and feet (usually on the palmar and plantar side). The shape can vary from round to completely irregular and it may grow larger with time.

Diagnosis is frequently achieved with clinical examination alone. Rarely, microscopic examination of small skin scrapings or a fungal culture are performed. Because of its typical colour, melanoma should be ruled out.

Treatment: tinea nigra is an infection that responds well to topical anti fungal treatment in about two to four weeks. If treated appropriately, it does not reoccur.



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