Understanding Subcutaneous Mycoses: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Subcutaneous Mycoses

Subcutaneous mycoses are a group of fungal infections that affect the layers of the skin and tissues just beneath the skin

Subcutaneous mycoses are a group of fungal infections that affect the layers of the skin and tissues just beneath the skin. These infections are usually caused by fungi present in soil, plants, and some animals. Unlike superficial fungal infections that primarily affect the outermost layer of the skin, subcutaneous mycoses penetrate deeper into the skin and cause more serious disease.

The most common type of subcutaneous mycosis is sporotrichosis, caused by the fungus Sporothrix schenckii. This fungus enters the body through breaks in the skin, such as cuts or puncture wounds, and causes localized infection. Typically, sporotrichosis presents as painless nodules or ulcers that slowly spread along lymphatic vessels. The lesions may be accompanied by swelling and tenderness in the affected area. This infection is more common in individuals who work with plants or soil, as the fungus is commonly found in decaying plant matter.

Another type of subcutaneous mycosis is chromoblastomycosis, which is caused by certain pigmented fungi, such as Fonsecaea spp. and Cladosporium carrionii. This infection is characterized by the development of slowly growing skin lesions that may appear as warty or scaly plaques. Over time, these plaques can become ulcerated and may spread to neighboring areas. Chromoblastomycosis usually affects individuals who work in farming or forestry, as the fungi can be found in the soil and on plants.

The diagnosis of subcutaneous mycoses is usually made by isolating the causative fungus from a sample obtained from the affected area. This sample can be obtained by scraping the surface of skin lesions or collecting tissue samples. Microscopic examination and culture techniques are used to identify the specific fungus involved.

Treatment of subcutaneous mycoses usually involves long-term antifungal therapy. The choice of antifungal medication depends on the specific fungus causing the infection and its susceptibility to different drugs. Commonly used antifungal drugs for subcutaneous mycoses include itraconazole, terbinafine, and potassium iodide.

Prevention of subcutaneous mycoses involves avoiding direct contact with soil, plants, or animals that may carry the fungi. Individuals who work in occupations with a high risk of exposure should take appropriate precautions, such as wearing protective clothing and gloves. Proper wound care is also important to prevent fungal infections from entering the body through breaks in the skin.

In conclusion, subcutaneous mycoses are fungal infections that affect the layers of the skin and tissues below the skin. These infections are typically caused by fungi present in soil, plants, and animals. Diagnosis is made by isolating the fungus from a sample obtained from the affected area, and treatment involves long-term antifungal therapy. Prevention involves minimizing exposure to sources of infection and practicing proper wound care.

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