Dermatophytoses and Other Superficial Mycoses

  • Roderick J. Hay


The superficial mycoses, which include dermatophytosis or ringworm, superficial candidosis, and Malassezia infections, are the commonest of the human fungal infections [1]. The dermatophyte or ringworm fungi invade the stratum corneum of the epidermis and keratinized tissues such as hair or nail derived from it. The dermatophytes affecting humans belong to three genera: Trichophyton, Microsporum, or Epidermophyton. They can be divided into those infections that are spread from human to human (anthropophilic), animal to human (zoophilic), or soil to human (geophilic). The commonest of these organisms is Trichophyton rubrum, followed by Trichophyton violaceum, Trichophyton tonsurans, Trichophyton interdigitale/mentagrophytes, Microsporum canis, and Microsporum audouinii. The initial infection probably follows contact with an infected desquamated scale or hair. The process of skin invasion is initiated by the germination of spores, or arthroconidia, adherent to the stratum corneum [2]. Dermatophyte infections are normally called tinea, followed by the appropriate part of the body involved, in Latin. Other forms include tinea pedis, tinea corporis, tinea cruris, tinea capitis, and tinea facei. Nail infections, or tinea unguium, also are called onychomycosis owing to dermatophytes.


Tinea Capitis Nail Plate Tinea Pedis Trichophyton Rubrum Tinea Corporis 


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    Hay RJ: Fungal Infections. In Skin Immune System (SIS). Edited by Jan D. Bos. Boca Raton, FL; 1997: 593–604.Google Scholar
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    Hay RJ, Moore M: Mycology. In Textbook of Dermatology, edn. 6. Edited by Champion RH, Burton JL, Burns DA, Breathnach SM. Oxford: Blackwell Science; 1998: 1277–1376.Google Scholar

Selected Bibliography

  1. Friedman-Kien AE: Cutaneous manifestations. In Atlas of Infectious Diseases, edn 2. Edited by Mandell GL, Mildvan D. Philadelphia: Current Medicine; 1997: 5. 2–5. 18.Google Scholar
  2. Elgart ML: Cutaneous mycology. Dematol Clin 1996, 113–124.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roderick J. Hay

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