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Fungal skin diseases (dermatomycoses) are infectious skin diseases caused by fungi.

Currently, about 50 species of fungi pathogenic to humans have been described. From the medical point of view (in dermatological practice) three species are of interest – dermatophytes, yeast-like fungi and molds. It helps against some of them:

Fungi can affect the stratum corneum, skin appendages, oral and genital mucous membranes, derma, hypodermis, as well as other deep tissues (in deep mycoses).

The development of fungal skin lesions is caused by the following factors: pathogenicity and virulence of the pathogen, the human body condition, environmental conditions.

Diagnosis of fungal skin lesions in the vast majority of cases must be confirmed by laboratory methods of investigation: microscopic, which allows to establish the presence of fungus, culture (culture), which identifies the fungus, in rare cases histological examination is carried out. In a number of mycoses, luminescent diagnosis is used.

Mycosis of the scalp

Mycosis of the scalp is a lesion of long hair in trichophytosis, microsporia and phavus.

Trichophytia (trichophytia).

Caused by anthropophilic fungi, zoophilic and geophilic fungi.

Superficial trichophytia of the scalp is characterized by the formation of several small rounded bald patches at the expense of hair thinning. Close examination reveals that it is not due to hair loss, but to hair breakage at different levels. Some hairs are hairy at 2-3 mm in height and look like grayish stumps, while other hairs are hairy at the mouth of the hair follicle and look like black dots. Skin in the area of stumps is barely visible hyperemic and slightly flaky. The disease begins, as a rule, in childhood and lasts for years. Papillae at the same time slowly increase in size. At puberty, the lesions may resolve on their own, and the hair cover completely recovers.

Chronic trichophytosis of the scalp is seen almost exclusively in women. As a rule, it is a continuation of superficial childhood trichophytosis, which did not resolve during puberty. Clinical manifestations are so scarce that they remain unnoticed for decades and are only detected during special examinations of mothers and grandmothers, conducted in order to identify the sources of infection in children, in the form of black dots on a background of slight exfoliation (black-point trichophytia). The black dots represent stumps of hair broken off at the mouths of follicles. It is not uncommon to see small atrophic scars.

Infiltrative and inflammatory trichophytosis of the scalp is a painful, dense, sharply limited, tumor-like elevated inflammatory infiltrate of hemispherical or lumpy shape, the surface of which shows pustules and broken hair. Over time, the infiltrate softens and is covered with purulent-hemorrhagic crusts. Upon their removal, small follicular holes are revealed, which creates a picture resembling honeycomb (hence the ancient name of the disease – kerion). When the infiltrate is squeezed, drops of pus emerge from the holes, as through a sieve. Affected hair is rejected with crusts and pus.

As a result of peripheral growth, the lesion can reach a rather large size (6-8 cm in diameter). It is often accompanied by painful regional lymphadenitis, increase in body temperature, malaise.

Treatment: Consultation with a dermatologist is necessary for treatment.

Microsporiasis (microsporia)

Caused by both anthropophilic and zoophilic fungi.

Mostly afflicted are children. During puberty, the disease usually resolves spontaneously. Microsporiasis is usually superficial. Infiltrative and igneous forms are observed very rarely.

Scalp microsporiasis appears in two ways. In cases where the causative agent is a zoophilic fungus, 1-2 large, rounded or oval, clearly delineated lesion foci are formed, all hairs in which are broken off at the same height (5-8 mm) and therefore look as if trimmed. The broken hairs are white due to spore muffs and are easily pulled out. The skin is densely covered with mucoid scales. Microsporiasis caused by the anthropophilic fungus closely resembles superficial trichophytosis of the scalp, with the difference that the hairs break (not all!) more highly and are white.

Treatment: A dermatologist should be consulted for treatment.

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