Cutaneous infections dermatophytosis, onychomycosis, and tinea versicolor

Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2003 Mar;17(1):87-112. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5520(02)00065-x.


Cutaneous fungal infections cause significant morbidity for healthy and ill patients. The incidence of some dermatomycoses is increasing, despite availability of newer and better topical and systemic treatments. Fungal remnants last months to years under the ideal conditions, allowing continued spread of infection. Mycoses treated in one area may recur because of organism travel from concomitant areas of infection. Failure of patients and physicians to recognize a fungal etiology early may lead to more extensive, severe, or difficult-to-treat infections. Finally, a patient's concurrent illnesses may play a part in susceptibility and ability to manage fungal infections. For these reasons, scientists have studied and developed newer antifungal agents with better efficacy and greater convenience in dosing. These drugs, however, still have side effects and medication interactions that may limit their use in some patients. Better efforts to educate patients and physicians alike may aid in faster recognition and treatment of dermatophytoses. More research is needed to continue to develop drugs suitable for use in a broader range of patients and diagnostic tests that may be quicker or more specific than conventional ones.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dermatomycoses* / diagnosis
  • Dermatomycoses* / drug therapy
  • Dermatomycoses* / epidemiology
  • Dermatomycoses* / microbiology
  • Fungi / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • Malassezia / pathogenicity
  • Onychomycosis* / diagnosis
  • Onychomycosis* / drug therapy
  • Onychomycosis* / epidemiology
  • Onychomycosis* / microbiology
  • Tinea / classification
  • Tinea / microbiology
  • Tinea / prevention & control
  • Tinea Versicolor* / diagnosis
  • Tinea Versicolor* / drug therapy
  • Tinea Versicolor* / epidemiology
  • Tinea Versicolor* / microbiology


  • Antifungal Agents