Low-voltage Direct Current as a Fungicidal Agent for Treating Onychomycosis

J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. Nov-Dec 2004;94(6):565-72. doi: 10.7547/0940565.

Abstract

Onychomycosis, most commonly caused by two species of dermatophyte fungi--Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes--is primarily treated with regimens of topical and systemic antifungal medications. This study was undertaken to evaluate in vitro the efficacy of low-voltage direct current as an antifungal agent for treating onychomycosis. Agar plate cultures of T rubrum and T mentagrophytes were subjected to low-voltage direct current electrostimulation, and antifungal effects were observed as zones in the agar around the electrodes lacking fungal growth. Zones devoid of fungal growth were observed for T rubrum and T mentagrophytes around anodes and cathodes in a dose-dependent manner in the current range of 500 microA to 3 mA. Low-voltage direct current electrostimulation has great clinical potential for the treatment of onychomycosis and perhaps other superficial maladies of fungal etiology.

MeSH terms

  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy
  • Foot Dermatoses / microbiology
  • Foot Dermatoses / therapy
  • Humans
  • Onychomycosis / microbiology*
  • Onychomycosis / therapy
  • Tinea Pedis / microbiology*
  • Tinea Pedis / therapy
  • Trichophyton / growth & development*