Tinea nigra is a superficial mycosis caused by Hortaea werneckii. It is an infrequent asymptomatic infection that affects human palms and soles, and is mostly observed in tropical countries. We evaluate retrospectively twenty-two confirmed cases of tinea nigra from a total of eleven yr (1997-2007) and discuss the epidemiology, clinical features and treatment of this disease. In twelve cases, adults were involved, in 10, children. In nineteen cases the disorder was located on palms of hands and in three on soles of feet. In all cases, the obtained isolates were morphologically identified as Hortaea werneckii and the identification of ten isolates was retrospectively confirmed with the help of sequences of the internal transcribed spacer regions of the ribosomal DNA. The patients received topical treatment with Whitfield ointment, ketoconazole, bifonazole, or terbinafine. Treatment with keratolytic agents and topical antifungals was effective.
Keywords: Hortaea werneckii; keratolysis; melanized fungi; superficial mycosis; tinea nigra; tinea palmaris.