Difficult mycoses of the skin: advances in the epidemiology and management of eumycetoma, phaeohyphomycosis and chromoblastomycosis

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2009 Dec;22(6):559-63. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e328332bbc5.


Purpose of review: Eumycetoma, phaeohyphomycosis and chromoblastomycosis are subcutaneous mycoses having in common the fact that they are acquired as a result of penetrating trauma to the skin and may be caused by a large variety of fungi. This article will review recent data regarding the epidemiology and treatment of these infections.

Recent findings: Recent epidemiologic observations in these mycoses include an increased incidence of phaeohyphomycosis in immunosuppressed patients, the association of polymorphisms in genes involved in innate immunity, the occurrence of eumycetoma caused by Madurella mycetomatis and the nosocomial acquisition of phaeohyphomycosis. The management of these infections continues to be challenging. An approach that involves early diagnosis, the use of systemic antifungal agents and local therapies, including surgical removal of lesions, is the basis of the treatment of these diseases.

Summary: It is crucial that the epidemiology and clinical presentation of these infections are understood if we are to improve their outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chromoblastomycosis / drug therapy
  • Chromoblastomycosis / epidemiology
  • Chromoblastomycosis / etiology
  • Cross Infection
  • Dermatomycoses / drug therapy*
  • Dermatomycoses / epidemiology*
  • Dermatomycoses / etiology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Mycetoma / drug therapy
  • Mycetoma / epidemiology
  • Mycetoma / etiology
  • Skin / injuries
  • Skin / microbiology*


  • Antifungal Agents