Occlusion, carbon dioxide, and fungal skin infections

Lancet. 1978 Feb 18;1(8060):360-2. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(78)91084-x.


Occlusion of the skin renders it susceptible to acute fungal skin infections (dermatophytosis and candidiasis). Occlusion also raised carbon-dioxide (CO2) tensions at the skin's surface. Comparable CO2 tnesions have a pronounced effect on the morphology and metabolism of dermatophytes in vitro. It is postulated that dermatophyte conida and hyphae produce infective units under conditions of raised CO2 tensions, and that occlusion of the skin produces the concentrations of CO2 required for the conversion. Fungal skin infections might be prevented or controlled by interference with the action of CO2 or by prevention of its accumulation under wet, occlusive clothing.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity
  • Candidiasis, Cutaneous / etiology
  • Candidiasis, Cutaneous / microbiology
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism*
  • Clothing / adverse effects*
  • Dermatomycoses / etiology*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Occlusive Dressings / adverse effects*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Tinea / etiology
  • Tinea / microbiology
  • Trichophyton / pathogenicity
  • Virulence


  • Carbon Dioxide