The menace of tinea incognito:clinico-epidemiological study with microbiological correlation from South India
Keywords:Tinea incognito, steroids, dermatophytosis
AbstractBackground: Tinea incognito is a dermatophytosis which exhibits altered appearance clinically due to modification by inappropriate treatment, usually with a topical/systemic steroid or other immunosuppressants, which may masquerade as several other dermatoses. Objective: To study and document the epidemiological data, various morphological expressions, and causative medications for tinea incognito, to identify the causative agent, and also to evaluate the laboratory methods' efficacy in substantiating the diagnosis clinically. Methods: It was conducted over a period of two years with a sample size of hundred cases of tinea incognito who had used topical or systemic steroids, topical immunosuppressants, and other indigenous preparations for a period of at least four weeks. Skin scrapings from the patients were examined for fungal elements under KOH mount, and fungal cultures were performed for species identification, and the derived results were analyzed. Patients at the end of three weeks and six weeks were re-assessed. Results: In our study, clinical presentation mimicked various dermatoses, of which eczematous like was the most common type, followed by psoriasiform. KOH was positive among 69% of the patients, and positivity for fungal culture was seen in 48%, out of which Trichophyton mentagrophytes constituted 56.25% of the cases, followed by Trichophyton rubrum (25%). Conclusions: Although this entity has been known for years, it still causes perplexity in diagnosis and treatment. Health education in order to create public awareness about dermatophytosis is indeed the need of the hour.
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