Recalcitrant Dermatophytosis

Recalcitrant Dermatophytosis: What is it and How is it Treated?

Dermatophytosis is a common fungal infection of human skin, nails and hair. This type of infection is most often caused by dermatophytes, also known as the tinea fungus. While most cases of dermatophytosis can be successfully treated, some cases can become difficult to cure due to drug resistance or limited drug availability. These cases are known as recalcitrant dermatophytosis.

Recalcitrant dermatophytosis is a stubborn form of this condition that is hard to treat. It is not an uncommon problem, especially in immunocompromised patients or those with a poor response to regular treatment. The diagnosis and treatment of recalcitrant dermatophytosis requires special attention and care.

Symptoms of recalcitrant dermatophytosis are largely the same as those of other types of dermatophytosis, such as reddening of the skin, itchiness, burning sensation, pain or scaling. In cases of recalcitrant dermatophytosis, the infection tends to recur frequently and can be slower to heal. Treatment must target both the symptoms and underlying infection.

Treatment Options for Recalcitrant Dermatophytosis

Treatment for recalcitrant dermatophytosis requires a combination of topical antifungal medications as well as potent oral antifungal medications. The topical medications are usually applied directly to the affected area and can provide immediate relief, while the oral medications can take weeks to take full effect.

Before beginning treatment, your doctor may recommend a skin scraping or biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of recalcitrant dermatophytosis. This will also help rule out other potential underlying causes of the condition. Additionally, your doctor may ask for a sample of the infected material to be sent to a laboratory to identify which fungus is causing the infection so that it can be treated properly.

The following are some of the treatments available for recalcitrant dermatophytosis:

  • Topical antifungal medications: These medications are applied directly to the affected area to help clear up the infection. They usually come in the form of creams, lotions, ointments, or gels.
  • Oral antifungal medications: These medications help to fight the underlying infection, while allowing the body to start the healing process. Depending on the severity of the infection, it may take several weeks to several months for the medication to take full effect.
  • Photodynamic therapy: This type of therapy uses lights of different wavelengths to target and kill the fungus. This is a relatively new treatment for recalcitrant dermatophytosis and is typically used in combination with other types of treatments.
  • Systemic antifungal medications: These medications are taken by mouth and are able to penetrate deeper into the skin than topical medications. These are typically used for more severe cases of recalcitrant dermatophytosis, and can cause some side effects.

In some cases, the infection may also require the use of combination medications or long-term suppressive treatments. Your doctor will be able to best determine the right treatment for your condition.