Toenail Fungus Can Be Reservoir for Skin Mycosis

Effective pedal onychomycosis treatment can prevent infection from spreading to other sites

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of toenail onychomycosis may not only cure toenail lesions but could be critical in preventing the spread of disease to other body sites, according to research published in the October issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Jacek C. Szepietowski, M.D., of the University of Medicine in Wroclaw, Poland, and colleagues analyzed prospective study data of 2,761 patients with toenail onychomycosis. The information was derived from a questionnaire completed by dermatologists.

Concomitant fungal skin infections were seen in 1,181 patients (42.8 percent) with toenail onychomycosis. The most common infection was tinea pedis in 933 patients (33.8 percent). Other infections included fingernail onychomycosis, tinea cruris and tinea corporis. More advanced and recurrent infection, male sex and a higher number of involved toenails were linked to concomitant fungal skin infections.

"The coexistence of toenail onychomycosis with other types of fungal skin infections is a frequent phenomenon. It could be hypothesized that infected toenails may be a site from which the fungal infections could spread to other body areas. Effective therapy for onychomycosis might therefore be essential not only to treat the lesional toenails but also to prevent spreading the infection to other sites of the skin," the authors conclude.

One of the study authors has been a consultant and researcher for several drug companies.

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Leslie Sabbagh

Leslie Sabbagh

Updated on October 17, 2006

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