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diseases of the skin caused by parasitic fungi, or dermatophytes. Man may become infected directly from human beings or animals suffering from a dermatomycosis as well as through plants (grasses, vegetables, fruits) or various objects (head gear, clothing, footwear, everyday household objects, children’s toys) contaminated with the fungi. Children are the most susceptible to dermatomycoses (with the exception of epidermophytosis, which attacks mostly adults and adolescents).
Dermatomycoses are divided into four groups. Keratomycoses (furfuraceous lichen, erythrasma, trichosporosis nodosa, or piedra, and trichomycosis axillaris) are mildly infectious diseases. The causative agents infest the surface of the horny layer of the epidermis (they do not provoke an inflammatory reaction) and the cuticle of the hair without affecting its substance. Epidermomycoses (tinea cruris, tinea pedis, Trichophyton rubrum infection, and superficial yeast infections, or candidiases) are infectious diseases that are extremely widespread throughout the world. The causative agents parasitize within the horny layer and often attack the nails, producing marked inflammatory reactions. Trichomycoses (trichophytosis, microsporosis, and favus) are the most highly infectious dermatomycoses and are of major significance in social hygiene. They attack glabrous skin, hair, and nails. In most cases the fungi parasitize inside the strands of hair themselves, attacking their substance and causing superficial skin lesions; other fungi surround the hairs and damage them severely. Deep dermatomycoses, the last group, includes actinomycosis (the modern view is that actinomycetes are mycobacteria), deep blastomycosis, chromoblastomycosis , sporotrichosis, coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis , and mycoses caused by mold fungi. The causative agents invade the deep layers of the skin and subcutaneous tissue and penetrate into the viscera, muscles, bones , and lymph nodes, causing their lesion. Large nodular or tumorlike growths usually appear on the skin and, after disintegrating or necrotizing, turn into ulcers that heal slowly and leave deforming scars.
In the USSR the fight against dermatomycoses is considered a matter of national significance. Sanitary-epidemio-logical stations, pediatricians, physicians and paramedical personnel of children’s, communal, and industrial establishments, and the veterinary service take part in the effort. The basis of the approach to the eradication of dermatomycoses is the dispensary system devised by Soviet scientists for handling patients in the dermatology offices of polyclinics and dermatology-venereology clinics, in special fungus-control offices and hospitals attached to dispensaries and polyclinics, and in rural medical and paramedical districts. In addition to mandatory treatment of persons with dermatomycoses, all the members of their families are examined. All children and personnel of children’s institutions are checked regularly. Expeditions are organized to regions with a high incidence of dermatomycoses. There are extensive campaigns to educate the public about the diseases. The incidence of dermatomycoses in the USSR has declined sharply.
Dermatomycoses of animals are subdivided according to origin into two basic groups: microsporosis and trichophytosis (barn itch). They can also be divided into several groups according to the site of invasion. Animal dermatomycoses are widespread in many countries, where they greatly reduce the productivity of the animals.
REFERENCESKashkin, P. N. Dermatomikozy. Leningrad, 1967.
Arievich, A. M. Gribkovye zabolevaniia kozhi. Moscow, 1954.
Arievich, A. M., and Z. G. Stepanishcheva. Atlas gribkovykh zabolevanii kozhi. Moscow, 1951.
Mashkilleison, L. N. Infektsionnye i parazitarnye bolezni kozhi. Moscow, 1960.
IU. K. SKRIPKIN and G. IA. SHARAPOVA