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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a skin disease of the epidermomycosis group. Infection comes from direct contact with a person who has the disease, the use of poorly laundered contaminated linen, or the common use of a contaminated washcloth, footwear, or bathtub.

The most common form, epidermophytosis of the feet (athlete’s foot), is manifested chiefly by lesions of the interdigital folds, marked by reddening, detachment of the horny layer, ulcerations, and cracks. Other symptoms include reddening of the feet and scaling or itching of the arch, lateral surfaces, and toes. Tiny, sometimes confluent, blisters with transparent or turbid contents erupt. Serosanguineous crusts and scales also may appear. Involvement of the inguinal folds, the inner surfaces of the thighs, and less commonly, the armpits and folds under the breasts results in the appearance of symmetrical red-brown spots with lamelliform desquamation on the surface and sharp edematous edges covered by blisters and crusts.

The diagnosis of epidermophytosis is confirmed by bacterioscopy (the detection of fungi by microscopic examination of scrapings from affected spots) or by bacteriological culture (culturing a scraping on a nutrient medium). The disease is treated by baths with potassium permanganate, application of solutions of iodine, brilliant green, or methylene blue to infected areas, and the use of Nitrofungin and ointments containing Undetsin and Mycoseptin. Desensitizing agents (calcium chloride, sodium thiosulfate) and vitamins B¡ and C are sometimes prescribed. Prevention requires health education; detection and treatment of individuals with asymptomatic forms of the disease; regular disinfection of bath, swimming pool, and shower premises and implements; and observance of the rules of personal hygiene.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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