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Tinea Nigra Treatment & Management

  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
 
Updated: Jun 22, 2016
 

Medical Care

After tinea nigra is diagnosed on the basis of the findings from the patient's history, physical examination, and appropriate laboratory test, a topical medication designed to eradicate the fungal infection should be applied to the respective area. Topical application of antifungal agents usually resolves tinea nigra within 2-4 weeks. Topical ketoconazole cream may be a good choice,[16, 25]  as well other antifungals.[26, 27, 28] Prolonged therapy may be necessary to prevent relapse. Repeated vigorous scrubbing or topical application of keratolytic agents can reduce pigmentation.[21]

Spontaneous healing has been described but is rare.[29]

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Surgical Care

To aid the effectiveness of the topical medication in eradicating the dermatomycosis, the affected skin area should be scraped with a No. 15 scalpel blade prior to the initial application of the medicine.

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Complications

Tinea nigra is a benign superficial fungal infection that does not have any serious complications.

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Prevention

Because infection is believed to occur after inoculation subsequent to trauma, patients should avoid potentially contaminated sources, such as soil, sewage, compost, and decaying wood.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH Professor and Head of Dermatology, Professor of Pathology, Pediatrics, Medicine, and Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Visiting Professor, Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, New York Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

George Kihiczak, MD Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, New Jersey Medical School and University Hospital

George Kihiczak, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, Medical Society of New Jersey

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

David F Butler, MD Section Chief of Dermatology, Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System; Professor of Dermatology, Texas A&M University College of Medicine; Founding Chair, Department of Dermatology, Scott and White Clinic

David F Butler, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association, Alpha Omega Alpha, Association of Military Dermatologists, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Paul Krusinski, MD Director of Dermatology, Fletcher Allen Health Care; Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Paul Krusinski, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Neil Shear, MD Professor and Chief of Dermatology, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Pharmacology, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine; Head of Dermatology, Sunnybrook Women's College Health Sciences Center and Women's College Hospital, Canada

Neil Shear, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Canadian Medical Association, Ontario Medical Association, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Canadian Dermatology Association, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

The authors and editors of Medscape Reference gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous author, Vinay Arya, MD, to the development and writing of this article.

References
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Tinea nigra, evident as a painless cluster of brown-to-black macules. Courtesy of Dr. Peter Santalucia.
Tinea nigra, showing hyperkeratosis and mild acanthosis. A scant amount of perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate may be found in the papillary and subpapillary layers of the dermis (hematoxylin and eosin stain). Courtesy of Thomas N. Helm, MD.
Tinea nigra, with histologic section demonstrating periodic acid-Schiff–positive septate hyphae within the stratum corneum. Courtesy of Thomas N. Helm, MD.
 
 
 
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