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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 1999 August;134(4):295-8

Copyright © 1999 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The onychomycoses in young italian men. An epidemiologic study on a representative sample of population

Ingordo V. 1, MazzoccaA. 2, Simone N. 2, Mosca M. E. 3, Fracchiolla S. 4, Tamburelli A. 5, Maffeo N. 6

1 Italian Navy Main Hospital, “M. O. Giulio Venticinque”, Department of Dermatology, Taranto; 2 Italian Navy Recruitment and Drilling Center, “M. O. Ignazio Castrogiovanni”, Medical Service, Taranto; 3 Italian Navy Main Hospital, “M. O. Giulio Venticinque”, Analysis Laboratory, Taranto; 4 Associated Hospitals-North Hospital, Clinical Analysis Service, Taranto, Italian Navy Autonomous Infirmary, Service of Dermatology; 5 Associated Hospitals-North Hospital, Clinical Analysis Service, Taranto, Italian Navy Autonomous Infirmary, Service of Surgery; 6 Medical Surgical Department, Rome


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Background. The onychomychoses are, according to the literature, the most diagnosed nail diseases. Even so the studies of prevalence of onychomycoses in ordinary people are few. An attempt is made to verify the prevalence of onychomicoses in the general Italian young population, using a sample of young males subjects, called for recruitment in the Italian Navy.
Methods. 2504 young caucasian males arriving from coastal regions of Middle-Southern Italy for recruitment in Italian Navy were randomly examinated. The objective visit was effected during pre-admission check. When nail of fingers or toes were damaged, mycological culture for dermatophytes and Candida sp was performed. A questionary for search of risk factors in habits of patients was submitted to affected subjects and to a control healthy volunteers group.
Results. In the examined group the percentage of onychomycosis was very low (0.2%).The identified fungi were Tri-chophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Candida krusei. Only the nails of feet were affected. Tinea pedis did not coesist in any case. No significant risk factor for fungal disease, connected with habits, emerged by submitted questionary. In 2.5% of cases a non-mycological onychopathy was revealed.
Conclusions. In the Italian general young male population onychomycoses are very rare. This is in agreement with the literature of other European countries. Therefore it seems confirmed that old age and coexisting diseases support the mycological infection of nail plate. On the contrary, it is unexpected that particular habits, like using “gummed” sportshoes, practising sports and attending swimming-pools, are not associated with evidence of presence of onychomycosis. More studies are requested to research the role of other fungi, as moulds and yeasts, in the ethiopathogenesis of onychomycoses.

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