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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 2013 December;148(6):603-8

language: English

Skin and nail mycoses in patients with diabetic foot

Papini M. 1, Cicoletti M. 1, Fabrizi V. 1, Landucci P. 2

1 Terni Dermatologic Clinic, University of Perugia S. Maria Hospital, Terni, Italy;
2 Internal Medicine, Belcolle Hospital, Viterbo, Italy


Diabetes mellitus affects all socioeconomic and age groups and its incidence is rapidly increasing worldwide. The diabetic foot complication represents one of the most complex and serious complications in these patients. Fungal infections can also contribute to the severity of the diabetic foot. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of foot skin and toenail mycosis in a group of 75 patients with diabetic foot complication and in a matched control group. Diabetic patients showed onychomycosis in 53.3% and foot skin mycosis in 46.7% of the cases, with a prevalence of both fungal infections significantly higher than that observed in the control group. At least one type of these fungal infections was present in 69.3% of diabetic subjects with a highly significant difference compared to control group (P<0.001). Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton interdigitale were the most common species responsible of both nail and skin infections. Candida spp, Fusarium spp, Aspergillus spp and other moulds. were found in about 1/3 onychomycosis. Previous toe amputation was significantly associated with both skin and nail mycosis. The present study confirms that both tinea pedis and onychomycosis have a high prevalence in subjects suffering from diabetic foot complication, and that the problem of fungal infections of the foot in diabetic subjects is still highly underestimated. Consequently, there is an important clinical rationale for careful mycological examination of diabetic foot and an adequate treatment tailored for each individual patient according to the fungal species involved.

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