Sporotrichosis is a chronic skin infection caused by a fungus called Sporothrix schenckii. The fungus is found in soil and enters the skin through small cuts and scratches from thorns, wires etc. It is commonly seen in farmers, gardeners and other populations who are frequently exposed to soil and plants.
Symptoms of Sporotrichosis
Cutaneous Sporotrichosis begins as a small, painless pink papules or pustules at the site of infection usually upper extremities (hands and arms) initial resembling as insect bite which rapidly enlarges and eventually turns into an ulcer. If left untreated, the infection ascends along the lymphatics channel upward producing small ulcers and swelling and infection of lymph nodes. In case of fixed cutaneous sporotrichosis, the lesions remain localized around the initial site of infection and do not spread along the lymphatics channels
How is Sporotrichosis diagnosed?
Your dermatologist will usually diagnose based on physical findings. He/she may perform biopsy or culture a tissue to identify fungus.
How is Sporotrichosis Treated?
Although cutaneous lesion may respond to saturated solution of potassium iodide, it is now not in common use because of several adverse effects. Sporotrichosis is usually treated with anti-fungal medications. Commonly used drug is itraconazole 100-200 mg per day and may be continued for 2-4 weeks. Terbinafine 1000mg per day is another option; also fluconazole 200 mg per day is another option but may not be used as first line treatment for its safety purpose. Children can be effectively and safely treated with itraconazole. For some serious and systemic involvement treatment course may be as long as 12 months and amphotericin B may also be needed in treatment regimen.
Are There any Complications?
Although for normal immunocompetent patients serious complications are rare, mild discomfort and secondary bacterial infection may occur. In immunocompromised patients bone infection, arthritis, meningitis, pneumonia may occur.
How to Prevent Sporotrichosis?
Every people who are frequently exposed to soil should avoid skin injury by wearing protective clothing and gloves.