A Dermatophyte is defined as a parasitic fungus that is responsible for causing the infections in your skin. It is not a specific fungus, but only a short hand label for a class of three genera of fungi that often cause diseases of the skin in animals and human beings. These asexual genera are Microsporum, Epidermophyton and Trichophyton. There are approximately forty species in these three classes of genera.
Dermatophytes results in the hair infections, skin infections and nails infections as they are able to absorb the nutrients from the keratinized material. The keratin tissue is inhabited by the organisms and this result in inflammation by the host response to the metabolic by-products. Dermatophyte are often restricted to the cornified, non-living layer of the epidermis as they are unable to go through the viable tissues of the host. This invasion of the Dermatophytes educes a host response that ranges from mild to severe. Dermatophytes do not attack the living tissues usually, but they settle on the outer layer of the skin.
Classification of Dermatophyte- Dermatophyte is categorized into three classes based on their natural habitat: Anthrophilic- humans, Zoophilic-animals and Geophilic- soil. The Anthrophilic Dermatophytes limited to the human hosts only and they result in a mild and chronic infection in human beings. The Zoophilic organisms have their hosts, basically in animals. They are responsible in producing remarkable inflammatory reactions in the human beings having contact with the infected dogs, cats, birds, cattle’s, horses or any other animals. The Geophilic species are generally recovered from soil, but they cause infections in animals and human beings very often. They result in remarkable inflammatory reactions in humans and animals that limit spreading of the infection. It may result in impulsive cure, but scars of the reactions will be left behind.
Dermatophytes Transmission- The transmission of the Dermatophyte takes place either by the direct contact with the infected host that may be an animal or a human being, or by direct or indirect contact with infected caps, skin, hairs in clothing, hair brushes, comb, theatre seats, towels, rugs, furniture, locker room floorings and bed linens. It is workable in a particular environment for a period of about fifteen months, depending on the organism’s species. Susceptibility to infections is higher in cases of an already existing skin injury like burns, scars, humidity and excessive temperature.
The infections caused by the Dermatophytes can be diagnosed readily depending on the physical examination, history and KOH i.e. Potassium Hydroxide Microscopy. The diagnosis usually needs historologic examination, Wood’s Lamp examination and fungal culture. Dermatophytic infections are mostly treated by using the Topical Therapy. The courses of treatment are short; whereas the rates of cure are high with topical fungicidal allylamines rather than the fungistatic azoles.
Dermatophytes, a group of fungi are capable to cause infections and survive only on the dead keratin, which is found on the topmost layer of the hair, skin and nails. They are unable to live on the moist skin that is found inside the vagina or the mouth. Thus, they are liable in causing a number of hair, skin and nail infections in living organisms.