keywords: Allylamine, Arthroconidia, Dermatophytosis, Tinea, Transmission
Trichophyton (most common), Epidermophyton and Microsporum species are dermatophytes implicated in dermatophytosis also referred to as tinea or ringworm. These causative agents usually exist in the anamorph and teleomorph phases. Hot and humid climates usually experienced in Africa, Asia and Europe are risk factors that facilitate the transmission of this cankerworm which accounts for 3-4% of dermatological cases worldwide. The population at risk has increased, with a prevalence record of, 20%-25% around the globe and 29% in Nigeria respectively. Transmission occurs through contact with fomites, man, animals and soil. The clinical presentation of tinea pedis (ringworm of the feet), tinea capitis (ringworm of the scalp), and tinea mannum (ringworm of the palm) are cracks, black dots, and the formation of blisters respectively. Dermatophytes’ arthroconidia attach to the epithelium after which they germinate to hyphae which eventually invade the host cell destroying the keratin layer of the epidermis. Diagnostic procedures for tinea include microscopy, culture, biochemical and molecular assay. Terbinafin is the first-line medication for the treatment of dermatophytosis; other antifungals such as fluconazole, ketoconazole and griseofulvin are also used in the treatment of dermatophyte; Management entails the adoption of personal hygiene, treatment of carriers and monitoring of liver enzyme. Creation of awareness, development of efficient identification techniques and adoption of reference anti-fungal susceptibility testing methods are preventive strategies. There is a need for rapid and efficient methods for the detection of dermatophytes and prompt interventional strategies to stem the tide of tinea in our environment.