What are mycoses?

Moulds and fungi can colonise body surfaces – this is known as a mycosis. There are a few different types of mycoses, and are categorised based on how deep into the tissues they have colonised.

Superficial mycoses exist only on the outermost layers of the skin and hair. An example of a superficial mycosis is tinea versicolour, caused mainly by Malassezia globosa. This affects young adults and typically affects the chest, back, and upper arms and legs. It produces oval spots which can fuse together to form larger areas, these spots can be pale, pink, or tan with a sharp border.

Cutaneous mycoses exist a little deeper in the skin. They are still only found in the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin), and can also be found in hair and nails. Immune reactions can often happen in cutaneous mycoses, these immune reactions can make the skin inflamed and can invoke other changes in deeper layers of the skin. Fungi which commonly cause cutaneous mycoses belong to the Microsporum, Trichophyton, and Epidermophyton genuses, comprising 41 species in total.

Subcutaneous mycoses can involve all layers of the skin and tissue such as fat and muscle underneath. These can often be caused by skin damage and injuries, allowing the fungi to enter. These diseases tend to last a long time and may require surgical treatment.

Systemic mycoses exist in other areas of the body. Systemic mycoses due to primary pathogens are caused by extremely virulent fungi, and can spread all over the body. Systemic mycoses due to opportunistic pathogens (such as candidiasis) occur in people with a weak immune system (people who are immunocompromised or immunodeficient). This state of having a poor immune system may be due to AIDS, cancer, or drugs which weaken the immune system (such as corticosteroids, which may be part of the treatment plan for some allergies).

Mould allergies Guide Index:

© Medic8® | All Rights Reserved