Derms Commonly Misdiagnose Fungal Skin Infections

Thursday, November 17, 2016 | Fungal Infections , Research and Publications

Fungal skin infections may be commonly misdiagnosed, according to a survey in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

George Washington University (GW) dermatologist Adam Friedman, MD and colleagues along with Therapeutics Clinical Research in San Diego, Calif. asked dermatologists to anonymously review 13 clinical images and determine whether or not the image was consistent with a fungal skin infection.

The majority of cases were only appropriately classified by 50 percent of participants, with only one of the cases correctly identified by 90 percent of the audience, the survey showed.

“It is crucial to push for proper and continued medical education on dermatophyte and other fungal skin infections to minimize misdiagnoses and ultimately curb disease impact,” says Dr. Friedman, associate professor, director of the residency program, and director of translational research in the Department of Dermatology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in a news release.

The survey highlights the challenge of distinguishing between certain fungal skin infections and primary inflammatory conditions, and the ease with which one may miss the correct diagnosis.

“Secondary syphilis, annular psoriasis, and pityriasis rosea are among a few inflammatory skin diseases that mimic dermatophyte infections,” says Dr. Friedman. “However, knowledge and training of bedside diagnostic techniques like potassium hydroxide preps during residency and beyond can combat misdiagnosis.”




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