DefinitionTinea nigra is an infection of the skin. It affects the outermost layer of skin. The infection will cause a black or brown patch on the skin. Except for the dark patch, tinea nigra is a harmless condition.Tinea nigra usually affect the palms of the hands or soles of the feet. It may also appear on the neck or trunk.
|Cross-Section of Skin|
|Tinea nigra affects the topmost layer of skin.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
CausesTinea nigra is caused by a fungus. The type of fungus that causes this infection is most often found in rotting wood, soil, compost, or sewage. The fungus may enter your body through a break in your skin.
Risk FactorsYou are more likely to develop tinea nigra if you have been living or traveling in tropical or subtropical areas, such as:
- South Africa
- Puerto Rico
- Coastal areas along the southeastern United States
SymptomsTinea nigra causes a brownish-black patch on the skin that:
- Has an irregular shape with a darker border
- May be itchy or scaly
- Tends to expand over time
DiagnosisYour doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may need to see a skin specialist for tests, diagnosis, and treatment.Tinea nigra is diagnosed by scraping a small sample of the affected skin. The sample is examined under a microscope.
TreatmentTinea nigra is usually treated with an antifungal medication. The medication is placed on the skin as creams or ointments.
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