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Clin Dermatol. 2010 Mar 4;28(2):185-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2009.12.015.

Pathogenesis of dermatophytosis and tinea versicolor.

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Laboratory of Dermatology and Medical Mycology Research, Specialties Hospital, National Medical Center, IMSS, Apdo postal A-032, Coahuila No 5 Col Roma, 06703, México, DF, México.


Dermatophytoses are infections caused by keratinophilic fungi known as dermatophytes. Several steps are required for infection to take place: contact, adherence, and invasion of keratin layers. The severity of the infection depends on the type of agent, environmental factors, and the host immunologic status. Tinea versicolor is caused by the Malassezia spp yeasts, which are microorganisms that belong to normal biota in seborrheic areas, but some contributing factors, such as the application of oily preparations, creams, an increase in ambient humidity, corticosteroid abuse, or genetic predisposition can induce its overgrowth in both filamentous and yeast structures. Exposure to sunlight stimulates the production of azelaic acid, which causes the appearance of hypopigmented spots. Currently, there is no scientific explanation for hyperpigmented lesions.

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