Background: Scytalidium dimidiatum and S hyalinum are molds responsible for human skin and nail infections in tropical areas. Objective: We sought to examine the epidemiology of cutaneous infections caused by Scytalidium species in a temperate country. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients with Scytalidium spp. infection diagnosed in our laboratory in Paris, France, from 1994 to 1999. Results: Cutaneous Scytalidium infections were diagnosed in 332 patients, all of whom were from the tropics, especially the West Indies and Africa. S hyalinum and S dimidiatum were isolated in 53.6% and 43.9% of cases, respectively, and were associated with dermatophytes in 30 patients. Skin and nail lesions were found in, respectively, 65.3% and 34.7% of cases, and the feet were involved in 90.6% of cases. Conclusion: Cutaneous infections caused by Scytalidium species are far from rare in France, a temperate country, and must not be mistaken for dermatophytosis, given the resistance of S hyalinum and S dimidiatum to most antifungal drugs. Mycologic examination is, thus, required to identify Scytalidium spp in patients returning from or residing in tropical areas. (J Am Acad Dermatol 2003;48:852-6.)
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