Mycetoma is a chronic infection of the skin, subcutaneous tissue and sometimes bone characterised by discharging sinuses filled with organisms. It is generally found on the foot, where it is sometimes given the name watering can foot. Infections spread through contiguous subcutaneous areas, resulting in tumefaction and formation of multiple draining sinuses that exude characteristic grains of clumped organisms. Microscopic tissue reactions may be primarily suppurative or granulomatous depending on the specific causative agent. As the infection progresses, bacterial superinfections can develop.
HOW IS MYCETOMA DIAGNOSED?
The diagnosis of the condition is based on the evaluation of the discharge which is extracted using a needle. Occasionally, the general physician may need a skin biopsy.
HOW IS MYCETOMA TREATED?
Mycetoma does not resolve without active treatment. Actinomycetoma responds well to treatment with appropriate antibiotics but they are required for months or years. The sinuses dry up, swelling and tenderness improves and the grains disappear. Deformity may persist. Surgery is done to remove the affected tissue completely. These may mean amputation if bone is involved.
DID YOU KNOW?
Mycetoma is endemic in the tropics and subtropics and it is named after the region of India where it was first described in 1842.