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Sporotrichosis is a fungal infection of the skin caused by the fungus Sporothrix schenckii, which is found on decaying vegetation, rosebushes, twigs, hay, sphagnum moss and mulch-rich soil. Because of its tendency to present after a thorn injury, it is also called rose gardener's disease. The first symptom of sporotrichosis is a firm bump (nodule) on the skin that can range in color from pink to nearly purple. The nodule is usually painless or only mildly tender. Over time, the nodule may develop an open sore (ulcer) that may drain clear fluid.
HOW IS SPOROTRICHOSIS DIAGNOSED?
Other lymphocutaneous infections can mimic the lesions of sporotrichosis so it is important to perform tests to confirm diagnosis. Microscopy and culture of infected tissue is performed to identify the presence of Sporothrix schenckii. Skin biopsy can be helpful. Histopathology reveals a granulomatous infection with abscess formation. The organisms may be identified using special stains.
HOW IS SPOROTRICHOSIS TREATED?
Most cases of sporotrichosis only involve the skin and/or subcutaneous tissues and are non-life-threatening, but the infection requires treatment with prescription antifungal medication for several months. Supersaturated potassium iodide (SSKI) is another treatment option for cutaneous or lymphocutaneous disease. SSKI and azole drugs like itraconazole should not be used during pregnancy. Treatment recommendations may differ for children.