Dermatophytosis Simplex and Complex

Wet, macerated, white keratin in the webspace in dermatophytosis simplex.

Dermatophytosis simplex is used to describe dermatophyte infection of the web space. When bacterial infection occurs as well, the term Dermatophytosis complex is used. Various antibacterial substances secreted by the fungus can suppress growth of gram-positive bacteria. This plus constant moisture can lead to gram-negative bacterial overgrowth.


The web spaces may be dry and scaly or moist and macerated in dermatophytosis simplex. In dermatophytosis complex, there is symptomatic inflammation, maceration, and malodor. If this condition becomes severe, gram-negative toe web infection can supervene.


A topical antifungal agent should be prescribed. Keeping the area dry with superabsorbent powders (e.g., Zeasorb AF), sandals, or going barefoot is recommended. See also tinea pedis.


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