By Gary M. White, MD

Primary cutaneous mucormycosis (PCM) represents infection of the skin by any fungi of the order Mucorales (which falls within in the broader zygomycota phylum). Mucorales are found in decaying vegetation and soil and release a large number of spores. Sources of infection include inhalation (most commonly), percutaneous inoculation, and ingestion of spores. Compared to other filamentous fungi, it is rare for systemic mucormycosis to spread to the skin. Many patients are not only immunocompromised but IV drug users as well. Local tissue damage also seems to be a risk factor.


Any ecthyma-like lesions in an immunocompromised patient should raise the possibility of PCM. Skin biopsy of the leading edge stained with PAS allows for easy diagnosis. The infection may disseminate.

Rhinocerebral Mucormycosis

The main signs and symptoms observed are odontalgia, sinusitis, facial swelling and cellulitis, nasal obstruction, and nasal discharge. In advanced cases, dramatic necrosis and destruction of the central face may occur.


Amphotericin B is the usual treatment of mucormycosis.


A large, necrosing ulcer on the arm of a 66 year old man with mantle-cell lymphoma and neutropenia. Dermatology Online Journal 2015;21

Dramatic facial necrosis in a patient with RM. Case Rep Med. 2014; 2014: 527062.

Gangrene nose in a diabetic: a rare presentation of Rhino-orbital-cerebral mucormycosis. The Internet Journal of Ophthalmology 2008;10;1


Homepage | FAQs | Use of Images | Contact Dr. White

It is not the intention of to provide specific medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. only intends to provide users with information regarding various medical conditions for educational purposes and will not provide specific medical advice. Information on is not intended as a substitute for seeking medical treatment and you should always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider for diagnosis and for answers to your individual questions. Information contained on should never cause you to disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment. If you live in the United States and believe you are having a medical emergency call 911 immediately.