|Description:||Magnified 430X, this periodic acid-Schiff stained photomicrograph revealed some of the ultrastructural pathologic changes that were exhibited by a hair shaft affected by an endothrix infection caused by the dermatophytic fungus, Trichophyton tonsurans. Note the numerous spheroid spores located within the internal confines of the shaft.|
Dermatophytes are fungi that cause skin, hair, and nail infections. Infections caused by these fungi are also sometimes known as "ringworm" or "tinea." Despite the name "ringworm," this infection is not caused by a worm, but by a type of fungus called a dermatophyte. One example of a very common dermatophyte infection is athlete's foot, which is also called tinea pedis. Another common dermatophyte infection affecting the groin area is jock itch, also known as tinea cruris.