Tinea nigra pathology

Author: Assoc Prof Patrick Emanuel, Dermatopathologist, Auckland, New Zealand, 2013.

Tinea nigra is a superficial mycosis caused by Hortaea werneckii.

Histology of tinea nigra

The epidermis and dermis of the acral skin infected with tinea nigra are largely unremakarkable at low power magnification (figure 1). In the superficial aspects of the stratum corneum, numerous short, segmented hyphae and spores are seen These organisms have a characteristic brown-yellow colour on routine haematoxylin and eosin sections (figure 2, arrows).

Special studies for tinea nigra

The organisms are typically easy to identify at high power with haematoxylin and eosin sections. PAS and GMS stains can also be used to highlight the morphology.

Differential diagnosis of tinea nigra pathology

Tinea – The fungal forms of tinea (dermatophyte infection) lack the characteristic brown-yellow pigment and typically shows more of an inflammatory response.

Related information

Make a donation

Donate Today

Help us to update and maintain DermNet New Zealand

Thanks to our volunteers

Watch Dr Amanda Oakley's Lifetime Service - TechSoup 2017 award video

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
DermNet NZ Newsletter