2023 Author: Josephine Shorter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 04:34
A mycologist is a doctor who diagnoses, treats and prevents fungal diseases of the skin, hair and nails.
Mycologist is a narrower specialization of a dermatologist, a doctor with a higher education. Mycology itself is closely related to dermatology and venereology.
Mycology is the science that studies fungi and is itself a branch of biology. A mycologist is a doctor with a higher education, often whose primary specialty is a dermatologist who studies fungal diseases, as well as fungal infections of the skin, nails, hair. Mycology itself is closely related to dermatology and venereology.
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- What does a mycologist do?
- What diseases does mycologist treat?
- When to contact a mycologist for advice
- How is an appointment with a mycologist
- Diagnostic methods used by mycologist
- Methods for the prevention of fungal diseases
- Appointment with a mycologist
What does a mycologist do?
The field of activity of this specialist is quite wide. The mycologist's activities include identifying and treating various skin diseases that have been caused by fungi. These can be mold lesions - epidermophytosis, trichophytosis, microsporia, as well as yeast lesions - candidiasis (see also: causes, signs and symptoms of thrush).
The mycologist identifies the type of pathogen, selects drugs for its irradiation, monitors the course of therapy and is engaged in the prevention of the disease. A mycologist should be consulted if the scalp or nail plates have also been affected.
The mycologist must be able to distinguish between mycotic lesions and diseases with similar clinical manifestations. Many diseases of non-fungal origin, although they give the same symptomatology, are not provoked at all by mycotic organisms, but, for example, by smoking, chronic ENT pathologies, malnutrition, allergies, etc.
Read more: Causes and symptoms of allergies
What diseases does mycologist treat?
The specialist deals with the treatment of mycoses, as well as non-fungal diseases of the nail plates.
The doctor's competence includes:
Onychomycosis, which consists in the defeat of the nail plate by a dermatophyte fungus (its various types) or other fungi. Requires long-term treatment (at least 3 months), sometimes therapy can take up to a year.
- Actinomycosis, which develops as a result of the ingestion of radiant fungi into the human body. Any organs can be affected, but most often the face, jaw, and neck are affected. Treatment is carried out in a hospital, consists in surgical treatment of the lesion and further conservative therapy.
- Panniculitis, a disease of unexplained etiology, characterized by damage to the subcutaneous fat and acute inflammation. The role of fungi in the development of the disease has not been clarified, however, a mycologist can deal with the treatment of this problem, since he has a specialty of a dermatologist.
- Aspergillosis is caused by fungi belonging to the genus Aspergillus. These mycotic organisms most often affect the lungs and bronchi, although they can penetrate into the internal organs by the hematogenous route, causing severe complications.
- Mucormycosis, which is provoked by molds, affects the nose and brain, and is often fatal.
- Fungal pneumonia is a deep mycotic lesion of the lung tissue. The disease can be caused by various fungi - mold, yeast, pneumocysts, endemic dimorphic.
- Paronychia, which is characterized by damage to the nail folds and other tissues surrounding the nail. Most often caused by yeast-like fungi.
- Candidiasis or damage to organs or organ systems with yeast-like fungi. Candidiasis occurs on the mucous membranes of the mouth, on the nails, in the intestines, in the female and male genitals, etc.
- Pityriasis versicolor, which is the result of skin lesions with yeast-like fungi.
- Deramatosis and pruritus.
These are the most common diseases in the practice of a mycologist. In addition to them, any mycoses are within the competence of this specialist, so they must be correctly interpreted and cured.
When to contact a mycologist for advice
A mycologist's consultation is an examination of the diagnostic plan for the detection of fungal infections of nails, skin and hair. Most often, a dermatologist recommends contacting a mycologist as a more highly specialized doctor.
Symptoms that should alert a person:
- Itching of the scalp and body;
- Itchy skin ulcers;
- Cracking of the dermis, peeling;
- Unusual nail color, changes in their structure;
- Exfoliation of the skin with its subsequent rupture.
It is quite difficult not to pay attention to the fungal infection of the skin or nails. Starting with slight itching and redness, microorganisms will gradually invade new areas of the body and nails. An untreated infection becomes the cause of the development of serious health complications, as well as a deterioration in the patient's appearance and a decrease in his quality of life.
How is an appointment with a mycologist
Initial consultation with a specialist boils down to the fact that the doctor will listen and assess the patient's complaints. The next stage is the collection of anamnesis and examination of the affected areas of the skin and nails, as well as the examination of the integument using a Wood lamp.
Wood's lamp is used in dermatology in order to detect fungal skin lesions, as well as to detect ringworm. Therefore, such a device must be in the mycologist's office.
In addition, the initial approach includes the collection of scraping material for further research. In this regard, you should not apply any ointments, tinctures, powders or creams to the dermis. The skin must be clean before visiting a mycologist.
At the end of the appointment, the doctor may recommend taking additional tests and appoint a date for the next appointment.
Diagnostic methods used by mycologist
- Collection of smears from the mucous membrane of the throat, ear, sinuses, and pharynx. After the material is obtained, a microscopic examination of the discharge is performed and sowing on various nutrient media, which makes it possible to isolate the culture of the fungus and determine its type. A similar diagnostic method is advisable for detecting mycoses of the ENT organs.
- Crystallographic method for the determination of fungi of the genus Candida.
- Removal of the affected skin area with a disposable scalpel, removal of the edge of the nail and hair with sterile scissors. Subsequent laboratory study of the obtained materials using KOH.
- Electropuncture diagnostics according to R. Voll.
Application of the PCR method, which is valuable in detecting deep candidiasis and disseminated infection. In addition, in some cases, only the PCR method allows genotyping and determining the species of the fungus.
- Express diagnostics of mycoses using the immunobissensory method. The test requires the serum portion of the patient's blood.
- Chemiluminescent analysis in immunodiagnostics of fungi of the genus Candida.
Most often, the result can be obtained 2-7 days later after the material was taken for research. However, there are also methods of express diagnostics, which, after a few hours, can give information about the type of fungal infection in a person, which means they will make it possible to diagnose and begin treatment faster.
Methods for the prevention of fungal diseases recommended by mycologists
At the consultation, the mycologist informs each patient about fairly simple methods of preventing fungal diseases, which will minimize the risk of infection:
Maintaining cleanliness in the house, taking care of personal belongings. It is especially important to regularly carry out wet cleaning for people prone to developing allergies.
- Compliance with the rules of hygiene. It is important to prevent the formation of diaper rash, prickly heat of the skin.
- When the first symptoms of candidiasis are found, you should not treat yourself. It is necessary to consult a doctor to clarify the diagnosis and prescription of therapy.
- Keeping feet and hands clean and dry. If you have excessive sweating, you should seek the help of a dermatologist or mycologist.
- Proper nutrition and vitamin intake, depending on the season.
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