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Utility of wood's lamp in intertrigo

 Department of Dermatology, IMS and SUM Hospital, Siksha O Anusandhan University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Date of Submission19-Jan-2021
Date of Decision04-Mar-2021
Date of Acceptance06-Mar-2021
Date of Web Publication02-Aug-2021

Correspondence Address:
Ishan Agrawal,
Department of Dermatology, IMS and SUM Hospital, K-8, Kalinga Nagar, Bhubaneswar - 751 003, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_957_20

How to cite this URL:
Agrawal I, Panda M. Utility of wood's lamp in intertrigo. Indian Dermatol Online J [Epub ahead of print] [cited 2021 Sep 28]. Available from: https://www.idoj.in/preprintarticle.asp?id=322702


Intertrigo is caused due to friction on opposing skin surfaces in adjunct with moisture trapped in the skin folds. It presents as chronic erythematous desquamation associated with malodor, maceration, variable edema, and vesiculopustular lesions. Associated symptoms include burning, pruritus, or pain.[1] We report a case of gram-negative toe web infection wherein Wood's lamp proved as a noninvasive and cost-effective diagnostic modality, helping in early and accurate diagnosis.

A 52-year-old male presented with pruritic macerated superficial erosion of the first interdigital space of the right foot for 6 months duration. The affected area was sharply demarcated from the normal skin and showed maceration with reddish granulation tissue at the base [Figure 1]a and [Figure 1]b. There were no satellite lesions. The nail of the great toe appeared dystrophic. The patient was treated with antifungals (tab fluconazole and topical sertaconazole) with a provisional diagnosis of erosio interdigitalis blastomycetica. Other differentials included causes of nonhealing erosions such as cutaneous tuberculosis, leprosy, chronic insult dermatitis, and ulcerative lupus vulgaris. No clinical improvement was seen after 2 weeks.
Figure1:(a)Macerationinthefirstinterdigitalspaceoftherightfoot. (b)Plantaraspectoftheinterdigitalspace

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Before culture was sent, we conducted few bedside tests including a 10% potassium hydroxide (KOH) mount and Wood's lamp. The former was negative, however, surprisingly Wood's lamp showed a clear greenish fluorescence over the lesional area with patchy coral-red fluorescence [Figure 2]a. Greenish fluorescence on Wood's lamp indicates tinea pedis and Pseudomonas infection.[2]

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Since KOH ruled out tinea pedis, a diagnosis of mixed Pseudomonas and Corynaebacterium (coral red fluorescence) was made. The diagnosis was confirmed by Pseudomonas sps. growth on culture. The patient was started on oral ciprofloxacin 500 mg BD and topical nadifloxacin for 10 days, after which there was distinct clinical improvement [Figure 2]b. The patient was advised to keep the feet dry by using talcum powder.

Such clinical presentations have been reported with other gram-negative bacteria including Pseudomonas[3] and also Corynaebacterium.[4]

Pseudomonas exhibits greenish fluorescence due to the pigment pyoverdin (or fluorescein).[5] Our case demonstrates the unfamiliar but handy use of Wood's lamp in the diagnosis of chronic erosions, sparing the need for more complex time consuming, and expensive modalities-like culture.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Lin JY, Shih YL, Ho HC. Foot bacterial intertrigo mimicking interdigital tinea pedis. Chang Gung Med J 2011;34:44-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
Klatte JL, van der Beek N, Kemperman PM. 100 years of Wood's lamp revised. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2015;29:842-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
Palareti G, Legnani C, Cosmi B, Antonucci E, Erba N, Poli D, et al. Gram-negative bacterial toe web infection – A systematic review. Int J Lab Hematol 2016;38:42-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
Sariguzel FM, Koc AN, Yagmur G, Berk E. Interdigital foot infections: Corynebacterium minutissimum and agents of superficial mycoses. Braz J Microbiol 2014;45:781-4.  Back to cited text no. 4
Gupta LK, Singhi MK. Wood's lamp. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2004;70:131-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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