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When to Seek Medical Care for Sporotrichosis

When to call the doctor

  • If you think you might have sporotrichosis, see a doctor about diagnosis and treatment.
  • If you are already being treated for sporotrichosis, contact a doctor if new sores develop or if the old ones appear to be growing.

When to go to the hospital

  • Sporotrichosis in the skin or lymph nodes should not be dangerous or life threatening.
  • Open ulcers can become infected with bacteria and may cause a condition known as cellulitis.
  • If a rapidly expanding area of redness, pain, and warmth around the original ulcers develops, you should go to your local emergency room.

Exams and Tests for Sporotrichosis

Other infections can mimic sporotrichosis, so a doctor performs tests to confirm the diagnosis. The tests for sporotrichosis usually involve a biopsy of one of the nodules, followed by an exam of the biopsy sample under a microscope to identify the mold. Other possible infections might include:

Sporotrichosis Care at Home

No effective home care for sporotrichosis is known. Ulcers should be kept clean and covered until they are healed.

Medical Treatment for Sporotrichosis

Treatment of sporotrichosis depends on the site infected.

  • Infections in the skin only: These sporotrichosis infections have traditionally been treated with a saturated potassium iodide solution. This medicine is given three times per day for three to six months until all the lesions have gone away. Skin infections may also be treated with itraconazole (Sporanox) for up to six months.
  • Sporotrichosis infection in the bones and joints: These infections are much more difficult to treat and rarely respond to potassium iodide. Itraconazole (Sporanox) is often used as an initial medication for several months or even up to a year. Amphotericin is also used, but this drug can only be given through an IV. Amphotericin has more side effects and may need to be administered for many months. Surgery is sometimes needed to remove infected bone.
  • Infection in the lungs: Lung infections are treated with potassium iodide, itraconazole (Sporanox), and amphotericin with varying amounts of success. Sometimes, the infected areas of the lung have to be removed.
  • Infection in the brain: Sporotrichosis meningitis is very rare, so information on treatment is not readily available. Amphotericin plus 5-fluorocytosine is generally recommended, but itraconazole (Sporanox) might also be tried.
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