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April 1972

Dermatophytes in Military Recruits

Author Affiliations

USAF; USAF; USAF, Lackland AFB, Tex; Miami, Fla

From the divisions of dermatology (Drs. Davis and Garcia) and microbiology (Dr. Riordon), Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland AFB, Tex, and the Department of Dermatology, University of Miami, Miami, Fla (Mr. Taplin).

Arch Dermatol. 1972;105(4):558-560. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620070030012

In a random survey of 152 Air Force recruits, skin which appeared to be normal on careful clinical inspection, often contained dermatophytic fungi on culture. Sixty-five percent of the isolates from the perineal region and 23% of the isolates from the toe webs were recovered from clinically normal skin. On the other hand, of 94 lesions suspected of being fungous infections, dermatophytes were isolated from only 32%. The overall recovery of dermatophytes did not increase during basic training, nor did the asymptomatic carriers develop clinical disease. Our study demonstrates that good personal hygiene and periodic drying of the skin in healthy, young subjects can control dermatophytosis even in the presence of heat, humidity, local trauma, and communal living.

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