Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Sun Fungus Anatomy

To better understand tinea versicolor, it helps to understand the anatomy of the skin.

The skin contains three main layers:

  • Epidermis:
    • The superficial layer that makes up the surface of the skin
    • It is composed of skin cells and can be divided into 5 layers based on cell type.
    • The top layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, is made of dead, flat skin cells that shed about every 2 weeks.
    • The thickness of the epidermis varies, according to location: it is very thick over the soles of the feet, and very thin over the ears.
  • Dermis:
    • Lies beneath the epidermis
    • Also varies in thickness depending on the location of the skin. It is .3 mm on the eyelid and 3.0 mm on the back.
    • The dermis is composed of 2 layers that contain a connective tissue called collagen
    • The dermis contains blood vessels, nerves, sweat glands, and hair follicles.
    • The number of structures in the dermis varies, according to location.
    • The dermis under the arms contains more sweat glands and hair follicles than the dermis on the back.
  • Subcutaneous layer:
    • Mainly fat and connective tissue.
    • Contains blood vessels and nerves.

Last Updated: Jan 6, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Sun Fungus References
  1. Farschian M, Yaghoobi R, Samadi K. Fluconazole versus ketoconazole in the treatment of tinea versicolor. J Dermatolog Treat. 2002 Jun;13(2):73-6. [12060505]
  2. Hull CA, Johnson SM. A double-blind comparative study of sodium sulfacetamide lotion 10% versus selenium sulfide lotion 2.5% in the treatment of pityriasis (tinea) versicolor. Cutis. 2004 Jun;73(6):425-9. [15224788]
  3. Lange DS, Richards HM, Guarnieri J, et al. Ketoconazole 2% shampoo in the treatment of tinea versicolor: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998 Dec;39(6):944-50. [9843006]
  4. Vander Straten MR, Hossain MA, Ghannoum MA. Cutaneous infections dermatophytosis, onychomycosis, and tinea versicolor. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2003 Mar;17(1):87-112. [12751262]
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