Onychomycosis in Children: Prevalence and Management

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Onychomycosis in children is often accompanied by tinea pedis and a family history of onychomycosis. The prevalence of onychomycosis in children is substantially lower than that of adults; therefore it is important to confirm the clinical diagnosis. The most common presentation of onychomycosis is the distal and lateral subungual type. The organism most commonly isolated in North America is Trichophyton rubrum. Oral antifungal therapy is required, especially when the onychomycosis is of moderate to severe intensity, with nail matrix involvement. The new oral antifungal agents itraconazole, terbinafine, and fluconazole are being increasingly used for the treatment of onychomycosis. Review of the literature suggests that these agents are effective and safe in managing onychomycosis in children. The short duration of therapy required with these drugs should help improve compliance. The data suggest that the new oral antifungal agents have a role in the treatment of onychomycosis in children. Further experience will help us better position these drugs when evaluating the management of onychomycosis in children.

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