Treatment of sporotrichosis depends on the site infected and the person's overall medical condition.
- Infections in the skin only: These infections have traditionally been treated with saturated potassium iodide solution (SSKI). 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.
- 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. The drug amphotericin is also used, but this medicine 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 surgically 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.
- SSKI and itraconazole should not be used in pregnant patients. Treatment in pregnancy and of children usually requires consultation with infectious disease specialists.
- Alternative treatments for cutaneous sporotrichosis are mentioned in the lay literature. Fungicidal herbs (such as myrrh, tea tree oil, citrus seed extract, pau d'arco tea, olive oil and garlic) applied directly to the infected skin are supposed to treat the infection. However, there are few research data to back up these claims.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/9/2014