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White male presents with pruritic, scaly, erythematous patches on his feet and left hand

A 47-year-old White male with no significant medical history presented with pruritic, scaly, erythematous patches on the feet and left hand.

What's the diagnosis?

Hand dermatitis

Dyshidrotic eczema

Palmoplantar psoriasis

Two feet-one hand syndrome (tinea manuum)

Granuloma annulare

Two feet–one hand syndrome

Two feet–one hand syndrome is a common term used to describe tinea manuum on one hand with bilateral tinea pedis. This condition, also known as ringworm, is a fungal infection caused by a dermatophyte, and presents as a superficial annular or circular rash with a raised, scaly border.

Symptoms include dryness and itchiness, and the lesions may appear red-pink on lighter skin and gray-brown on darker skin types. Although these infections can arise in a variety of combinations, two feet–one hand syndrome occurs in about 60% of cases. Trichophyton rubrum is the most common agent.

Diagnosis is made by patient history, dermoscopic visualization, and staining of skin scraping with KOH or fungal culture. Dermatophytes prefer moist, warm environments, so this disease is prevalent in tropical conditions and associated with moist public areas such as locker rooms and showers. As a result, tinea pedis is also nicknamed “athlete’s foot” for its common presentation in athletes. The fungus spreads easily through contact and can survive on infected surfaces, so patients often self-inoculate by touching/scratching the affected area then touching another body part. Cautions that should be taken to avoid transmission include not sharing personal care products, washing the area and keeping it dry, and avoiding close, humid environments.

Dr. Donna Bilu Martin

The syndrome is highly associated with onychomycosis, which can be more difficult to treat and often requires oral antifungals. Tinea manuum is commonly misdiagnosed as hand dermatitis or eczema and treated with topical steroids, which will exacerbate or flare the tinea.

Two feet–one hand syndrome can typically be treated with over-the-counter topical antifungal medications such as miconazole or clotrimazole. Topical ketoconazole may be prescribed, and oral terbinafine or itraconazole are used in more severe cases when a larger body surface area is affected or in immunocompromised patients.

Dr. Donna Bilu Martin

This case and photo were submitted by Lucas Shapiro, BS, Nova Southeastern University, Davie, Fla.; Kiran C. Patel, Tampa Bay Regional Campus; and Dr. Bilu Martin.

Dr. Bilu Martin is a board-certified dermatologist in private practice at Premier Dermatology, MD, in Aventura, Fla. More diagnostic cases are available at To submit a case for possible publication, send an email to

Dr. Donna Bilu Martin, Premier Dermatology, MD, Aventura, Fla.

Dr. Donna Bilu Martin


Cleveland Clinic. Tinea manuum: Symptoms, causes & treatment. 2022.

Ugalde-Trejo NX et al. Curr Fungal Infect Rep. 2022 Nov 17. doi: 10.1007/s12281-022-00447-9.

Mizumoto J. Cureus. 2021 Dec 27;13(12):e20758.

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