A new sexually transmitted variant of ringworm has surfaced in the United States, with a single reported case in New York City.

What is the new sexually transmitted ringworm?

Known as Trichophyton mentagrophytes type VII (TMVII), this infection can manifest as circular red patches of itchy skin in the groin area.

Dr. Avrom Caplan, an assistant professor at New York University, led the study and authored a report published in JAMA Dermatology this week. He noted, “This particular case stands out because TMVII can cause more inflammatory lesions, specifically in the groin or genital area.”

TMVII originates from the same fungus responsible for conditions like ringworm, jock itch, and athlete’s foot.

Where has TMVII been reported?

As of now, there has been only one confirmed case in the United States, located in New York City. The patient, a man in his 30s, experienced itchy lesions following travels to England, Greece, and California, where he engaged in sexual activities with multiple male partners.

Cases were previously reported last year in France, with earlier occurrences linked to individuals in contact with sex workers in Southeast Asia.

Dr. Ashwin Vasan, New York City’s Department of Health commissioner, commented, “It’s newly reported in a journal, indicating it’s a new phenomenon. We are still in the learning phase about this. Given the singular case, we are delving into how this could have happened.”

How do you know if you have TMVII?

TMVII spreads through skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity. Dr. Caplan advised, “Seek medical advice if there are persistent, itchy, or painful lesions around the genital area or buttocks.”

The rash may be mistaken for other conditions, and untreated or improperly treated cases can lead to infections.

How do you treat TMVII?

Antifungal therapies are effective in treating TMVII. Dr. Vasan emphasized the importance of seeking medical help without hesitation, stating, “Visiting the doctor’s office is always a judgment-free zone.”

He also stressed the importance of open communication with partners to prevent the spread of such conditions.