What is Trichophyton Rubrum?

Trichophyton rubrum is a dermatophytic fungus that causes a fungal infection in the upper layers of dead skin. It’s commonly found as the cause of athlete’s foot, fungal nail infections, jock itch, and ringworm. Trichophyton rubrum was first discovered in 1845 by Henrik Malmsten, and is considered as being a complex of species spanning many morphotypes. It is an infection that infects men more than women, and can manifest in acute, as well as chronic, forms. Children as young as two years old can become infected.

Symptoms of Trichophyton Rubrum

The most common symptom of Trichophyton rubrum is what’s known as athlete’s foot. A more serious version of this condition, especially when it becomes chronic, is moccasin foot. The foot forms scaly patches, with multiple infection sites possible.

Another widespread condition is known as jock itch. The symptoms include reddish-brown lesions located on the upper thighs and close to the groin. Infections can also appear on the hands, although more rarely.

White plaques are also sometimes spotted on nails, and can result in the entire nail becoming infected. When it is infected, it becomes thicker, more brittle, and can turn brown or black.


Treatment of Trichophyton rubrum can be done by using a topical antifungal treatment. However, depending on where the infection is located and how severe it is, different types of topical infections will apply. Antifungal creams like miconazole nitrate, clotrimazole, and tolnaftate have proven successful for mild and moderate cases. For more severe and complex infections, an oral treatment in the form of ketoconazole has been found to be effective in treating Trichophyton rubrum. Treatment of fingernail infections can take six to eight weeks, while toenail infections can last up to 12 weeks before disappearing.


To prevent infection with this fungal infection, it’s essential to stay away from infected towels, linens, and clothing. Since this is sometimes difficult to ascertain, other ways to prevent infection are to avoid placing, or using, towels, linens, and clothing that has been in areas of prolonged high humidity, heat, and perspiration. Additionally, you can prevent infection by avoiding walking barefoot on damp surfaces, especially in places that receive high traffic from other individuals walking barefoot.


Fungal infections sometimes clear up on their own, although the application of antifungal creams can clear up infections within a few months.

How Alliance Enviro-Tech Can Help

Trichophyon rubrum is a common infection in humans. However, maintaining good hygiene reduces the risk of an infection that can cause harm to your health. This is an infection that can generally be avoided by following proper lifestyle and hygiene procedures, such as avoiding extended contact between bare skin and damp surfaces. You will want to ensure that you are not placing yourself at risk of succumbing to this fungal infection. It is important to be aware of all potential ways fungi can spread in your home or office.

Alliance Enviro-Tech can disinfect both residential and commercial spaces thoroughly. Our Path-Guard® System and Path-Away Anti-Pathogenic Aerosol Solution® can kill Trichophoton rubrum, as well as other fungi, bacteria, and viruses, in under five minutes, giving you peace of mind to know your place is a healthier space. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.