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September 8, 1956


Author Affiliations


From the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Maryland and the University Hospital.

JAMA. 1956;162(2):113-114. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.72970190006007c

Pityriasis versicolor is a benign, noncontagious, superficial fungus infection of the skin caused by Malassezia furfur. The characteristic macular eruption usually appears on the upper trunk and shoulders, although it may involve other parts of the body. The color of the lesions may be pink, fawn colored, light

brown, or whitish. Both discrete and confluent areas are commonly seen in the same patients. Gentle scraping of the surface produces a fine furfuraceous scale from which the diagnosis of pityriasis versicolor is established by demonstration of the presence of filaments and spores of Malassezia furfur in the scrapings. Microscopic identification of the causative organism is accomplished by examination of a wet potassium hydroxide perparation or by the use of the ink-potassium hydroxide stain.1 The condition is most commonly observed during the summer months, but many cases are also seen during the cooler months of the year. Subjective symptoms are usually

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