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To the Editor.—
It is difficult to demonstrate the mite Acarus scabiei in skin scrapings. In the Archives, Muller et al advocate that the use of mineral oil can increase the incidence of positive diagnosis (107:70, 1973). We have found that slicing the papule off the skin and mounting the tissue in 10% potassium hydroxide or water (depending on the thickness of the specimen) yields a high rate of positive results. One can often demonstrate both the adult mite and the ova in the same preparation. The procedure is done with a No. 15 blade, without anesthesia. It is simple, quick, and rewarding.
Mikhail GR, Krull EA. Scabies. Arch Dermatol. 1973;108(3):424. doi:10.1001/archderm.1973.01620240070026