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November 1936


Author Affiliations

Mycologist to the Barnard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital ST. LOUIS

From the Laboratory for Mycological and Dermatological Research of the Research Department of the Barnard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital.

Studies, observations and reports from the Barnard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital and the School of Medicine, Washington University, Department of Dermatology, service of Drs. M. F. Engman and W. H. Mook.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1936;34(5):880-886. doi:10.1001/archderm.1936.01470170128012

In every case of suspected mycosis the causative organism should be isolated and studied whenever practicable because from the academic standpoint the possibility of the presence of a new or different pathogen should not be overlooked.

The methods herein described are intended for use in routine office work.


The most common method used for the examination of scrapings is to mount the material in an alkali; either sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH) may be used. Potassium hydroxide is preferable; it should be used in a 10 to 30 per cent solution. For rapid work, a 40 per cent solution may be used, but it is not advocated. Too weak a solution takes a long time in clearing the skin, whereas too strong a one tends to swell and disintegrate the fungi. The length of time necessary for the clearing varies from five minutes to

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