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March 1964

Note on Culture of Black Piedra for Cosmetic Reasons

Author Affiliations


Gorgas Hospital (Dr. Moyer); Milledgeville State Hospital (Dr. Keeler).

Arch Dermatol. 1964;89(3):436. doi:10.1001/archderm.1964.01590270122027

During a cooperative survey of the albinistic Moon-child syndrome, one of us (D. G. M.) discovered several head hairs on an albino girl at the island of Ailigandi, San Bias, Panama, which bore a few colonies of the fungus known as black piedra, Piedraia hortai. Because of the very light color of the albino hair these black fungal colonies were very conspicuous.

This discovery reminded C. K. of the fact that an albino Moon-child man seen 13 years before at Mulatuppu had hair of an unusual blackish color mixed with yellow. It occurred to C. K. that possibly this color might also have been due to piedra, but because a close examination had not been made this was uncertain. In addition, it was alleged by all the Indians that this albino, who was a well-known therapeutic chanter, had the habit of rubbing ashes from the cooking house fire into his

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