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May 1964

70% Ethyl Alcohol as Skin Cleanser for Fungus Cultures

Author Affiliations


From the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY.

Arch Dermatol. 1964;89(5):725-729. doi:10.1001/archderm.1964.01590290091013

The antifungal effect of 70% ethyl alcohol was reassessed in cultural tests on clinical material from 809 cases of proven or suspected dermatomycosis. Each two sets of Sabouraud's and cycloheximide agars were inoculated; one set, after cleansing of the test site with tap water, the second, after preparation with 70% ethyl alcohol. Cleansing with water for plantings on Sabouraud's agar increased the incidence of contamination by 43% while it decreased the percentage of isolates by 49%. In plantings on cycloheximide agar, replacement of alcohol by water increased the percentage of contamination and isolates by 133% and 17%, respectively. It was concluded that prior treatment of the test site with 70% ethyl alcohol is imperative when Sabouraud's agar is used, but superfluous and disadvantageous for plantings on cycloheximide agar.

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