The direct demonstration of fungi in skin, nail, or hair scrapings is facilitated by dissolving the alkaline clearing agent, potassium hydroxide (20%), in a solvent of 60% water and 40% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). With this reagent, hyphae can often be seen as well in one minute without heating as in 20 minutes or more with the classical plain aqueous alkaline solution. The DMSO-containing reagent is not recommended if more than 20 minutes will elapse between preparation of specimen and microscopic examination.
ZAIAS N, TAPLIN D. Improved Preparation for the Diagnosis of Mycologic Diseases. Arch Dermatol. 1966;93(5):608–609. doi:10.1001/archderm.1966.01600230112027
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