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April 1984

Mycologic Examination for Tinea Pedis

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02114

Arch Dermatol. 1984;120(4):436-437. doi:10.1001/archderm.1984.01650400018003

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To the Editor.—  Although the diagnosis of chronic tinea of the soles is usually readily established by microscopic examination of scales, it is sometimes difficult to find hyphae. As a result of studying multiple scrapings from patients in whom we were having trouble demonstrating the organism, we discovered that the center of the plantar surface of the heel was the best location for finding hyphae. In many patients with this infection, the middle of the heel does not even look involved.We have examined 30 patients with typical tinea pedis in whom the diagnosis was confirmed by finding hyphae in scrapings of involved skin and all of whom responded to topical or systemic antifungal drugs. In every patient hyphae could be quickly demonstrated in a single specimen taken from the heel. However, we spent considerably more time trying to find hyphae in other areas of the foot and even had

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