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April 1988

Gram's-Stained Microscopy in the Etiological Diagnosis of Malassezia (Pityrosporon) Folliculitis

Author Affiliations

Mohamed Khatijah Middle Road Hospital 250, Middle Road Singapore 0718

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(4):492. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670040012007

To the Editor.—  Malassezia (Pityrosporon) folliculitis was first described by Weary et al1 in 1969 and established as a clinical and histologic entity by Potter et al2 in 1973. Characteristically, patients present with erythematous follicular papules and pustules on the upper trunk and upper arms. The diagnosis can usually be made on clinical grounds, but establishing an etiologic diagnosis places it on even firmer ground. We recently assessed the value of Gram's-stained microscopy in the etiologic diagnosis of Malassezia folliculitis.

Report of Cases. —  Thirty patients with typical Malassezia folliculitis were examined. Pustular lesions were identified and swabbed with alcohol. A comedone extractor was then applied to these lesions and follicular material collected and smeared onto a single clean glass slide for Gram's staining according to conventional methods.

Results.—  Thirty men, aged 15 to 34 years (mean age, 22.4 years), were sampled. Gram's-stained microscopy revealed the presence of

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