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April 1988

Tinea Versicolor

Author Affiliations

Department of Anatomy; Department of Dermatology Louisiana State University Medical Center 1901 Perdido St New Orleans, LA 70112

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(4):492-494. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670040012008

To the Editor.—  Tinea versicolor (TV) is defined as an eruption of tan or brown patches on the skin caused by the fungus Malassezia furfur. A report in the literature that a tyrosine inhibitor was identified in cultures of TV with certain lipid additives stimulated an investigation of hypopigmented and hyperpigmented variants using light microscopic techniques and tissue culture incubation with sterile olive oil as an additive.1 When these studies did not reveal any significant differences between the variants, it was decided to study the samples at the ultrastructural level with transmission electron microscopy.

Subjects and Methods.—  Ten biopsy specimens were obtained for study. Six of these were from the back of one black patient. They were obtained from three control unaffected areas, two hyperpigmented areas, and one hypovariant area. In addition, biopsy specimens of control and hypovariant areas were obtained from a white patient, and biopsy specimens of control and hypervariant areas were obtained from a black patient. All samples were fixed in 2% glutaraldehyde, buffered with cacodylate (pH, 7.4), dehydrated, and embedded in epoxy resin (Epon-Araldite).