New Contrast Stain for the Rapid Diagnosis of Pityriasis Versicolor | Dermatology | JAMA Dermatology | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
August 18, 2008

New Contrast Stain for the Rapid Diagnosis of Pityriasis Versicolor

Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(8):1058-1059. doi:10.1001/archderm.144.8.1058

Successful treatment of pityriasis versicolor requires an accurate diagnosis. Culture is not useful because its etiologic agent Malassezia furfur is part of the normal skin flora. Hence, diagnosis is usually based on direct microscopic examination of skin scrapings. The standard potassium hydroxide (KOH) wet mount suffers from a lack of color contrast. Parker blue-black ink has been added to potassium hydroxide to highlight fungal hyphae and spores against the surrounding cellular debris.1,2 The fluorescent brightener calcofluor white specifically binds to chitin, but this method incurs the additional cost of a fluorescence microscope.3 In this study, we compared a new contrast stain with the Parker-KOH stain in patients with a clinical diagnosis of pityriasis versicolor.

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