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    Skin lesion KOH exam

    Potassium hydroxide examination of skin lesion

    The skin lesion KOH exam is a test to diagnose a fungal infection of the skin.

    How the Test is Performed

    The health care provider scrapes the problem area of your skin, using a blunt edge such as the edge of a microscope slide. The scrapings from the skin are placed in liquid containing the chemical potassium hydroxide (KOH). The liquid is examined under the microscope. KOH destroys all non-fungal cells. This makes it easier to see if there is any fungus present.

    How to Prepare for the Test

    There is no special preparation for the test.

    How the Test Will Feel

    You may feel pressure when thehealth care providerscrapes your skin.

    Why the Test is Performed

    This test is done to diagnose a fungal infection of the skin.

    No fungus is present.

    What Abnormal Results Mean

    Fungus is present. The fungus may be realated to ringworm, athlete's foot, jock itch, or another fungal infection.

    Risks

    There is a small risk of bleeding or infection from scraping the skin.

    References

    Elewski BE, Hughey LC, Sobera JO, Hay R. Fungal diseases. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, eds. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 77.

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    • Viral lesion culture

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      • Viral lesion culture

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          Tests for Skin lesion KOH exam

          Review Date: 4/14/2013

          Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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          St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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