About Us
Find a
Location:
Find a Location
or
Find a
Provider:
Find a Physician
and/or

Health Condition Information

Health Information Encyclopedia - Medical Tests

Search Health Information   

Viral lesion culture
Viral lesion culture


Skin lesion KOH exam

Definition:

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



Alternative Names:

Potassium hydroxide examination of skin lesion



How the test is performed:

The health care provider scrapes the lesion off your skin, using a blunt edge such as the edge of a microscope slide. The scrapings from the skin lesion are placed in liquid containing potassium hydroxide (KOH) and examined under the microscope. KOH destroys all non-fungal cells, which 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 the doctor scrapes the lesion off your skin.



Why the test is performed:

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



Normal Values:

Normally, there is no fungus.



What abnormal results mean:

The KOH smear shows fungus, which may be related to ringworm , athlete's foot , jock itch , or another fungal infection.



What the risks are:

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




Review Date: 5/13/2011
Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.  Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. 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.
adam.com


Text Only Options

Change the current font size: larger | default | smaller

Current color mode is Black on White, other available modes: Yellow on Black | Black on Cream

Current color mode is Yellow on Black, other available modes: Black on White | Black on Cream

Current color mode is Black on Cream, other available modes: Black on White | Yellow on Black

Open the original version of this page.