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Procedure Primer: The Potassium Hydroxide Preparation

Scott, Theodore D.

Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association: September-October 2011 - Volume 3 - Issue 5 - p 304-305
doi: 10.1097/JDN.0b013e31822f340c
DEPARTMENTS: Clinical Pearls

ABSTRACT The evaluation of the skin for evidence of infection by fungal and yeast organisms is relatively straightforward if you can do a potassium hydroxide preparation in your practice setting. Many dermatoses present as annular lesions, and the ability to distinguish fungal from nonfungal conditions greatly narrows down the differential diagnosis. Sample site selection, sample collection, preparation, and correct interpretation are critical procedural steps in completing this test.

Theodore D. Scott, MSN, FNP-C, DCNP, Department of Dermatology, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, San Marcos, California.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Theodore D. Scott, MSN, FNP-C, DCNP, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, 400 Craven Road, San Marcos, CA 92078-4201. E-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.