Ringworm of the Skin
Exams and Tests
Doctors often can easily recognize ringworm by its Reference ring-shaped rash Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window. Your doctor will probably also look at a skin sample (KOH preparation) under a microscope to confirm that fungus is present.
Tests for ringworm of the skin include:
- A Reference KOH (potassium hydroxide) preparation. This test can help your doctor find out whether a fungus is causing your rash. The doctor will take a sample of your skin by lightly scraping the infected area. The sample is placed on a slide with potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution and gently heated. If fungus cells are present, the doctor can then see them with a microscope.
- A Reference Wood's light exam Opens New Window. This test may be used to see if the rash is caused by a fungus. Your doctor will shine a special light on your skin where you have the rash. Certain kinds of fungi glow under this light.
- A fungal culture (Reference skin culture). This test can identify the type of fungus that is causing your infection. Usually a culture is only done if the diagnosis is difficult or the skin condition is not responding to treatment. This test may take up to 4 weeks, because it takes time for the fungus to grow.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference March 21, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology