Also known as: 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 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.
Normally, there is no fungus.
What abnormal results mean
What the risks are
There is a small risk of bleeding or infection from scraping the lesion.
- Review date:
- September 11, 2013
- 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.
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