Your doctor will take samples by lightly scraping the
skin of your foot with a sharp blade or the edge of a microscope slide. He or
she may also take nail samples if a toenail is also infected. The skin or nail
scrapings are placed on a slide with potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution and
heated. This solution dissolves the skin cells but not the fungus cells. The
fungus cells can then be seen with a microscope. Color stains can be used to
highlight the fungi.
It is possible that the main title of the report Toxic Shock Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
A KOH preparation may be done to find out the cause of cracking,
scaling, peeling, or blistered skin, or to find out why there is an area of persistent
irritation (and sometimes redness) on the feet. The presence of fungi suggests
that the condition is probably athlete's foot.
No fungi are present in the skin or nail scrapings. Other skin
tests may be done to find out the cause of the skin irritation or nail
Fungi are present in the skin or nail sample.
What To Think About
Test results on severe
toe web infections may not always show fungi. In this case, a bacterial
infection may hide the fungal infection.
If you have been diagnosed with athlete's foot before and the
symptoms have returned, a KOH preparation test will probably not be needed.
Your doctor may suggest you treat the infection with
nonprescription or prescription antifungal medicine.