The clinical diagnosis should be confirmed by mycological examination. The main methods of collecting samples for microbiological diagnosis involve either scraping or brushing the scalp. Microscopy provides the most rapid means of diagnosis and allows treatment to commence, but is not always positive. Culture allows accurate identification of the organism involved and may be positive even when microscopy is negative but may take up to 4 weeks. Wood's light or filtered ultraviolet light can be used to identify infections that fluoresce under this type of light such as M. canisand M. audounii, but not T. tonsurans.
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