Skin scrapings are examined microscopically for the presence of ectoparasites and dermatophytes. Samples should be taken from fresh skin lesions, from the edges of the lesions if extensive. The hairs and the scraped skin layers should be collected into a sterile universal container and submitted for laboratory examination without delay.
Ringworm examinations are performed both directly, after KOH treatment (see ringworm spores arrowed in photograph) and after overnight staining in ink. Fungal culture is performed for ringworm species identification, but culture can take up to 3 weeks.