Which histologic findings are diagnostic of tinea cruris (jock itch)?

Updated: Feb 22, 2018
  • Author: Michael Wiederkehr, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Specific diagnostic findings include the presence of neutrophils in the cornified cell layer and the sandwich sign, in which fungal elements are sandwiched between 2 zones of differing structure within the cornified cell layer. The upper zone of the cornified cell layer has a typical basket-weave pattern of orthokeratosis, while the lower zone consists of more compact orthokeratosis and parakeratosis. The presence of spores and branching hyphae can be confirmed using periodic acid-Schiff or methenamine silver stains, but histologic examination provides no clues regarding the dermatophyte species.

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