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Correspondence |

Successful Treatment of Pityriasis Versicolor With 5-Aminolevulinic Acid Photodynamic Therapy

Young Jin Kim, MD; You Chan Kim, MD, PhD
Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(9):1209-1226. doi:10.1001/archderm.143.9.1218.
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Pityriasis versicolor is a common chronic superficial fungal infection caused by the organism Malassezia furfur. Although many conventional treatments have been shown to be successful in treating pityriasis versicolor, therapy of long-term duration may be needed in many cases, and recurrence is not uncommon. In vitro experimental investigations have demonstrated that several fungal strains can be effectively inactivated by irradiation with visible light wavelengths in the presence of photosensitizer.13 However, to our knowledge, there have been no clinical trials of photodynamic therapy (PDT) against pityriasis versicolor.

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Figure 1.

A 37-year-old man with a 2-year history of scaly patches on both axillae. A, Sharply marginated, light brown hyperpigmentation with fine scales on the axilla. B, Clearance of pityriasis versicolor without reinfection after 16 weeks of follow-up after treatment with 5-aminolevulinic acid in combination with photodynamic therapy.

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Figure 2.

Microscopic examination of samples stained with 10% potassium hydroxide (original magnification ×400 for both panels). A, Before treatment, numerous short, thick fungal hyphae and spores of various sizes are seen. B, No fungal hyphae or spores are present 10 weeks after the last treatment.

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