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Environmental Analysis

Lipophilic Yeast Count

Published: June 19th, 2009

Revised: June 22nd, 2009

This test determines the concentration of lipophilic or oil-loving yeasts in dust, chiefly members of the basidiomycete genus Malassezia. This group of common yeasts are associated with the skin of living humans, particularly in oily areas of the body, such as the face, neck, chest and back. The yeast does not invade skin per say, however, it does grow in the upper most layer of skin where it is typically responsible for causing minor scaling and some discoloration, typically darkened spots on the skin, often known as “liver spots”. When these colonized areas are sun-exposed, they tend to darken at a much slower rate than unaffected areas of skin, thus reversing the pattern and becoming lighter relative to the surrounding unaffected tissue. Colonized areas of skin are often treated successfully using over-the-counter products such as selenium shampoos and nild anti-fungal creams.