A Wood's lamp is a light that uses long wave ultraviolet light. When an area of scalp that is infected with tinea (a type of ringworm fungus) is viewed under a Wood's light, the fungus may glow. This test may be done to detect the presence of a fungal scalp or skin infection.
Review Date 10/24/2016
Updated by: David L. Swanson, MD, Vice Chair of Medical Dermatology, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Medical School, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.