In recent years, the genus Malassezia was reclassified based on molecular data; in addition to M. furfur, M. pachydermatis and M. sympodialis, four new species (M. globosa, M. obtusa, M. restricta, M. slooffiae) were described. Primary keys for routine identification have recently been presented. Polidocanol was shown to have specific inhibitory effects against Malassezia spp. In an agar diffusion test, type strains of all Malassezia species were incubated with polidocanol concentrations between 0.01% and 10%. M. furfur strains were most resistant, with minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) ranging from 7.5% to 10%. Inhibitory concentrations of the other strains were lower by at least one factor of ten. Most sensitive were strains of M. pachydermatis (0.05%). In a further test, polidocanol-containing olive oil was used to determine the sensitivity of Malassezia furfur and M. sympodialis. Again, the inhibitory concentrations for strains of M. sympodialis were one tenth of those found for M. furfur. In addition to its antifungal effects, polidocanol might therefore be a useful tool in differentiating Malassezia species.