Tinea Versicolor – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
What is tinea versicolor?
Tinea versicolor, also called pityriasis versicolor, is a common fungal infection of the skin. It causes discolored patches of skin. This condition is most common in adolescents and young adults. It typically occurs in hot climates. It does not spread person to person.
What causes tinea versicolor?
Tinea versicolor is caused by an overgrowth of a type of fungus called Malassezia. This fungus is normally found on human skin. This condition occurs when the fungus overgrows in certain settings.
What are the symptoms of tinea versicolor?
The main symptom of tinea versicolor is patches of discolored skin that:
- Are often dark reddish to tan in color
- Have sharp borders (edges) and fine scales
- Are found on the back, underarms, upper arms, chest, and neck
- Do not darken in the sun so may appear lighter than the surrounding healthy skin
The following are the other symptoms of tinea versicolor:
- Increased sweating
How is tinea versicolor diagnosed?
Your doctor will examine the affected area of the skin. Normally, a doctor can diagnose this condition by looking at the skin. He/she will examine a skin scraping under a microscope to look for the fungus. A skin biopsy may also be done to identify the fungus.
How is tinea versicolor treated?
Tinea versicolor is usually treated with oral or topical antifungal medications.
Your doctor may also recommend applying over-the-counter dandruff shampoo containing selenium sulfide or ketoconazole to the skin for 10 minutes each day.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.