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Causes

  • Hot, humid weather.
  • Sweating excessively (hyperhidrosis).
  • Oily skin, making it more susceptible in young adults and teenagers.
  • A weakened immune system.

Tinea Versicolor

Tinea versicolor is a common fungal skin infection that develops from a type of fungus known as Malassezia.

"Versicolor" refers to the various skin colors which will occur with the infection: white, tan, brown, pink, or other colors.

  • Of all the known species of the Malassezia, one referred to as M. globosa is assumed to cause most cases of tinea versicolor.
  • The fungus disrupts the traditional pigmentation of the skin, and this leads to discolored, scaly patches.
  • The skin pigment changes within the patches because the Malassezia fungus produces an acid that inhibits the assembly of melanin, a natural pigment that provides skin its color.

 

Treatment

The most typical treatment options include:

  • Creams and lotions containing selenium sulfide, ketoconazole or zinc pyrithione.
  • Medicated shampoos and body washes to be used during times when flares are expected, like during times of extreme humid weather.

Antifungal shampoos (such as ketoconazole or selenium sulphide shampoo) are often the primary treatment recommended for pityriasis versicolor.

These are available to buy over the counter.

In most cases, these shampoos need to be made into a lather and left on the affected areas of skin for 5 to 10 minutes before being rinsed off. Oral antifungal medication to be used when large areas of the body are infected.

  • Oral medications available include fluconazole(400 mg), itraconazole(400 mg) and ketoconazole.

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Preventation

  • 1Avoid oily skin products.
  • 2The most effective method of prevention is hygiene. Removing excess oils and dirt from the skin can help protect someone from getting this infection.
  • 3Wear loose clothing. Try to let your skin stay cool and breathe.
  • 4Use sunscreen and protect yourself from sunlight.
  • 5Avoid tanning beds.
  • 6Because the rash occurs more readily in hot, humid conditions, keep your skin as dry and funky as possible once you are during this climate.
  • 7Tinea versicolor are often spread through skin-to-skin contact or by coming in touch with contaminated articles like towels, clothing or bedding.

Presentation

It may present as :

  • Uneven complexion , with either white or brown patches—most often on back, chest, or neck.

These spots can come and go, especially as seasons change and out of doors temperatures fluctuate. The spots could also be more noticeable when the weather is hot and humid (as in summer), and fewer noticeable or maybe disappear in fall and winter.

  • Light scaling on affected areas.
  • Slight itching may be present rarely.


Dr. Rohit Batra, an MD (Dermatology,
Venereology & Leprology), is an adult,
pediatric and cosmetic dermatologist
& dermato-surgeon based at New Delhi.


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