What is Tinea Versicolor (Fungal Infection)?
It is a common skin condition caused by surface (superficial) infection with a type of yeast that normally lives on the skin. It is also referred to as pityriasis versicolor. In the right conditions, such as warm, oily, and moist skin, the yeast (Malassezia) can overgrow and cause a rash, consisting of tan, pink, brown, or white patches.
Who’s at risk?
Tinea Versicolor is most commonly found in tropical areas with high humidity and high temperatures. Teens and young adults are affected most frequently. Tinea versicolor is uncommon in young (pre-pubertal) children or in adults older than 65 years.
Some conditions make tinea versicolor more likely to occur, including:
- Warm, humid climate.
- Oily skin.
- Sweating frequently or excessively.
- Using corticosteroids (cortisone).
- Medications that weaken the immune system.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The most common locations for tinea versicolor include:
- Chest and upper back
- Upper arms
- Tinea Versicolor appears as many asymptomatic white, pink, salmon-colored, tan, or brown patches ranging in size from 1–3 cm. Most lesions have a very fine, dust-like scale.
- The yeast gives off (secretes) a substance that temporarily bleaches the underlying skin to a lighter color. Even after the infection has gone away, the spots may be visible as lighter (hypopigmented) patches, which may not get their normal color back for many months.
How is tinea versicolor diagnosed?
Your skin specialist can diagnose tinea versicolor by looking at the appearance of rash. Rarely, the doctor may use ultraviolet light, which will make the affected areas appear as fluorescent yellow-green if they’re the result of tinea versicolor.
Your doctor may also take a skin sample by scraping some skin and scales from the affected area to look at under a microscope. In case of childern, the doctor may lift off skin cells by first firmly attaching clear tape to the affected area and then removing it. The sample then can be stuck directly onto a slide to be looked at with the help of a microscope.
What is the treatment?
To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor might scrape some of the surface skin material (scales) onto a glass slide and examine them under a microscope.
The type of treatment will depend on the size, location, and thickness of the infected area.
Antifungal creams such as:
- A shampoo containing selenium sulfide can be used as a lotion by applying it to the affected areas overnight and rinsing it off in the morning.
Antifungal pills such as ketoconazole, fluconazole, or itraconazole may be needed in widespread infection.
Avoid wearing tight, restrictive clothing.
During the warmer, more humid months, an antifungal cream, lotion, or shampoo, applied every week or two may be required to prevent re-infection which is very common.
What would be the estimated cost of treatment?
The cost of treatment varies depending upon the type of treatment followedYour Dermatologist would be the best person to advise you regarding which treatment you should undergo.
A single consultation with Dr. Rinky Kapoor is chargeable at approximately INR 1000/-. Regular follow ups would ensure even better results.
For more information on Dr. Rinky Kapoor’s work, click on:
About Dr. Rinky Kapoor
Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Co-founder of The Esthetic Clinic, is one of the best dermatologists in the world & currently practices in Mumbai, India. Dr. Rinky Kapoor is a Consultant Cosmetic Dermatologist, Cosmetologist & Trichologist at S L Raheja Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, India. Dr. Kapoor is trained at the National Skin Centre, Singapore & at Stanford University, USA. A celebrity skin doctor, Dr. Rinky Kapoor has won many honors such as “Best Dermatologist Mumbai”, “Top 10 Cosmetologist India”, etc for her evidence based expert dermatology care, affordable & reliable skin care, hair care & nail care …Read more
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