Pityriasis (Tinea) Versicolor

Pityriasis versicolor, or tinea versicolor, is a harmless disease defined by adjustments in the regular pigmentation of the skin, which resemble spots of blemished skin. This usual skin problem commonly influences teens and young adults, and is triggered by a fungus called Pityrosporum orbiculare. Although this kind of yeast is often located on regular skin, an overgrowth of the microbe causes pityriasis skin infection. Some people require routine therapy to stop a frequent infection.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Pityriasis Versicolor?

The first symptom of pityriasis versicolor is the look of spots on your skin. These spots, which could appear anywhere on the body, might be lighter or darker compared to your bordering skin. They may be tinted white, salmon, pink, red, brownish or tan.

Other symptoms and signs of pityriasis are:

  • Dry and flaky spots and spots
  • Itchy skin where spots show up
  • Skin sun tanning makes the spots a lot more visible because the yeast avoids the spots from sun tanning
  • Slow growing spots
  • Spots occasionally vanish in cool temperature level and return in warm, humid climate
  • Pale or light tinted spots that are typically wrong for vitiligo (a skin condition that causes the loss of skin shade).

When to See a Doctor

Pityriasis versicolor is not a major condition. It is not contagious, so it is not possible for you to catch the condition from someone else. Nonetheless, it is suggested to see a doctor if:.

  • Your symptoms do not improve with easy home remedies.
  • The infection returns.
  • Huge areas of your body are covered by pityriasis spots.

What Are the Causes of Pityriasis (Tinea) Versicolor?

Pityriasis versicolor is triggered by infection with Malassezia or Pityrosporum yeast, which is normally discovered on the skin of a lot of adults, where it typically quietly lives. However, skin infection develops when the yeast multiplies uncontrollably, causing an infection on the skin. It is not clear why this occurs in some individuals, however there are some aspects that may boost your risk of establishing the disease:.

  • Staying or residing in cozy, damp settings.
  • Hyperhidrosis or extreme sweating.
  • Excessive oil manufacturing in the skin.
  • Age – it is a lot more usual amongst teenagers and young adults.
pityriasis versicolor pictures

Picture of pityriasis versicolor on back

Unlike popular belief, pityriasis versicolor is not contagious or dued to bad hygiene.

How Is Pityriasis Versicolor Diagnosed?

Pityriasis versicolor is typically detected by clinical assessment by a skin professional or dermatologist. Verification of diagnosis may be made by lab exam, which might be done by:.

Getting a skin scuffing and looking for the microorganism under the microscope.
Taking a look at the skin making use of a Wood’s lamp, an unique device used by dermatologists. Influenced skin areas show up yellowish environment-friendly under this light.

Treatment for Pityriasis Versicolor

The treatment of pityriasis versicolor consists of the use of antifungal medicines, which are readily available as lotions, hair shampoos, and pills.

Antifungal Shampoos

Shampoos including ketoconazole and selenium sulphide are considered the first line of treatment for pityriasis. You could buy these items over the counter in pharmacies, but your doctor might also recommend them.

These hair shampoos are not just used for the hair, however they might be applied to influenced skin areas. They are frequently left on the skin for 5 to 10 minutes before being cleaned off. Repeat applications could be done each day for as high as 7 days.

If you experience some irritability or burning feeling on the skin when alleviating it with these shampoos, specifically with selenium sulphide, weaken your hair shampoo with a little water prior to application. Some individuals might locate the smell of selenium sulphide undesirable.

Antifungal Creams

Antifungal lotions may be used for alleviating little areas of skin. Use the cream on the damaged area of skin once or twice daily for a number of weeks. A burning experience could be experienced when making use of antifungal creams, although this is not typical.

Antifungal Tablets

Antifungal tablets could be recommended when other kinds of therapy are inefficient or if huge areas of skin are impacted. These tablets are typically taken once daily for approximately four weeks. Some people experience side effects such as rashes, abdominal pain, and feeling unwell while taking antifungal tablets, however these are not usual.

Self-Care Actions

Some tips to assist you take care of pityriasis versicolor include:

  • Prevent applying oily skin items.
  • Avoid too much direct exposure to sunlight, which can set off or intensify your condition. Tanning likewise makes your breakout more visible.
  • If you are going out in the sunlight, use an anti-fungal hair shampoo a few days before direct exposure.
  • Use a non-greasy sunscreen formula with a sun security element (SPF) of at least 30.
  • Prevent putting on limited garments.
  • Wear textiles that avoid excessive sweating, such as cotton.


Tinea/Pityriasis versicolor, a common fungal skin infection, is neither contagious nor significant. Nevertheless, antifungal treatment is needed to stop reoccurrence and skin staining.



Updated: August 14, 2016 — 5:41 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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