Tinea Veriscolor

Tinea versicolor is a condition caused by an overgrowth of yeast on the skin’s surface that results in patches of uneven skin color, usually on the back, neck and upper chest. The affected skin may be dry, scaly and itchy.

The condition, also called pityriasis versicolor, will appear as small spots that can be white, pink, tan or dark. The yeast, which is a type of fungus, prevents the affected skin from tanning, creating an unwanted color contrast.

This condition occurs in teenagers and young adults with any color of skin. It’s rare in older people and children. Because yeast thrives in humidity, this condition is more common in the summer months, when the spots are more pronounced. In regions that remain hot and humid, the spots appear consistently all year.

It’s not clear why some people get tinea versicolor and others don’t, but the yeast is present on everyone’s skin. People with oily skin are more susceptible.

The yeast grows slowly and when left untreated, the spots may grow together, former larger patches of lighter or darker skin.

The yeast can be killed with treatments that include medicated cleansers, anti-fungal lotions or anti-fungal pills. However, the skin will take time to return to its original color.

Tinea versicolor can return when the humidity rises.

Surgical Dermatology Group can answer your questions and provide an individualized treatment plan.

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