DefinitionTinea versicolor is a common infection that affects the skin. It is characterized by small, scaly patches with different colors.
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CausesTinea versicolor is caused by a fungus. It is a type of dermatomycosis caused by a yeast that affects skin color. The fungus that causes tinea versicolor is normally found in small numbers on the skin and scalp. Overgrowth of the yeast leads to infection.
Risk FactorsTinea versicolor is more common in adolescents and young adults. Other factors that may increase your chance of tinea versicolor include:
- Having naturally oily or excessively sweaty skin
- Living in warm and humidclimates
- Having a weakened immune system
SymptomsTinea versicolor may cause:
- Uneven skin color, with either white or light brown patches
- Light scaling on affected areas
- Slight itching, which is worse when the person is hot
DiagnosisYour doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may need to be referred to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders.The doctor may use an ultraviolet light to see the patches more clearly. A patch may be scraped and sent for testing.
TreatmentTinea versicolor is treated with antifungal medication. This may be:
- Over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medication topical medications
- Lotions or creams with antifungal medications that are used for 2 weeks, such as ketoconazole or miconazole
- Some treatment usually used as shampoos that are left on for 5-10 minutes and rinsed off, such as selenium sulfide, sulfur salicylic acid, or zinc pyrithione
- Ask your doctor about the specific directions for the treatment you or your child is using
- Prescription oral antifungal medications such as
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