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Tinea versicolor or pityriasis versicolor is a common skin infection caused by the yeast Malassezia furfur (formerly termed Pityrosporum ovale). This yeast is normally found on the human skin and only becomes troublesome under certain circumstances, such as a warm and humid environment.
The symptoms of this condition include:
These spots commonly affect the back, underarm, upper arm, chest, lower legs, and neck. Occasionally it can also be present on the face. The yeasts can often be seen under the microscope within the lesions and typically have a so called "spaghetti and meat ball appearance" as the round yeasts produce filaments.
In people with dark skin tones, pigmentary changes such as hypopigmentation (loss of color) are common, while in those with lighter skin color, hyperpigmentation (increase in skin color) are more common. These discolorations have led to the term "sun fungus".
Tinea versicolor is a common condition. It is estimated that 2 to 8% of the population of the United States has it. This skin disease commonly affects adolescents and young adults, especially in warm and humid climates. It is thought that the yeast feeds on skin oils (lipids) as well as dead skin cells.
Treatments for tinea versicolor include:
Clotrimazole (1%) is also used combined with selinium sulphide (2.5%) (Candid-TV).
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tinea_versicolor". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|