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Tinea Versicolor

We all have yeast living on our skin; this is normal. Sometimes, the normal yeast grows out of control and causes this rash. Tinea versicolor (TV) appears as discolored flat patches on the skin that can be brown, tan, reddish, pinkish, or just a little lighter in color than the surrounding skin. TV can appear anywhere on the body, but is most common on the chest, abdomen, back and neck. Sometimes the dry flaky skin within these patches is apparent. Sometimes these can be itchy, but often they have no symptoms at all. This yeast is also responsible for other skin disorders such as pityrosporum folliculitis (looks like acne), and seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff of the scalp and skin). People of all skin colors can get this rash. Things that increase your risk for developing this include: hot and humid weather, a lot of sweating, oily skin, and a weakened immune system.

◦ A dermatologist can often look at the skin and tell whether a patient has tinea versicolor.
◦ Treatments depend on where the tinea versicolor is on the body, how much of the skin is affected, how thick the spots have grown, and climate.
◦ Treatment options for tinea versicolor may include: topical medicated body washes, topical creams/lotions, or anti-fungal pills.
◦ With treatment, the yeast is easy to kill. The skin, however, may stay lighter (or darker) for weeks or months. The skin will eventually return to its normal color.
◦ Tinea versicolor can come back so prevention is important. An occasional medicated body wash may be recommended by your dermatologist.