Tinea versicolor (also known as pityriasis versicolor) is a common fungal skin infection caused by yeast on the skin. It is characterized by lighter or darker patches on the skin. Patches are most often found on the chest or back and prevent the skin from tanning evenly. It occurs mostly in adolescence and early adulthood because of oily skin, but it can occur at any time.
Tinea versicolor is thought to be caused by the superficial overgrowth of Malassezia, a type of yeast.
Usually, the only symptom of tinea versicolor is the white or light brown patches with well-defined borders. Patches may scale slightly, but rarely itch or hurt. Other common characteristics of the rash include the following:
Specific treatment for tinea versicolor will be determined by your doctor based on:
Tinea versicolor is treatable but the improvement in the skin may be only temporary. The condition may recur, and you may need additional treatment.
Your UCLA dermatologist may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
Your doctor may also recommend using the shampoo monthly to help prevent recurrences. Treatment will not bring normal color back to the skin immediately. This process will occur naturally and may take several months. People with this condition should try to avoid excessive heat or sweating.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (310) 825-6911.