Wednesday, July 11, 2018 by Zoey Sky
Pityriasis versicolor (PV) refers to a common fungal skin infection in adolescents and young adults. The infection causes discolored patches, mostly pale (hypopigmented) spots on the upper back and shoulders, to appear in the skin of the patient.
Pityriasis versicolor is caused by a yeast (Malassezia furfur, M. furfur) that produces a substance which suppresses color production in the skin. This substance makes pale spots appear in the patient’s skin. If an individual has lighter skin, the spots may be light brown or pink instead.
Pityriasis versicolor is the alternative name for tinea versicolor (TV) and there are some specialists who prefer the former since it technically pertains to non-yeast, dermatophyte fungal infections, fungus that affects the body (like ringworm/tinea corporis), feet (athlete’s foot/tinea pedis), or the groin (jock itch/tinea cruris).
Since the cause of tinea versicolor is a yeast rather than a true dermatophyte fungus, the term pityriasis versicolor (meaning “spots of different colors”) is technically the more accurate term to use. However, the technically inaccurate name “tinea versicolor” is more commonly used to refer to the condition.
The signs of pityriasis versicolor usually include noticeable discolored patches of skin on a patient’s arms, back, chest, and neck.
These discolored patches of skin can be:
Another sign of the condition is itchy skin.
Patients with dark skin who develop pityriasis versicolor may experience hypopigmentation, or the loss of skin color. Meanwhile, other individuals can experience hyperpigmentation, or their skin turns darker.
Other patients with PV don’t experience any notable changes in their appearance or skin color.
Risk factors for pityriasis versicolor may include:
In some cases, the condition worsens in hot and humid environments and seasons, which is common among yeast and fungal infections.
Pityriasis versicolor may cause complications like hypopigmentation. This can last even after several months of successful treatment. Hypopigmentation may persist until the skin becomes tanned again. But if the rash isn’t scaly when scratched, the infection is considered cleared.
The following foods or nutrients can help prevent pityriasis versicolor or address its signs:
If a patient doesn’t experience the severe signs of pityriasis versicolor, their condition may be treated at home. It can be hard to prevent the recurrence of PV.
Treatment options include:
Patients who have been diagnosed with PV and successfully treated it can follow these tips to prevent future infections:
Pityriasis versicolor (PV) refers to a common fungal skin infection in adolescents and young adults that causes discolored spots to appear on the upper back and shoulders of the patient.
The signs of pityriasis versicolor usually include noticeable discolored patches of skin on the arms, back, chest, and neck.
Pityriasis versicolor may cause complications like hypopigmentation.
Cloves; garlic; raw fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; and yogurt can help prevent pityriasis versicolor or address its signs.
If a patient doesn’t experience the severe signs of pityriasis versicolor, their condition may be treated at home. It can be hard to prevent the recurrence of PV. Treatment options for PV include medications and over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal creams or shampoos.
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