Tinea Versicolor

Tinea Versicolor

Tinea Versicolor is a Fungal infection of the skin. It falls under the category of yeast infections. The infection is considered irritating, and it’s caused when the yeast infection from the fungus grows out of control. The skin starts losing its natural color and it becomes discolored.

 The main reason the infection spreads is the body’s inability to fight it off, but environmental changes, improper skin care and wet skin for prolonged time periods are also factors.

Some of the symptoms from which you can recognize the infection include skin itching, rashes, peeling, redness and flakiness. Some of the more common places where the infection can occur include the torso, back, neck, arms and cheeks.

Worth knowing is that if the infection isn’t treated and contained in a timely manner, it can spread to other body parts and people.

Young adults are the ones most frustrated with the infection, and they can become extremely self-conscious. That being said, there are a couple of home remedies that can help you relieve yourself from tinea versicolor effectively.

Causes

 The fungus that causes the infection is known as Malassezia. Malassezia is a genus of fungi, and the one that’s thought to cause tinea versicolor the most is Malassezia Globosa.

The fungus causes a yeast infection which disrupts the normal pigmentation of the skin, resulting in scaly, discolored patches. Malassezia produces an acid which suppresses the production of the natural pigment melanin (the pigment responsible for skin color).

Symptoms

The main symptom of tinea versicolor are patches or scaly spots on the skin which are either darker or lighter than the skin surrounding them. 
 

The patches most commonly appear around the chest, back and shoulders, but they can appear anywhere including the neck, face or abdomen. The patches often feature sharp edges and they aren’t darkened by the sun.

This explains why the patches are more apparent if you’ve recently had sun expose, as they don’t darken like the rest of the skin does. Furthermore, the spots can appear and disappear as seasons change and temperatures fluctuate. 

They’re typically more noticeable when the climate is warm and humid, but they can completely disappear or become less noticeable when the climate is colder.

Who is at risk?

 People who live in tropical regions and are exposed to hot and humid climates have a higher chance of getting tinea versicolor overgrowth. It’s estimated that about 50% of people living in tropical countries have tinea versicolor. While regions that have a colder climate, such as Scandinavia, have about 1% of residents affected. 

Young adults and teenagers have higher chances of getting infected by tinea versicolor, but it can happen to anyone, including children.

Tinea versicolor is more likely to be problematic for you if you have a compromised immune system, have poor nutrition, sweat profusely, have oily skin, have diabetes, use corticosteroid medicine, are on birth control pills, or if you’re pregnant.

 

Diagnosis

 It’s very for a doctor to recognize that you have tinea versicolor just by looking at it. If there’s any doubt, they can always just take skin scrapings from the infected area and take a look under a microscope and that would be a confirmation.

 

Treatment

Usually you can treat tinea versicolor with OTC (over-the-counter) treatments and home remedy, if that doesn’t work you may need to visit your doctor for him to prescribe some medications. The medications that he may prescribe will be some ointments that you can rub on the infected area or even pills.

After the treatment it is not guaranteed that your skin will go back to the way it was, it may remain discolored for a few weeks or even months. There is a chance that the infection will return with hotter climes, humid weather. There are a few ways that you can avoid it at that point you may need to take medications once a month or you can just use ointments to rub on your skin.

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