Tinea VersicolorView More Before & Afters
It may be a surprise to know that we all have yeast on our skin. However, when this yeast grows out of control, it can develop into a skin disease known as tinea versicolor. Although tinea versicolor is not contagious or harmful to the body, many people are concerned by its appearance and the changes it can make to the skin.
What is tinea versicolor?
Tinea versicolor is a discoloration of the skin which occurs from the overgrowth of a particular form of yeast, Malassezia furfur. This common skin disease is characterized by spots on the skin that either appear darker or lighter than the surrounding skin. These spots can be usually lighter than the surrounding skin, in shades of white, pink, salmon, red, tan, or brown. The spots can appear anywhere on the body, and they may be dry, scaly, and itchy. As the skin tans, the spots become more noticeable because the yeast prevents the spots from tanning. Many times, the spots from tinea versicolor are so faint that people do not even realize they have it.
What causes tinea versicolor?
When the yeast on our skin grows out of control, it can leave discolored areas on the skin. It is believed that yeast overgrows due to exposure to hot, humid climates, excessive sweating, oily skin, or a weakened immune system. Tinea versicolor is not normally contagious unless in close contact with others. Although it is not harmful, many people find this disease to be unsightly. While it is more common in teens and young adults, it can also be found in older adults and children who live in tropical areas. The symptoms of tinea versicolor typically disappear during cooler, drier months, though the skin discoloration remains.
What treatments are effective for tinea versicolor?
There are many treatment options for tinea versicolor. Dr. Joel Schlessinger may prescribe a topical antifungal ointment that contains active ingredients such as selenium sulfide and ketoconazole, medicated cleansers. Oral anti-yeast pills can help control the growth of yeast and bring the problem under control most effectively.
“There are new treatment regimens that lead to complete improvement in tinea versicolor, but it is important to treat it early before it gets out of control.”