Pityriasis versicolor is a common yeast infection of the skin, in which flaky discolored patches appear on the chest and back. Pityriasis versicolor most frequently affects young adults and is slightly more common in men than in women.It is more common in hot, humid climates than in cool, dry climates. It often affects people that sweat heavily may clear in the winter months and recur each summer. Although it is not considered infectious in the conventional sense, pityriasis versicolor sometimes affects more than one member of a family.

Causes:

Pityriasis versicolor is caused by growth of fungi of the genus Malassezia, which can be found on healthy skin. It only starts causing problems when the fungus overgrows. A number of factors may trigger this growth, including:

  • Hot, humid weather
  • Oily skin
  • Hormonal changes

Weakened immune system The white or hypopigmented type of pityriasis versicolor is thought to be due to a chemical produced by malassezia that diffuses into the epidermis layer of skin and impairs the function of the melanocytes which gives skin color.

Pityriasis versicolor is usually diagnosed clinically.

Treatment:

Mild pityriasis versicolor is treated with topical (used in skin surface) antifungal agents

  • Selenium sulfide Shampoo
  • Topical azole cream/shampoo (ketoconazole)
  • Terbinafine gel
  • Ciclopirox cream/solution

The medicine should be applied widely to all the affected areas before bedtime for as long as directed (usually about two weeks).

Oral antifungal agents, itraconazole, ketoconazole and fluconazole, are used to treat pityriasis versicolor when extensive or if topical agents have failed.

The best oral regimen for pityriasis versicolor is fluconazole i.e 400mg once for adult, though there are other doses also but this regimen have shown   good cure and less recurrence. Even after successful treatment, your skin color may remain uneven for several weeks, or even months. Also, the infection may return in hot, humid weather.

Source: http://www.dermnetnz.org/fungal/pityriasis-versicolor.html

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