Tinea versicolor is a yeast infection of the skin. It is usually located on the upper chest and back. It occurs most often in adolescents and adults. Because the involved skin does not tan, there is a relative appearance of depigmentation. The loss of pigment from this condition is easy to treat and should not be misdiagnosed as vitiligo.
Causes of Tinea Versicolor
Cause is due to the developing stage of the yeast, Pityrosporum orbiculare. High heat and high humidity enhance the growth of this yeast. The infection is contagious, but it is unknown how it spread.
Signs and Symptoms of Tinea Versicolor
The primary lesions of tinea versicolor are red or tan patches. After exposure to sunlight, they appear lighter than the surrounding skin, due to their inability to tan. This cosmetic defect, obvious in the summer, often brings the patient to the doctor. The lesions have well defined borders and do not scale unless scraped. The lesions start at 3 to 4mm in diameter and spread. they often join together to form large patches.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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