Tinea versicolor is skin infection caused by overgrown yeast on the skin.
Yeast lives on your skin – everyone has it. Sometimes that yeast overgrows and causes tinea versicolor which is characterized by small discolored patches of skin.
The reason for the yeast overgrowth is not known, but tinea versicolor is found in people of all colors, and teens and young adults are most likely to get this condition due to their more oily skin. It is more likely to occur in hot and humid weather. If you sweat a lot, have oily skin, or have a weakened immune system, you are a more likely candidate for tinea versicolor.
Tinea versicolor is easily diagnosed by a dermatologist and it is usually easily treated. What can make treatment more difficult is where the infection is located, how much of your skin is infected, and the thickness of the skin patches.
Treatment includes anti-fungal shampoos and other cosmetic products that contain selenium sulfide, ketocanazole, or pyrithione zinc. Anti-fungal pills are also a possible treatment if the tinea versicolor cover a large portion of skin or if it returns after clearing up.
Your skin may be slightly discolored after treatment and the yeast overgrowth of tinea versicolor is treated. Give it time, your skin will return to its normal tone.
When you are being treated for tinea versicolor, or if this is something that you are prone to having, then you might want to stop using any skin care products containing oils. Use oil-free or non-comedogenic products. Make sure your clothing is loose and not binding. You should also avoid tanning your skin because tanned skin makes the tinea versicolor patches easier to see.
Contact Northstar Dermatology if you are experiencing these symptoms or any other abnormal skin conditions. Your neighborhood NorthStar Dermatologist would be happy to consult with you about tinea versicolor and provide treatment options.