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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is tinea versicolor?
Tinea versicolor is a fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of the yeast that naturally exists on the skin. It causes a discoloration in the skin.
What are the symptoms of tinea versicolor?
Symptoms of tinea versicolor are spots that are lighter or sometimes darker than the unaffected skin. The spots can be white, pink, red brown or tan. They may also itch, and appear dry and scaly. Tinea versicolor may disappear in cooler months and …
What causes tinea versicolor?
Tinea versicolor occurs when non-contagious yeast that are normally found on the body grow to their mycelial form. It's not understood why the yeast overgrow on some people and not others, but their overgrowth is found more in people who have oily skin, …
Who gets tinea versicolor?
Risk factors for tinea versicolor include: hot, humid weather; oily skin; sweating excessively, and; a weakened immune system.
How is tinea versicolor diagnosed?
Although diagnosis is often made based on symptoms alone, tinea versicolor can also be diagnosed by examining the affected skin under a Wood's light, using the potassium hydroxide solution or from a skin biopsy.
Can tinea versicolor be prevented?
Because the yeast that causes tinea versicolor can occur normally on the skin, it cannot be prevented. However, if the yeast overgrow, they can be managed with anti-fungal medications.
Will tinea versicolor clear on its own?
Sometimes tinea versicolor will disappear in cooler months and reappear in warmer months, but this depends on the climate you live in. In general, you need to use anti-fungal medication to treat tinea versicolor.
Is tinea versicolor contagious?
No. Tinea versicolor is not contagious because the yeast are normally present on people's skin. It is only a problem when the yeast grow out of control.
About this article
Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.1 out of 5
Votes: 60 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Tinea versicolor