Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Tiner Versicolour Pityriasis, also known as tinea versicolour, is a common skin condition characterised by fine scaling and changing colour. This benign rash results from the overgrowth of Malassezia yeasts, naturally present on everyone’s skin. It’s important to know that this condition does not usually leave scars long term. However, if it does, we can help.
Unlike the yeasts in food or those causing thrush, Malassezia is part of the skin’s resident flora. Also referred to as tinea versicolour, this condition is prevalent in warm and humid climates and is generally harmless, with affected individuals often maintaining good health.
Causes: Pityriasis versicolour occurs when normally harmless skin organisms, including yeasts, undergo an overgrowth. This phenomenon is more common in warm and humid environments, leading to the manifestation of the distinct rash. The reasons why certain individuals are predisposed to this condition remain not fully understood.
Heredity: There is no hereditary component associated with pityriasis versicolor.
Symptoms: While the rash may cause mild itching, it typically does not lead to significant discomfort beyond its visible appearance. The condition often goes unnoticed, especially when only a few patches are present.
Appearance: The rash commonly appears on the trunk, presenting as flat, slightly scaly areas with altered color against unaffected skin. The color of the patches varies, appearing darker on untanned white skin but lighter on areas exposed to sunlight. In individuals with darker skin, the paler areas may be more noticeable.
Diagnosis: Diagnosing pityriasis versicolour is often straightforward through visual inspection by healthcare professionals or your GP. In cases of uncertainty, skin scrapings or, rarely, a skin biopsy may be considered.
Can it be Cured? Treatment is available for pityriasis versicolour, with the rash typically clearing with intervention. However, the pale areas may take several months to return to their normal colour. Importantly, the condition does not usually leave scars. Recurrence is common, especially during warmer months.
Preventive Measures: Individuals prone to pityriasis versicolor can benefit from using an anti-yeast shampoo as a body wash before sun exposure. There is no evidence supporting dietary changes as a preventive measure.