Tinea Versicolor also known as Pityriasis Versicolor is a fungal infection which is non-contagious and difficult to get rid of. Prolonged external medication can help but it is very common for the infection to return.
This infection does not indicate the hygiene factor of an individual; it can occur on perfectly healthy and clean skin. Weather also plays an important role, for e.g. Tropical climate, excessive sweating is one of the factors that usually expedite this condition.
Causes of Tinea Versicolor
As mentioned earlier, people from tropical region see a high incidence of Tinea versicolor. Since it is caused by fungus (Yeast), and fungus grows well in a little moist and oily environment, it is only natural that populations in tropical regions experience this condition more.
In fact a little cold and dry climate leads to reduction of this condition which again peaks up during summers and humid times of the year. This condition also indicates low immunity in the body and that is why one must see a doctor for a complete diagnosis of this infection.
Symptoms of Tinea Versicolor
Tinea Versicolor normally shows for the first time at a young age around teens when body produces more oil. The main sign is discoloration of skin. The skin may develop white patches which start small and if not treated then spread over the skin. This is pigmentation of skin.
The yeast discourages production of melanin and that is why the pigmentation of skin occurs on the body. However, it is not dangerous and if treated with the right medication, usually disappears. But the time taken by the body to return to its normal color or the light patches to go out completely can take months together.
Photo Credit: Iltempiodivenerebrindisi.net
Use of Anti-fungal creams and powders is recommended for tinea versicolor. However, strong shampoo based medication is normally prescribed. Clotrimazole, Mycoderm are the examples of Anti fungal creams and powders. The powder is a good option, considering they help in keeping the skin dry by absorbing sweat and also do not spoil the clothing like the creams.
However, for a larger area shampoo based strong medication has to be used. Candid TV is one such example. It kills the fungus and has strong smell. However, the disadvantage is that it soils your clothes and the smell is also undesirable. The option of oral treatment is also available. However, it must be taken only on doctor’s advice.
Prevention & Precautions
Tinea Versicolor is extremely difficult to get rid of permanently. It is known to recur in 70% cases after a complete wipe off coupled with the moist conditions. The best way to keep it at bay is to use talcum powders which would keep you dry. Better still, use anti-fungal powders.
Frequent change of clothing during humid season can also prove helpful. Taking bath after exercises or outings and using your own towel and toiletteries is advisable. Using anti-septic agents while washing the clothes can also help and keep the clothes sanitized.
The medicines mentioned are just examples and are not to be used without doctor’s advice.