This is a common skin disease caused by an overgrowth of the yeast fungus called Pityrosporum orbiculare (Malassezia furfur).
Most adults have Pityrosporum orbiculare on their skin; however, in a few people its presence results in a harmless skin disease. Pityrosporum orbiculare also plays a role in the development of cradle cap (seborrhoeic dermatitis).
Signs and symptoms
Lesions with the following characteristics:
A scrape should be taken for microscopy and cultivation in a laboratory. Pityrosporum orbiculare gives out yellow-green when exposed to ultraviolet light (Wood's light examination).
Topical antifungal agents are effective in eradicating the lesions. These medications include clotrimazole, ketoconazole, and miconazole.
Over-the-counter dandruff shampoos applied to the skin for 10 minutes each day in the shower may also eliminate tinea versicolor.
People with a history of tinea versicolor should attempt to avoid excessive heat or sweating. In addition, a dandruff shampoo applied to the skin area for 10 minutes each week may help prevent recurrences.
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