Pityriasis versicolor (also known as tinea versicolor) is a skin infection which often presents as patches of relatively depigmented or hyperpigmented skin (1).
It is a superficial mycosis caused by various yeasts and lipophilic fungi of the genus Malassezia part of the normal human skin flora with three dominant species: M globosa, M sympodialis, and M furfur
- presents as multiple well-demarcated, scaly, oval-to-round hypo- or hyperpigmented
macules that frequently coalesce into larger patches
- this condition been reported worldwide but is predominant in tropical climates
- affects nearly 1% of the general population and has an incidence of
up to 50% in some tropical climates (2)
- in temperate climates, eruptions occur more commonly in the summer
than in the winter months
- in temperate climates, eruptions occur more commonly in the summer than in the winter months
- is equally distributed between men and women
- affects nearly 1% of the general population and has an incidence of up to 50% in some tropical climates (2)
- has been found in newborns and elderly patients, although it is more frequent in adolescents and young adults (2)
- predominantly affects the upper trunk and also on the upper arms, neck and face (more common in children) (1)
- most important predisposing factors are heat, humidity, use of oily tanning lotions and creams, and corticosteroids
If the skin is not tanned, the skin appears fawn with a slight brawny scaling and wrinkling. It is slightly itchy.
Often, it is difficult to tell if treatment is successful until the patient acquires a tan in the following year.
- (1) Gupta AK, Bluhm R, Summerbell R. Pityriasis versicolor. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2002;16(1):19-3
- (2) Prajapati V, Mydlarski PR. Dermacase. Tinea versicolor. Can Fam Physician. 2008 Nov;54(11):1557-8.
Last reviewed 03/2020