Tinea Versicolor is a superficial fungal infection that causes discolored patches on your skin. It is caused by a type of yeast that exists on your skin naturally. The overgrowth of this yeast causes the skin condition which manifests as discolored patches. The trunk and shoulders are the most commonly affected areas, and these patches may be lighter or darker in color than the surrounding skin.
Pityriasis Versicolor is an alternative name for Tinea Versicolor that some specialists prefer because Tinea technically refers to a non-yeast, dermatophyte fungal infections, the type of fungus that affects the body (Tinea corporis, also known as ringworm), feet (Tinea pedis, also known as athlete's foot), or groin (Tinea cruris, referred to as jock itch).
Tinea Versicolor is most commonly seen in teenagers and young adults. Tinea Versicolor treatment is available and if left untreated may become worse if exposed to the sun and due to other factors like sweating and natural progression. Tinea Versicolor is neither unpleasant nor contagious. However, it has the potential to cause negative psychological impact or self-confidence.
Other Types of Tinea Infections
- Tinea Corporis: This can happen anywhere on the body or face. However, it is more common in the folds or flexural areas of the skin. It's also more prevalent in hot and humid climates. Tinea corporis can spread quickly among children in daycare settings since it is asymptomatic.
- Tinea Pedis: This form is most commonly found on the feet and between the toes. Sweating, leaving the feet wet after swimming or bathing, wearing tight socks and shoes, and warm weather are all possible causes.
- Tinea Cruris: Tinea cruris, sometimes known as "jock itch," affects the medial side of the upper thighs (groin). Tinea cruris, unlike other yeast infections such as candida, rarely affects the scrotum or the penis. This dermatophyte infection affects men more than women, and children can also sometimes be affected.
- Tinea Capitis: Tinea capitis, sometimes known as "scalp ringworm," typically affects young school-going children. One or more annular regions of inflammatory or noninflammatory hairfall are common. Trichophyton tonsurans infection causes non-inflamed areas to look like black spots, which are remnants of diseased hair shafts that have broken off at the scalp.
- Tinea Favosa: Tinea capitis favosa, often known as favus of the scalp, is a chronic dermatophyte infection of the scalp. Trichophyton schoenleinii, an anthropophilic dermatophyte, is the most common cause of favus. The presence of scutula and extensive alopecia distinguish it.