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Tinea versicolour (also known as pityriasis versicolour) is a common skin condition most frequently affecting young adults.

What does Tinea Versicolour Look Like?

Tinea versicolour results in round scaly patches that may be lighter or darker than the normal skin.  Spots often come together to form large scaly patches.  The chest, back and shoulders are most commonly involved, although tinea versicolour can occur elsewhere.

The face is infrequently affected.  Patches become more obvious after sun exposure because the skin affected by tinea versicolour doesn't tan, leading to whitish patches.

What Causes Tinea Versicolour?

Tinea versicolour is the result of a yeast that lives on everyone's skin.  Some people develop an overgrowth of this yeast and an inflammatory response to its presence.  It tends to be more common in individuals who have oily skin and those who are active and sweat a great deal.

Who Gets Tinea Versicolour?

Anyone can get tinea versicolour but it is most common in young adults who have oily skin, those who are active and sweat, and those exposed to hot, humid environments

How is Tinea Versicolour Treated?

  1. Topical antifungal creams such as terbinafine, miconazole or ketoconazole
  2. Oral anti-fungal medications such as itraconazole or fluconazole
  3. Anti-fungal shampoos that contain selenium sulfide 

What is Some Skin Care Advice for Individuals with Tinea versicolour?

  1. Consider using an over-the-counter anti-fungal shampoo for a few days before sun exposure
  2. Shampoos with selenium sulfide should be left on for 5-10 minutes before being washed off
  3. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen regularly to prevent the discolouration associated with tinea versicolour
  4. Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothing when active to minimize sweating
  5. Consider seeing a dermatologist if your tinea versicolour is bothersome and does not improve with over-the-counter treatments