Pityriasis Versicolor

Pityriasis Versicolor is an infection that occurs as a result of the over-growth of the yeast fungus, it can lead to unwanted skin pigmentation – Pityrosporum orbicular. It is believed that every adult has this fungus on their skin at a point in time, however it is not harmful except when it starts to grow excessively especially when the skin becomes favourably disposed to such growths.  Though the reasons why such fungal infections occur remain a mystery however it is an infection common in tropical and sub-tropical regions.  Though it is believed that most people who live in areas where there is prolonged summer periods are at higher risk of developing this fungal infections as continuous perspiration, and high production of sebum oil from within the skin increases the chances of an individual suffering from the infection.  It is also believed that some diseases such as HIV can also help the fungus to grow uncontrollably and spread.

Pityriasis versicolor is often found spreading at the lower part of the back as well as the chest,  some of the early symptoms of the fungal infection is the appearance of uneven patches on the skin of the suffered especially in the summer. These patches often become brownish or pale red in colour. When the patches spread, they often merge to form blotches on the skin , and the patches may become scaly , though sun-bathing the skin can help reduce the visibility of the colours.

People with tanned skin often find it difficult to hide the patches resulting from Pityriasis Versicolor as the patches appear white, and there are several categories of people who stand a higher risk of developing the infection. These are;  teenagers and adults who sweat profusely and those who produce more sebum from within their skin; and individuals with immunodeficiency diseases.

Potassium hydroxide wet count with microscopic observations is one of the best possible means of diagnosing Pityriasis Veriscolor.  Selenium Sulphide shampoo is one of the commonest ways by which Pityriasis Versicolor is treated.  The selenium sulphide shampoo is applied to the affected skin area for 30 minutes  and rinsed off. This is done over a fortnight, and the shampoo is often washed off daily for 5 minutes. This treatment method can be repeated for several days a week.  The best possible way of getting rid of the infection is to apply a preventive treatment control in subsequent years since it is a re-current infection.