Pityriasis versicolor is flaky discoloured patches appearing mainly on the chest and back. The multiple colours arising in the disorder give rise to the second part of the name, ‘versicolor’. It sometimes called ‘tinea versicolor’, although the term ‘tinea’ should strictly refer to infection with a dermatophyte fungus.
Symptoms of Pityriasis versicolor
The following are some of the symptoms of Pityriasis versicolor:
• Pityriasis versicolor is caused by yeasts of the genus Malassezia, which may also be found on normal skin.
• Usually Malassezia species grow on seborrhoeic areas (scalp, face and chest) without causing a rash.
• Pityriasis versicolor affects the trunk, neck, and/or arms, and is uncommon on other parts of the body.
• The patches may be pink, coppery brown or paler than surrounding skin.
• There may be mild itching.
• Pale patches may be more visible in darker skin; this appearance is known as pityriasis versicolor alba and is less likely to itch.
• Sometimes the patches start scaly and brown, and then resolve through a non-scaly and white stage.
Pityriasis versicolor is more common in hot, humid climates or in those who sweat heavily, so it may recur each summer.
• A yellow-green fluorescence may be observed on examination of affected areas with a Wood's light (long wave ultraviolet A).
• Microscopy is reported as positive if hyphae and yeast cells are seen
Homeopathic treatment for Pityriasis versicolor
Conventional treatment includes
• Oral: anti fungal tablets (Ketoconazole, fluconazole, and itraconazole)
• Topical applications: (selenium sulfide, sodium sulfacetamide, ciclopiroxolamine,as well as azole and allylamine antifungals)
Patients should be informed that tinea versicolor is caused by a fungus that is normally present on the skin surface and is therefore not considered contagious. The condition does not leave any permanent scar or pigmentary changes, and any skin color alterations resolve within 1-2 months after treatment has been initiated. Recurrence is common, and prophylactic therapy may help reduce the high rate of recurrence.
Treated cases on Pityriasis versicolor