Pityriasis versicolor is caused by a fungus. The fungus is normally found in small amounts on the skin and scalp. A change in environment can lead to an overgrowth of the fungus. This leads to symptoms.
Pityriasis versicolor often affects large areas of the skin. Symptoms may include:
- Thin, small, patches that may be:
- Pale yellow, dark brown, or yellowish brown
- Shades of red, pink, or orange
- Light or dark
- Light scaling on affected areas
- Little to no itching
The goal is to clear the infection. Pityriasis versicolor may be treated with:
- Antifungal lotions, creams, or shampoos—applied to the skin
- Antifungal pills taken by mouth—used for widespread infections
Skin may return to its normal color. It may take several months to a few years after treatment. The condition may also improve in the winter and return in the summer.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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