Pityriasis means a type of fine skin scaling, and versicolor means changing colour.
This colourful name, also referred to as tinea versicolor is given to a common and harmless rash that occurs due to the overgrowth of yeasts that live on everyone’s skin and is not infectious. These yeasts, called Malassezia, are not related to yeast in food or to those that cause thrush.
Pityriasis Versicolor can occur recurrently on the chest and back but occasionally spreads further to the arms and thighs. In lighter skin types the rash is brownish, and in darker skin types it can be lighter than the normal skin. The spots have a fine scale and are often slightly itchy but may be very itchy.
It is treatable with creams and preventative measures but may take a few months to return to the skin’s usual colour. It often recurs in summer and can be retreated again in the same way. The diagnosis can be confirmed by scraping the skin and looking at the scale with the microscope on the spot. Occasionally oral medication or other treatments are required for stubborn cases.
If you think you may be experiencing this rash, get in touch with us at Lotus Dermatology today or see your GP for a referral.