What is pityriasis vesicolor?

In pityriasis vesicolor there are widespread skin changes (patches of discolouration) which occur as a result of a mild fungal infection.  This condition is very mild, relatively common but skin changes may last for a long time and may recur. It is commoner in young adults.

Pityriasis vesicolor is also called tinea vesicolor.

What causes pityriasis vesicolor?

Changes to the skin pigment (colour) caused by a mild fungal infection.

What are the symptoms?

  • Patches of skin discolouration typically seen on the trunk, arms and thighs
  • In lighter skinned people - brown/dark pinkish round scaly patches
  • In darker skinned people - Round patches where the skin pigmentation (colour) has been lost is seen (Should not be confused with Vitiligo, another condition where there is loss of pigmentation)

How can pityriasis vesicolor be treated?

  • Topical antifungal agents - cream, shampoo
  • Oral antifungal medication

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