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Pityriasis versicolor

What is it?

Pityriasis versicolor is a fungal infection. The fungus which causes the disease inhabits the skin of everybody and, in some people, may develop causing the appearance of the condition.

Often, the disease is perceived few days after skin exposure to the sun, because the areas of skin affected by the fungus do not tan. With the tanning of the surrounding skin, lighter areas become perceptible and the person thinks that was infected on the beach or pool. However, the sun tanning has only shown where the fungus already was.

Characteristics and symptoms

The disease manifests itself forming light, brownish or reddish spots that start small and can join together to form larger patches. The areas of skin which are more oily (seborrheic), as the face, scalp, neck and upper trunk are most often affected.

The lesions are covered with fine scales that sometimes are only noticed when the skin is stretched. Generally, Pityriasis versicolor is asymptomatic, but some patients may present itching.


Pityriasis versicolor is a fungal infection that responds well to treatment, which can be done with use of oral or topical medications, depending on the degree of skin involvement.

Due to be caused by a fungus that normally inhabits the skin, the mycosis can reappear even after successful treatment.

In some people, Pityriasis versicolor may relapse after treatment. These cases require special care to prevent the recurrence of the disease, whose guidance should be given by a dermatologist.

Related articles

- Pityriasis alba
- Pityriasis rosea

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