Tinea versicolor is a type of fungal skin infection. It is quite common and not dangerous. It primarily affects young adults and teens. The fungal infection produces discoloration of the skin in light or dark patches. These patches of discoloration may become more apparent with sun exposure. It can become a recurring condition if residing in warm, humid climates.1
What Causes Tinea Versicolor?
Tinea versicolor is caused by a yeast overgrowth on the skin’s surface. It is not a contagious infection. Naturally, the body has yeast living on the skin’s surface. When this yeast (a type of fungus) grows out of control, it can cause tinea versicolor, which is what causes the skin discoloration.2
Tinea versicolor is very common in tropical climates because of the high humidity levels that allow fungal infections to thrive. Other risk factors for developing tinea versicolor include having oily skin, a weakened immune system or hormonal changes. Increase sweating may also contribute to developing tinea versicolor. 3
Tinea Versicolor Symptoms
Tinea versicolor symptoms are not harmful. Rather, they can cause feelings of self-consciousness and emotional distress due to the skin discoloration.
Tinea versicolor symptoms4 include:
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