Tinea versicolor a common fungal skin infection is caused by a type of yeast that occurs on human skin. This yeast is usually harmless in certain conditions but it may lead to the formation of other infections and development of a rash on shoulders, upper arms, neck, chest, and back. Usually, areas that are likely to retain moisture in the body, such as, breasts, underarms, etc. can also be affected. In this condition, the skin appears to be discolored and may appear either lighter or darker than surrounding skin. The discoloration of the skin appears in form of spots or patches.
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Tinea Versicolor Rash
Many people may suffer from this skin condition since childhood and it may decrease as people grow. Tinea versicolor is not very common in babies, but it is commonly found in adolescents. Usually, people living in hot and humid climatic conditions are prone to this infection.
Symptoms of Tinea Versicolor
- The appearance of discolored skin in form of spots or patches. Usually, these patches appear on upper arms and torso. But it may extend to neck or even face.
- People with dark skin have lighter colored patches, known as hypopigmentation. On the other hand, people with light skin have hyperpigmentation - darker colored spots or patches.
- If the condition is severe, pin-prick itching may occur in the affected areas of the skin. The itching then occurs most frequently when the body heats up during an exercise session or in summer months.
- In some cases, scaling or peeling of a fine layer of skin may also occur.
Causes of Tinea Versicolor
It is a fungal infection and the fungus is likely to be present under normal circumstances in a body. However, under certain conditions, the balance may upset and results in various problems like Malassezia fungus, which is known to cause a variety of skin infections, such as dandruff as well as dermatitis.
This usually happens in climatic conditions with high humidity. Just like most fungi, the Malassezia fungus also thrives in warm and humid conditions. Furthermore, an imbalance in the immune system or hormone levels lets this fungus grow on the human body, leading to infection. This skin condition is likely to develop in women on contraceptives - as these pills cause a sudden imbalance in hormone levels. Even lack of nutrition is another factor that leads to the formation of tinea versicolor infections.
The two species of Malassezia that are responsible for developing tinea versicolor are - Malassezia globosa fungi that cause the majority of this infection. On the other hand, Malassezia furfur fungus causes this infection in a very small number of cases.
Natural remedies to treat tinea versicolor
- Tea tree oil is one of the simplest and common natural products to treat this infection, it contains herbal antifungal agents that are quite effective against a variety of skin infections. Even if you are suffering from tinea versicolor, using tea tree oil is a good option. You simply need to apply the oil on your skin once a day for two weeks. But tea tree oil is a little harsh on skin so people with sensitive skin need to dilute it before applying.
- Candle Bush, also known as senna alata, is also a wondrous herbal treatment for tinea versicolor. It can be used to treat a variety of skin infections, including tinea versicolor. You may either apply a ready-made preparation made of candle bush or use freshly grinded candle bush leaves with olive oil to the affected area two times a day.
- Apple cider vinegar is another good remedy for skin infections. It is a good antifungal agent and can be diluted with water before applying to the affected areas.