What is tinea versicolor?
Tinea versicolor is an infection caused by the overproduction of the yeast-based pityrosporum orbicularis fungus. This is a yeast-based saprophyte fungus found on the skin.
Malassezia are saprophytic yeasts that live on the skin of most adults without causing any discomfort. However, in some individuals and in some circumstances, the fungus goes on to colonize large areas of skin, especially on the trunk.
What does tinea versicolor look like?
The overproduction of malassezia causes the formation of singular, round patches or larger areas of clustered patches on the skin. These scaly patches are light brown to pink in color and may cause mild itching.
The malassezia fungus is very sensitive to ultraviolet rays. When individuals with tinea versicolor are exposed to UV rays, the colonies of the fungus die, leaving behind a noticeable white patch. The infection becomes more noticeable against tanned skin, with many people only realizing they have tinea versicolor after sun exposure and therefore, paradoxically, after the fungal colony has died.
How to treat Tinea Versicolor
Malassezia does reduce with antifungals, however it is unlikely full healing will be achieved with such products. Instead, products with sulfur and salicylic acid, both of which remain in the skin for a considerable time following application, can better reduce the recurrence of the fungus.
- Apply 2S Cream to the affected area for seven consecutive evenings before discontinuing.
- During treatment, wash with Eudermic Cleansing Base to keep the skin’s defenses intact.
If an individual notices they are prone to tinea versicolor, they should start a six-month treatment with 2S Cream to eliminate the fungus completely. Apply 2S Cream once every 15 days (twice a month) for a six month period, ideally between the winter and the spring. Apply in the evening and discontinue treatment before sun exposure. In completing this course, white patches should not appear after exposure to UV rays as fungal colonies are not present.
Avoid the use of moisturizing creams or other ointments, as they often promote the growth of the fungus due to their oiliness.