Tinea Versicolor

Overview of Tinea Versicolor

Tinea Versicolor occurs due to the overgrowth of the yeast Malassezia. This skin condition is not contagious and is easily treatable.

Signs and Symptoms of Tinea Versicolor

Various microorganisms live on our skin. They usually protect the skin from foreign entities and infections. Yeast Malassezia is a fungus that lives on our skin and maintains a symbiotic relationship with the skin cells.
Tinea versicolor (Phulbehri/ پھلبہری) is a yeast infection of the skin which happens when yeast grows uncontrollably. In this infection, the pigmentation of the skin is disturbed and discoloured patches are formed. The colour of the patches can change from light to dark. The most affected areas are the shoulders and trunk.
Tinea Versicolor is also called Pityriasis Versicolor.
Tinea versicolor is the most common fungal infection. It is not serious, contagious or painful nor does it lead to scarring. The skin remains discoloured for a while but returns back to normal.

Prevalence of Tinea Versicolor

The highest prevalence of tinea versicolor is found in tropical climates. It affects up to 40 percent of the population in these areas.

In Pakistan, the prevalence rate of tinea versicolor is 4.2 percent. It affects individuals of all age groups.

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Types of Tinea Versicolor

Signs and Symptoms of Tinea Versicolor include:

  • Discolouration patches anywhere on the body
  • Scaling
  • Mild itching
  • The patches can be white, pink, red, tan, or brown
  • Dry skin
  • Patches disappear in a cool climate

Risk Factors of Tinea Versicolor

Yeast (Malassezia) lives on everyone’s skin. Their overgrowth causes tinea versicolor. The main known causes for this infection are as follows:

  • The hot, humid climate
  • Oily skin
  • Weak immune system
  • Sweating
  • Hormonal Changes



Following are various factors which can put an individual at a higher risk for tinea versicolor:

  1. Genetics or a family history of tinea versicolor
  2. Sweating excessively
  3. Humid or warm environments
  4. Medications
  5. Secondary cancers
  6. Weak immune system

Health Complications of Tinea Versicolor

Skin discolouration is the main complication of tinea versicolor. This condition tends to persist for weeks after treatment. This is due to the production of melanocytes which require significant time for recovery.

After stem cell transplant, patients may also suffer from lung disorders.



Some of the best lifestyle choices that can reduce the chance of tinea versicolor are:

  1. Avoid using oily skincare products
  2. Avoid prolonged exposure to UV rays.
  3. Try to use sunscreen
  4. Make sure to use a dandruff shampoo that has selenium sulfide
  5. Do not wear tight clothes
  6. Make use of breathable fabrics such as cotton
  7. Try to use antifungal shampoo for your hair

Treatment of Tinea Versicolor | When to Consult a Doctor

Usually, a physical examination is enough to diagnose tinea versicolor. To remove any doubt about the diagnosis, the following tests are performed:

  • Scraped Skin

A bit of the infected skin is scraped off and examined under a microscope.

  • Wood’s Lamp

Wood’s lamp uses ultraviolet rays. If yeast is present on the skin, the skin appears yellow or green under the light.

Doctors to treat Tinea Versicolor

Last updated on Wednesday 23/11/2022


Dr. Asif Rauf

Cosmetologist, Dermatologist | MBBS

Cosmolux ( The Hair & Skin Clinic )Rs 2000


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Highly Recommended


Dr. Farrukh Aslam

Cosmetologist | MBBS, FCPS, BFIRST Fellow, MRCPS, FACS

LaForma ClinicRs 1500


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Dr farukh is a kind man he listen whatever i said and then he diagnosed me the treatment of my issue


Dr. Aamir Chhipa

Cosmetologist, Dermatologist | MBBS, DCDD

Dr Aamir Skin ClinicRs 1000


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I am very satisfied with the overall doctor's experience.

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