Knowing What They Are Is Only the Start – How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Circular scaly spots showing up on your chest, back and face is bad enough, but then learning that they are caused by a fungus can really cause you to freak out. But don’t panic! You can fight the fungus and win. These spots sometimes look white, pink, or brown in color hence the term “Versicolor” for the many different colors that can develop in association with the rash. Learn the secrets of treating Tinea Versicolor properly and you’ll be ready to don your swimsuit and show your skin without fear of the fungus. You could waste a lot of time with old wives tales, but wouldn’t you rather just get rid of those nasty spots quickly and safely? Many common reasons that are given for the appearance of the spots include drinking too much soda, liver spots, as well as something that you catch from another person.
However, microscopic examination of a skin scraping reveals that the true culprit is a fungal organism. It’s not nice to hear to that you have a skin fungus, but it is pretty common actually. The fungus that causes Tinea Versicolor is on everyone’s skin, and we encounter it daily without developing a skin infection. But certain conditions allow it to go from a dormant to an active form on your skin such as hot and humid weather, a weakened immune system or having excessively oily skin. It is unsightly and can range from one small scaly spot to involving diffuse areas of the skin such as the entire back, chest, or abdomen as well as the neck and face. Sometimes the condition is very itchy and other times there is no itching at all. Also, it is not spread person to person, so your family can relax! However, when it is not treated it can continue to spread so that the areas of involvement get larger and larger. Dermatologists have a few easy tactics to free you of this fungus easily.
- Over the counter antifungal solutions, creams, foams and shampoos can work. You can use the shampoo on your body when large areas of the body are involved.
- Prescription only topical treatments are basically a stronger set of creams, foams, solutions, and shampoos your doctor can write a prescription for you to get.
- Oral anti-fungal treatment may be necessary for stubborn cases. This can be especially beneficial when extensive areas of the body are involved and it would be hard for you to reach them all. While they may be more effective, these pills can also have side effects and risks so many dermatologists will try topical medications first.
- While it can’t be spread easily from person to person, some medical professionals believe it can lurk in your clothing and increase your odds of being re-infected. Washing your clothing in very hot water or dry cleaning will kill and remove any fungi there.
The raised, circular patches on your skin caused by Tinea Versicolor won’t disappear overnight, unfortunately. It will take time and consistent treatment to get rid of this fungus, so it makes sense to start treatment right away. The initial response to treatment kills the fungus so that the scaliness and flakiness of the patches goes away, but the areas of discoloration still remain. It can sometimes take several months for the discolored areas to return to normal even though the fungus itself is no longer present.
If you’ve noticed new spots on your skin that are scaly and discolored, it’s best to see your dermatologist or family physician right away and start treating it. You want to be rid of it before your next day at the beach, big date or other event where you want to look and feel your best. The treatment is easy, so there’s no reason to wait and let the fungus make itself at home!