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Health & FitnessWhat are these flaky, discoloured patches of skin on my chest and back?

19:30  05 september  2019
19:30  05 september  2019 Source:   netdoctor.co.uk

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Overview of skin discoloring . Discolored skin patches are irregular areas where there are changes in skin color. Large, flat, gray or blue patches with irregular edges seen on the back and buttock. What is the outlook for someone with discolored skin patches ? Many skin changes are harmless.

Patches of discolored skin have many possible causes, including birthmarks, pigmentation disorders, rashes, infections, and skin cancer. Types of pigmented birthmark include: Mongolian blue spots. These are blue or gray patches that may be present on the back and buttocks at birth.

What are these flaky, discoloured patches of skin on my chest and back? © Jan-Otto - Getty Images How to identify and treat flaky, discoloured patches of skin on my chest and back, a common skin condition called Pityriasis versicolor caused by an overgrowth of the yeast fungus Pityrosporum orbiculare (Malassezia furfur).

If you have started to develop patches of skin on your body that appear either lighter or darker than your normal skin colour, you may well be suffering from pityriasis versicolor.

The patches might feel scaly to touch and may start joining up to form larger blotches. While the appearance of these patches can be alarming, there is no need to worry – pityriasis versicolor is harmless.

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These patches usually grow fairly slowly and often cluster together. Sometimes, symptoms of TV may only be noticeable when a person has a suntan. Vitiligo tends to affect large portions of the skin and causes significant skin discoloration . This may lead to emotional distress.

This common condition is often mistaken for dry, sensitive skin . Babies and children usually get The main symptom is a thick, scaly, discolored patch of skin . Sometimes the area feels rough or like National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: “Ichthyosis Overview,” “ What Is

Medical Dermatologist Dr Emma Gardette looks at the symptoms, causes and treatment options for this common skin complaint:

What causes pityriasis versicolor?

Pityriasis versicolor – sometimes called tinea versicolor – is a common and harmless fungal rash caused by the overgrowth of yeasts on the skin. It is triggered by the proliferation of a yeast called Malassezia, which is normally found on the skin and usually does not cause any problems.

Pityriasis versicolor develops when these yeasts overgrow on the skin, usually because of a warm, humid climate or excessive sweating. It tends to flare up in summertime for this reason.

Who is most at risk of pityriasis versicolor?

Pityriasis versicolor can affect anyone, including children, but is most frequently seen in young adults and it is slightly more common in men.

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In these cases, using moisturizer is often enough to soothe and eliminate dry skin patches . The skin can become dry, scaly, or flaky for many everyday reasons, such as being exposed to chemicals in soaps or It typically causes patches of white, crusty flakes on the scalp, face, chest , and back .

What’s behind your blotchy skin ? This WebMD slide show will show you some of the things that can cause it. The condition causes patches of very dry, itchy skin . Also called broken capillaries, these are tiny blood vessels, located close to the surface of the skin , that get larger and more visible.

It’s important to note that pityriasis versicolor is not related to poor hygiene and it is not contagious, as the Malassezia yeast is a normal resident on most people’s skin.

What are these flaky, discoloured patches of skin on my chest and back? © Aneese Pityriasis versicolor skin rash

Pityriasis versicolor signs and symptoms

Pityriasis versicolor symptoms often include the following:

✔️ The rash appears as flat, slightly scaly, oval or round patches affecting the torso, upper back, neck, and/or upper arms. Other locations are less common.

✔️ The patches can vary in colour, hence the name versicolor.

✔️ They may be light brown, pink or paler than the normal skin colour, as the yeasts can produce a chemical that depigments the skin. This is why the rash is often noticed during or after sunny holidays, when the skin tans but the rash does not.

✔️ Pityriasis versicolor usually does not present any other symptoms, but it can be mildly itchy in some people.

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Some may appear in small patches on the body, and others may spread across a larger area. They have a range of causes and can be itchy, dry, or painful. A rash is defined as a widespread eruption of skin lesions. It is a very broad medical term. Rashes can vary in appearance greatly, and there are

What it looks like: Flaky , dry skin or yellowish crusty patches ; may cause some hair loss. Where it appears: Typically in the creases of the elbows or knees and on the cheeks, chin, scalp, chest , and back . This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational

How is pityriasis versicolor diagnosed?

In most cases, pityriasis versicolor diagnosis is straightforward and your doctor can make it simply by looking at your skin.

Sometimes, a Wood’s lamp (UVA blacklight) can be used to make the rash fluoresce in yellow.

If there is any doubt on the diagnosis, your doctor may take skin scrapings or, very rarely, perform a skin biopsy.

Pityriasis versicolor treatment options

Pityriasis versicolor is treated with topical antifungal agents, in order to reduce the amount of yeasts on the skin.

The most common treatment is ketoconazole shampoo (anti-dandruff shampoo), which can be used as a body wash. Creams containing terbinafine, clotrimazole or miconazole can also be prescribed.

The patches may take several months to return to a normal colour, but it does not mean the treatment has not worked.

Itraconazole and fluconazole are oral anti-fungal agents, which can be considered as a second-line treatment when creams and shampoos have failed.

Pityriasis versicolor prevention tips

Be aware that the pityriasis versicolor rash will often recur, especially in summertime. It therefore might be helpful to use ketoconazole shampoo preventatively, before going on sunny holidays.

Ketoconazole shampoo is available to buy over-the-counter at the pharmacy, so you won't need to visit your doctor for a prescription.

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