Tinea versicolor is a fungal skin infection. It’s caused by yeast on the skin. It occurs most often in adolescents and young adults. But it can happen at any time.
This condition causes lighter or darker patches on your child’s skin. These patches are often on your child’s chest or back. They stop the skin from tanning evenly.
Yeast normally lives on the skin in small amounts. Tinea versicolor occurs when yeast expands and increases greatly in number (overgrows).
The following can increase your child’s risk for tinea versicolor:
Usually, the only symptom of this condition is white, pink, or light brown patches on your child’s skin. The patches may have scale-like flakes. It normally doesn’t itch or hurt.
Here are other aspects of the rash:
The symptoms of this condition may look like symptoms of other health problems. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Your child’s healthcare provider will ask about your child’s health history. He or she will also give your child an exam. The patches caused by this issue are unique. Healthcare providers are often able to make the diagnosis through an exam.
Your child’s healthcare provider may use an ultraviolet light, called a Woods Lamp, to see the patches more clearly. Also, your child's healthcare provider may do skin scrapings of the lesions. This can help confirm the diagnosis.
Your child’s healthcare provider may recommend a shampoo that contains selenium sulfide. This shampoo is available over the counter. If this treatment doesn’t work, your child’s healthcare provider may prescribe an antifungal or dandruff shampoo. Your child will apply the shampoo to his or her affected skin. Your child's healthcare provider may also prescribe topical antifungal creams or oral antifungal medicines.
Your child’s skin may only get better for a short time. Then the condition may happen again. Your child’s healthcare provider may tell your child to use the shampoo each month to keep tinea versicolor from combing back.
Also, the treatment will not make your child’s skin return to its normal color right away. This may take several months.
If your child’s treatment isn’t working, call his or her healthcare provider. He or she may suggest other treatments.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider: