White patches on your skin might not be signs of vitiligo.
Do think you vitiligo because you have white, patchy skin? Small white patches on your skin causing discolouration either by lightening or darkening a part of your skin may not always be a sign of vitiligo or leucoderma. You might simply be suffering from a fungal infection which occurs due to yeast infection. Here, Dr. Tapas Majumdar, Kalyani Seva Kendra, Kolkata speaks about this skin condition.
In general, it does not cause any serious health issues; however, sometimes this fungal growth can get out of control, affecting the pigmentation or natural colour of the skin. This results in patches of skin which are darker, or lighter than the original skin colour. This condition itself is known as Tinea versicolor. This condition is usually caused by:
- Hot and humid weather
- Excessive sweating
- Oily skin
- Weak immune system
- Hormonal changes
Symptoms: This disease can affect people from all ethnic backgrounds, irrespective of their age and gender. The most noticeable symptom of this condition is skin discolouration, where skin patches might be as follows:
- Lighter or darker than the normal skin colour, known as hyperpigmentation.
- Pink, red, tan, or brown in colour
- Dry, itchy and scaly
- Be more prominent with tanning and might disappear in cooler weather
- Excessive sweaty and irritated skin
Diagnosis: If you have developed patchy skin similar to vitiligo, then you must consult your doctor. He may be able to detect the condition by simply looking at your skin. Otherwise, he might use ultraviolet light to examine your skin for the presence of yeast. In the presence of the fungus, the patches will appear as yellow or green under UV light.
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Treatment: If the condition isn’t serious, you can easily go for treatment at home. Anti-fungal creams and shampoos are effective against the infection. Your doctor may also advise topical creams or anti-fungal pills to counter the disease. If you are affected with Tinea versicolor, treatment will improve your long-term outlook. The disease may also be completely eliminated after treatment. However, the skin may remain discoloured for weeks or even months after the treatment. The condition may also recur when humidity increases. Consult your doctor for medications accordingly.
Prevention: Although there are no concrete measures of prevention of this disease, yet you may follow these steps to prevent a recurrence of Tinea versicolor.
- Avoid excessive heat
- Avoid tanning or excessive sun exposure
- Avoid excessive sweating
- Take prescribed medication