Pityriasis Versicolor :Fungal Infection,Causes and Treatment

By: Dr Kashif Ahmed

I have seen pityriasis versicolor in my practice a lot of times and usually the patients are young boys and girls who perspire a lot or exercise in gymnasium. They accidentally find the spots on the back which can spread towards the neck and around up to the cheeks. The patients are usually terrified and many think it is white spot disease but i reassure the patient because the spot are not milky white and furthermore scraping can be done to confirm the diagnosis. After diagnosis is made i tell my patient it is a curable disease and start the treatment. Treatment is variable but severe cases need oral antifungal.



  • It is common in tropical countries and it increases during hot and humid weather.
  • The causative organism is pityrosporum orbicular in yeast-like form and when it becomes hyphet it is known as malasezia furfur.
  • Those hypha and yeasts are found in skin scraping or scotch-tape stripings or on biopsy material PAS stein these hyper are found in the outer most layer of skin.

Clinical Features

  • The lesions are without symptoms. Usually, they exist mainly on trunk and proximal parts of limbs with fine superficial scale observed after gently scraping with fingernails.
  • White and un-tanned skin shows dark lesions with yellowish-brown scale but in dark and tanned skin there are light-colored lesions.

Diagnosis and Treatment

  • Skin scrapings for direct microscopy and examination under wood’s light for pale yellow fluorescence can both be used to identify the organism.
  • Topical treatment of choice is immediate whereas clotrimazole solution, miconazole cream and econazal creams and lotions are all effective.
  • In widespread cases of pityriasis versicolor oral antifungal are used with local treatment.

9 thoughts on “Pityriasis Versicolor :Fungal Infection,Causes and Treatment”

  1. Hi,
    i would like to know how long does the spots take to clear…i.e depigmentation? and what can be done to make them disappear quickly.

    thank you for you help.

    1. First of all it depends on the reason of that spots. Is it because of hot weather or some skin infection. They start vanish at least after one month treatment, again depending on the situation of patient.

  2. I’m seeking some information for a yeast infection cure and I’ve just found your website! A good read which I enjoyed and found to be of value. I will return to allow myself the opportunity to stay longer.

  3. I have fungal infections on my skin. It started on my neck and it appears now on my breast, stomach and arms. The infection is small similar to the one that children gets. Two – four appears and then disappear and new once starts. It does not last more than two weeks then it disappears. I thought is can be caused by malt beer because I enjoy drinking beer. Please Help.

  4. I have a fungal infection . Firstly it start in my neck . The doctor gave me “griseofalvin tabs ” , i had it for 20 days but the infection spread .
    Then I went to another doctor and he gave me a “ketokonazole tabs ” and “candid cream ” and now i am using them , i completed the tabs and and still using the cream. But there is no response for treatment until now . Please please help me .

    Abdo hassan from sudan

  5. I have fungal infection which causes me the same kind infection with the picture and I have not got better treatment even if I have visited many specialist they gave me creams which could subsides for a while when I change atmosphere or time of summer they come up again and I am very tired of it and at my stomach place their permanent infection it can not cured with the cream.what should I do I need help

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