So about a year ago I started getting strange patches on my skin, thinking it was nothing I ignored it. A year later it has drastically spread across my back and arms. After researching I found that Dadree (what they call it in Punjab) and here in UK it’s called Tinea versicolor.
This occurs when Malassezia grows rapidly on the surface of the skin. Doctors aren’t sure why this happens. Some factors may promote the growth of this yeast on the skin, including:
hot and humid weather
a weakened immune system
Tinea versicolor can occur in people from all ethnic backgrounds, and it’s more common in adolescents and young adults. Adults are more likely to develop tinea versicolor if they visit an area with a subtropical climate.
What are the symptoms of tinea versicolor?
Discolored patches of skin are the most noticeable symptom of tinea versicolor, and these patches usually show up on the arms, chest, neck, or back. These patches may be:
lighter (more common) or darker than the surrounding skin
pink, red, tan, or brown
dry, itchy, and scaly
more prominent with tanning
prone to disappear in cooler, less humid weather
Tinea versicolor that develops in people with dark skin may result in the loss of skin color, known as hypopigmentation. For some people, the skin may darken instead of lighten. This condition is known as hyperpigmentation.
Some individuals who develop tinea versicolor don’t have any significant changes in their skin color or appearance.
In addition to changes in the color of your skin, you may also experience itchy skin.
Some conditions with overlapping symptoms, such as vitiligo, are often mistaken for tinea versicolor. However, vitiligo can differ from tinea versicolor in several noticeable ways, including:
Vitiligo doesn’t affect your skin’s texture.
Vitiligo usually appears on the fingers, wrists, armpits, mouth, eyes, or groin.
Vitiligo often forms patches that are symmetrical.
The rash caused by pityriasis rosea is also similar to tinea versicolor, but this rash is usually preceded by a “herald patch,” a lone red patch of scaly skin that appears a few days or weeks before the rash. This rash typically appears in the shape of a Christmas tree on the back. It’s not known what causes this condition. But, like tinea versicolor, it’s neither harmful nor contagious.
Although there is over the counter creams available, it’s best to see your GP and be referred to a skin specialist.