Pityriasis versicolor is a skin condition that can affect people at any age. It is caused by a yeast that naturally lives on the skin, called Malassezia furfur. This yeast is normally found on the skin of most people without any problem. However, if there is an overgrowth of this fungi, it can result in a skin disorder called pityriasis versicolor.
Pityriasis versicolor causes round or oval patches of discolored skin to appear on various parts of your body. These patches are usually found on the upper back, chest and neck but can appear anywhere except the palms and soles of your feet. Your skin may look darker or lighter than normal in these areas, and the color may become darker after you have been in the sun. The patches are scaly and can be itchy in some cases.
Pityriasis versicolor can be diagnosed by its appearance. A potassium hydroxide preparation may be used to identify the yeast, and a scraping may be examined under the microscope.
This is not necessary as the rash is very distinctive. Sometimes a swab may be taken from a lesion to identify the organism in the laboratory. In addition, Wood’s light examination will show a yellow-green fluorescence of affected skin. This test should not be done if there is any suspicion of malignant melanoma.
If you have dark skin and have patches that are much lighter than the surrounding skin, your doctor may recommend you have a biopsy to rule out other conditions, such as vitiligo or tinea versicolor.
A scaly, discolored patch of skin on the arm or face may be a sign of actinic keratosis. Actinic keratosis is also known as solar keratosis and can lead to skin cancer if not properly treated.
Actinic keratosis is a precancerous condition caused by long-term exposure to the sun. This condition occurs in areas of the skin that have been exposed to ultraviolet rays for long periods of time such as the face, neck and hands. Risk factors for developing actinic keratosis include:
excessive sun exposure
Actinic keratosis is characterized by dry, rough or scaly patches of skin that range in color from white or light pink to red or brown. Actinic keratosis is most often found on the faces, ears, forearms, backs of hands and lips. These patches are usually smaller than an inch in diameter and may have a wart-like appearance. The severity of actinic keratosis can vary from a small spot to large patches covering large areas of skin.
Actinic keratosis (also called “solar keratosis” and “senile keratosis”; abbreviated as “AK”) is a pre-cancerous patch of thick, scaly, or crusty skin. The rough, dry, scaly patch occurs on the skin damaged by chronic exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or tanning beds.
The majority of actinic keratoses occur on the face, ears, neck, scalp, forearms and back of the hands. Occasionally they may appear on other sun-exposed areas like the legs. An actinic keratosis typically appears as a small (less than 1/4 inch), thickened, rough, scaly patch that is most often pink, red or skin-colored. Left untreated these patches can become cancerous.
In addition to skin cancer development in an individual actinic keratosis lesion, there is also a small risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma within another AK lesion at some time in the future.
Actinic keratoses commonly occur in fair-skinned people over 40 years old who have had significant sun exposure over their lifetime (“photoaging”). However they can occur at any age in those with a history of significant sun
Actinic keratosis (AK) is a common, precancerous skin condition that occurs most often on the face, lips, ears, back of the hands, forearms, scalp and neck.
The sun is the major cause of AKs. As you get older, your skin becomes more susceptible to damage from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. If you have AKs, it means damage from UV rays has occurred in your skin cells.
If left untreated, AKs can become cancerous. In fact, some experts believe AKs are the earliest form of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a type of skin cancer. Actinic keratosis is also known as solar keratosis because it is caused by over-exposure to sunlight.
Actinic keratosis is a chronic skin condition often characterized by scaly, crusty lesions on the face, ears, scalp and other sun-exposed areas. It can also be a precursor to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common form of skin cancer.
Actinic keratoses are small patches of thick, scaly or crusty skin. They vary in color from brown to pink and appear most commonly on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the face, ears, scalp, neck, back of hands and forearms. The lesions are usually less than 1 centimeter in diameter and may feel rough or even painful when touched.
Although actinic keratoses are not cancerous, they can turn into SCC if left untreated. In addition to being unsightly, SCC is also considered dangerous because it is capable of spreading to other parts of the body.
There is no cure for actinic keratoses; however, there are ways to effectively manage this chronic condition including:
*Minimizing sun exposure by wearing protective clothing and sunscreen
*Avoiding tanning beds
*Seeking medical treatment for new growths
Actinic keratoses are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. The sun is the biggest source of UV light, although tanning lamps and tanning beds can also cause actinic keratosis.
Actinic keratosis is more likely to occur in people who have fair skin. The likelihood increases with age, especially after age 50. Men are more likely than women to develop actinic keratosis.
Having a history of severe sunburns, especially before age 18 and over multiple years, increases your risk of developing actinic keratosis. People who work outdoors or enjoy outdoor sports have an increased risk of developing actinic keratosis.
Living in sunny climates or areas with high levels of ozone also increases your risk of actinic keratosis.