Pityriasis versicolor

Last reviewed: 7 Jun 2022
Last updated: 04 Mar 2020

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • lack of pruritus or pain
  • dyspigmentation
  • macules or patches
  • seborrhoeic distribution
  • fine overlying scale
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • yellow fluorescence under Wood lamp examination
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • high ambient temperature and humidity
  • adolescent and young adult age
  • hyperhidrosis
  • systemic corticosteroid or other immunosuppressant use
  • participation in athletics
  • greasy skin
  • family history of PV
  • malnutrition
  • use of oral contraceptives
  • HIV infection and other immunosuppressive conditions
  • use of occlusive ointments or creams
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • microscopical examination with KOH preparation
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • skin biopsy
  • culture
  • Gram stain
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm

ACUTE

non-pregnant

pregnant

ONGOING

recurrent disease after successful pathogen eradication

Contributors

Authors

Brian L. Swick, MD
Brian L. Swick

Clinical Professor

Departments of Dermatology and Pathology

University of Iowa

Iowa City

IA

Disclosures

BLS declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Hobart Walling, MD, PhD

Private Practice of Dermatology

Coralville

IA

Disclosures

HW declares that he has no competing interests.

Helen Goodyear, MBChB, MRCP, FRCPCH, MD, MMed

Consultant Paediatrician

Heartlands Hospital

Birmingham

UK

Disclosures

HG declares that she has no competing interests.

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