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Dark Spots On Skin Fungus

What May Interact With This Medicine

What causes white spots on skin which require investigations for confirmation? – Dr. Nischal K

Interactions are not expected. Do not use any other skin products on the affected area without asking your doctor or health care professional.

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

Hypopigmented Spots That Are Not Vitiligo

If the spots are not truly white, but hypopigmented and not depigmented , then they are NOT vitiligo and could be any number of different diseases and conditions. Ill list a few of the most common ones here. Both IGH and nevus depigmentosus can also be hypopigmented instead of depigmented. They look similar and are located on the same areas of the body. Nevus anemicus is a common birthmark that looks lighter than surrounding skin, although it is actually not different in pigment at all. It is due to a lower blood supply to that area of skin, so it is less pink than surrounding skin and thus looks lighter. It actually disappears completely for a few seconds when you apply pressure to the area because the surrounding blood in the vessels is pressed out. It reappears once the blood rushes back into it. Individuals with tuberous sclerosis can have light areas of skin called ash leaf spots, but they usually have other more cleare signs of this condition as well. Occasionally, darker skin from melasma can make it look like the normal skin is lighter, and thus could look a little like vitiligo.


Tinea versicolor causes lighter spots on the chest and back, get scaly if scratched with a fingernail, and are caused by a common fungus that isnt dangerous. Its easily treated with an antifungal therapy.

Tinea versicolor

Progressive macular hypomelanosis looks a lot like tinea versicolor but without the scale, most commonly affecting the chest and back.

Pityriasis albaMorphea

Sun Damage Can Cause Dark Patches On Your Skin

Damage to your skin because of the sun can result in black patches on your skin because of hyperpigmentation.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that melanin pigments provide some protection from the harmful rays of the sun. However, if the skin is exposed to too much sun, dark pigmented patches of skin can appear.8

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Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe

To confirm the diagnosis, your physician might scrape some of the surface skin material onto a glass slide and examine them under a microscope. This procedure, called a KOH preparation, allows the doctor to look for tell-tale signs of yeast infection.Once a diagnosis of tinea versicolor has been confirmed, the physician may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • Selenium sulfide lotion
  • Pyrithione zinc shampoo
  • Antifungal cream or lotion such as ketoconazole, econazole, oxiconazole, or ciclopirox
  • Antifungal pills such as ketoconazole, fluconazole, or itraconazole

Signs And Symptoms Of Tinea Versicolor

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Acidic bleach from the growing yeast causes areas of skin to be a different color than the skin around them. These can be individual spots or patches. Specific signs and symptoms of the infection include:

  • Patches that are white, pink, red, or brown and may be lighter or darker than the skin around them.
  • Spots that donât tan the way the rest of your skin does.
  • Spots that show up more boldly when you do tan.
  • Spots that may occur anywhere on your body but are most commonly seen on your neck, chest, back, and arms.
  • Spots that are dry and scaly and may itch or hurt, although this is rare.

The spots may disappear during cool weather and get worse during warm and humid weather.

Similar conditions

Some skin problems have symptoms that look like tinea versicolor, including:

  • Vitiligo: a disease that makes you lose your skin color
  • Pityriasis rosea: a rash that causes small spots that fan out on your body in the shape of a tree

These conditions have features that clue your doctor in to what you have, such as texture and rash pattern.

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Differences Between Pityriasis Versicolor And Vitiligo

Pityriasis versicolor can sometimes be confused with vitiligo, as they both cause the skin to become discoloured in patches.

But there are ways to tell the difference:

  • vitiligo often develops symmetrically , while pityriasis versicolor may not
  • skin affected by vitiligo usually has a normal texture, while areas affected by pityriasis versicolor are usually slightly scaly or flaky
  • vitiligo is more common around the mouth, eyes, fingers, wrists, armpits and groin, while pityriasis versicolor tends to develop on the back, chest, upper arms, neck and tummy

Black Spots On Skin: Causes Treatments Pictures And More

Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health

Black spots on skin can come in all shapes and sizes and can affect your face, shoulders, arms, or upper body. Some spots look like tiny black dots that resemble a black rash on your skin. Other types of black spots can be flat dark patches of skin whereas some can be raised black bumps or very dark moles.

Very often, dark patches of skin appear as we get older. This can cause dark spots on areas of the body exposed to the sun. For example, black spots on the scalp are common on older men who are bald. Some causes of tiny black dots on the face could be blackheads, scabies, or tiny dark freckles. Other reasons for dark spots on the skin can be due to some dermatological conditions. Of course, you may be worried if a black spot or mole is skin cancer.

Depending on the cause, dark spots on the skin may be itchy or irritate the surrounding area. Itching or scratching some black spots or dark skin tags on your skin may cause them to bleed easily.

Treating black spots on the face or skin usually requires addressing the underlying issue. In some cases, you should consult a dermatologist for treatment advice for black moles that appear to grow or have an irregular edge.

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When To See A Doctor

In most cases, dark spots on the skin are not harmful. But in some instances, it might be hard to tell the difference between a dark spot and other skin changes, such as melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer.

People who are unsure what a dark spot is or have not been able to get rid of it can see a doctor to find out more.

It is important to talk to a doctor if any dark spot on the skin:

  • appears suddenly

When Should I Call The Doctor

Skin fungal infection -Tinea versicolor symptoms, causes, Treatment

You can treat tinea versicolor with antifungal medicine from the drug or grocery store. This can clear up mild cases of tinea versicolor within a few weeks. Topical antifungal creams, shampoos or lotions work best when they soak into your skin for several minutes a day.

Contact your healthcare provider if you dont see improvement after two to three weeks of daily use. They may want to prescribe a more effective medication.

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Causes And Risk Factors

In tinea versicolor, a fungus that lives on healthy skin grows too quickly and causes the discolored patches of skin.

This overgrowth can be triggered by a combination of environmental and biological factors. These factors include the following:

  • Living in a hot, humid climate
  • A weakened immune system
  • Hormonal fluctuations

Teenagers often experience hormonal fluctuations, so teens may be more at risk of developing tinea versicolor. However, this infection can happen to people of all ages, ethnicities, and genders.

Tinea versicolor is not dangerous. However, anyone who develops a persistent skin rash should check with a doctor to rule out other more serious conditions.

Diagnosing tinea versicolor is often very straightforward. A doctor can diagnose it simply by looking at it.

If an adequate determination cannot be made with a simple exam, the dermatologist may try either scraping off a bit of infected skin to examine under a microscope or looking at the skin under a special lamp known as a Woods lamp.

When a dermatologist suspects tinea versicolor and examines the skin under a Woods lamp, they are looking for a distinct greenish skin color. It is this greenish color that confirms the infection.

A patient with diagnosed tinea versicolor should also check with a doctor if any of the following occur:

  • Over-the-counter and self-care measures do not help the rash
  • The rash spreads and covers a large area of the body
  • The infection recurs

The most typical treatment options include:

What Are The Symptoms

Tinea nigra is largely painless and harmless, but it does produce a few symptoms. They include:

  • A brown or black patch resembling a stain that usually occurs on the palm of the hand or, more rarely, on the sole of the foot. In one study published in Studies in Mycology, people with tinea nigra had the patches on their palms while only three had them on their feet.
  • The patch is generally flat, with defined borders.
  • The darkest area of the patch is at the edges. Shading gets lighter as it extends inward. This darker outside area may look like a halo.
  • The lesion is slow-growing and usually appears on only one hand or foot.

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How Can I Prevent A Fungal Rash

In some people, fungal rashes tend to come back even after treatment. Recurring infections may be due to genetics you may be more prone to developing these infections. These steps can help prevent a rash from recurring or developing in the first place:

Good foot hygiene

  • Change your socks and wash your feet regularly. Avoid shoes made of plastic, which doesnt breathe.
  • Dont walk barefoot, especially in places that may be wet, such as gym showers and locker rooms.
  • When cutting your toenails, cut straight across the nail. If you have an ingrown toenail, you may need to see a podiatrist to care for it. And if you have a fungal nail infection, dont use the same nail clippers on healthy nails and infected nails.

Proper medicine use

  • If your healthcare provider prescribed a cream , use the medicine as long as directed. Even after you can no longer see the rash, the fungal infection may still be there, so keep applying the cream as long as your provider recommends.
  • Your healthcare provider may recommend the same course of treatment for all the members of your family. Often, people living together can pass an infection back and forth. Treating everyone will help make sure the infection is truly gone.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should use an antifungal cream regularly on your feet and nails to help prevent infections.
  • Using antifungal powder in your shoes every day may help prevent athletes foot.

How Is It Diagnosed

brown spots appearing on skin

Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about your medical history as well as your recent travels.

Tinea nigra can look like more serious skin conditions, such as malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer that can present as dark patches. Because of this, your doctor may want to scrape a sample of the lesion and send it to a lab for testing. In some cases, the lesion can be scraped entirely away and not require any further treatment.

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Common Questions & Answers

Tinea versicolor occurs from an overgrowth of fungus that normally lives on the skin. Factors that contribute to the overgrowth include a humid environment, oily skin, hormonal changes, and a weakened immune system.

Using antifungal creams, shampoos, soaps, and lotions can stop the fungus overgrowth and get rid of tinea versicolor. If symptoms dont respond to topical treatments, a dermatologist can prescribe an oral antifungal to kill the fungus.

Tinea versicolor causes white, pink, or brown skin patches. These patches are often dry and scaly, and they typically appear on the shoulders, upper back, neck, and chest.

The duration of tinea versicolor varies from person to person. On average, treatment takes about one to four weeks. But in some cases, it can take weeks or months for skin color to return to normal.

If left untreated, tinea versicolor doesnt cause any serious complications. Yet you might experience worsening of symptoms, such as increased itching or discoloration.

How Is A Fungal Rash Diagnosed

A healthcare provider may be able to diagnose a fungal rash by looking at it and asking about your symptoms. Many times, the diagnosis can be confirmed by examining scrapings of the scale under the microscope . In some cases, you may need a fungal culture test to identify a specific fungus and help determine the best treatment for you.

During a fungal culture test, your provider may take a small sample of skin or fluid . For severe infections, you may need a blood test.

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What Does Tinea Versicolor Look Like

Tinea versicolor can affect all skin colors differently. The overgrowth of fungus causes small, round patches of skin to get either lighter or darker than the surrounding skin. Its more common for your skin to get lighter. The spots can appear white, pink, red, brown, light tan or yellow. On darker skin, tinea versicolor appears white or light tan. On lighter or paler skin, tinea versicolor looks light red or pink.

Some patches or spots can become scaly and dry. Over time, the patches get larger and start to connect, covering larger areas of your skin.

The patches might be more noticeable after sun exposure because the rest of your skin tans but the infected area wont. This makes them stand out a little more.

Normal Mole Looks Like A Dark Spot On The Skin

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A raised black spot on your skin could just be a dark growth that is classed as a regular mole or beauty mark. Normal dark moles can grow anywhere on your body like your face, neck, abdomen, or groin.

Dermatologist Dr. Amanda Oakely says that most people have some type of moles on their skin. Moles can be of varying colors, and red moles are not uncommon. Normal moles can also be black or brown skin growths. Some other features of normal moles can be:4

  • Dark flat or raised skin spots that range in size from being a tiny black dot to many centimeters across.
  • Dark brown or black bumps that can have a flat or uneven surface and may have rough edges.
  • Raised dark bumps that appear in groups or clusters.

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Lifestyle Tips For Managing Tinea Versicolor

Episodes are very common because the yeast that causes the infection is a normal fungus that lives on your skin. You might use medicated cleansers once a week for 10 minutes at a time for a few months to help prevent tinea versicolor from coming back. You may need to use these cleansers if the infection keeps returning, especially if you live in a warm and humid area.

To help you manage tinea versicolor you can:

  • Avoid using oily skin products.
  • Reduce the time you spend in the sun. It may trigger or worsen an episode, and a tan makes the rash more visible.
  • Use an anti-fungal shampoo daily for a couple of days prior to sun exposure if you do have to go out.
  • Put on sunscreen every day. Use a broad spectrum, nongreasy formula with a minimum sun protection factor of 30.
  • Try a dandruff shampoo with selenium sulfide.
  • Wear loose clothing.
  • Choose breathable fabrics, like cotton, to decrease sweating.

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Alternative And Complementary Therapies

Applying over-the-counter dandruff shampoos to the skin for about 10 minutes a day while in the shower can be a useful home remedy. Ask your doctor if this might help you.

Other home remedies sometimes suggested include honey, olive oil, and beeswax. Ask your doctor or dermatologist before trying any of them.

In one small study, an application of equal parts honey, olive oil, and beeswax helped a majority of patients. They applied the mixture three times a day for about a month.

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How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Tinea Versicolor

A dermatologist can often look at the skin and tell whether a patient has tinea versicolor. If there is any doubt, the dermatologist will do one of the following to make an accurate diagnosis:

  • Scrape off a bit of the skin. This will be examined under a microscope.

  • Look at the skin with a special device called a Wood’s lamp. The dermatologist will hold the Wood’s lamp about 4 or 5 inches from the affected skin. If the patient has tinea versicolor, the affected skin appears yellowish green in color when looked at with this lamp.

When To See A Healthcare Provider

Top Common Conditions

Determining whether the red spots on your skin will require a visit to your provider will depend on the appearance and severity of the rash, your medical history, and any underlying conditions you have.

In general, red flag symptoms along with red spots on your skin include:

  • Severe pain or swelling
  • Pus oozing from the rash

If you have red spots on your skin and “red flag symptoms,” seek medical care right away.

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