Fungal Infection

What is Pityriasis Versicolor or Tinea Versicolor or Fungal Infection or Dermatomycosis Furfuracea:-

                          It is a skin condition in which the patient has ugly looking flaky discolored patches which appear mainly on the chest and back. The term ‘pityriasis’ is used to describe the skin conditions in which the scales appears similar to bran. The multiple colors arising in the disorder give rise to the second part of the name, ‘versicolor’.

It attacks people mostly in the tropical and subtropical areas. During the summer months, the disease reaches its peak and makes the life of the patient miserable as during the summers excessive sweating and oil secretion from sebum glands help the fungus grow rapidly.

Tinea versicolor is a common condition. It is estimated that 2 to 8% of the population of the United States has it. This skin disease commonly affects adolescents and young adults, especially in warm and humid climates.

The conventional treatment of pityriasis versicolor or tinea versicolor, like any other skin disease, is the local application of various ointments, shampoos and so on.

In the conventional treatment the medicines used for treating (better saying suppression) the condition are clotrimazole cream or lotion, selenium sulfide lotion shampoo. Some allopathic doctors may also recommend Selsun or Nizoral shampoo to be applied on the affected areas.

The various side effects caused by these drugs are :

Skin irritation, redness, swelling.

Blackening of skin.

The oral anti fungal drugs used are ketoconazole or griseofulvin. Medications for fungal infections are often strong, and their use may cause such undesirable side effects as headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain.

In contrast homoeopathy treatment does not advocate the use of creams and ointments in skin disorders. It believes that skin disorders are a reflection of internal problem and need to be treated from within. External application (creams, ointments) can lead to the suppression of the disease and result in a more serious systemic disorder.

A person having pityriasis versicolor or tinea versicolor is always embarrassed due to the ugly looking rashes and itching which creates difficulties if the patient is out of home in a gathering. Magical doses of homoeopathic medicines can ease a patient with itching as well as with the embarrassing skin rashes.

Skin disorders are a reflection of disturbance within the body, be it lowered immunity or increased secretions of sebum and sweat glands which makes the skin more prone to the fungal infections.

The homoeopathy remedies aim to cure the internal dishormony and the cause behind the apparent disease. A medicine is selected considering the emotional state of the patient, the probable causative factors (physical or mental), general state of body and all the diseased symptoms of the body. By raising the immunity of the body same medicine is capable of eradicating various diseases present in the body at a time.

While choosing homoeopathic medicines the various factors are evaluated for example, genetic predisposition, poor immune system, summer aggravation and so on. Homoeopathy treatment, which gets to the root of the problem will reinforce the immune system and gradually restore the normal skin color and texture.

Homoeopathy treats the disease from its root ensuring the patient not suffering the similar problem in the future.

                              Homoeopathy medicines which give great relief. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the doctor. The treatment is decided after thorough case taking of the patient. Thus remedies of pityriasis versicolor or tinea versicolor or dermatomycosis furfuracea are designer made unlike allopathy in which all patients receive the same drugs although trade name may be different.

Causes:-

Pityriasis versicolor or tinea versicolor is caused by a yeast-like germ called malassezia (also called pityrosporum). Small numbers of this germ commonly live on the skin, and do no harm. However, some people are prone to this germ multiplying on their skin more than usual, which then leads to a rash developing.

Symptoms:-

  • Generally oval or irregularly-shaped spots of 1/4 to 1 inch (0.6 to 2.5 cm) in diameter, often merging together to form a larger patch.
  • Occasional fine scaling of the skin producing a very superficial ash-like scale.
  • Pale, dark tan, or pink in color, with a reddish undertone that can darken when the patient is overheated, such as in a hot shower or during / after exercise.
  • Sharp border.
  • Sometimes severe ‘pin-prick’ itching in the affected areas; usually when the person’s body temperature is elevated by exercise or a hot / warm environment, but the person hasn’t started sweating yet. Once sweating begins the ‘pin-prick’ itching stops.
  • These spots commonly affect the back, underarm, upper arm, chest, lower legs, and neck. Occasionally it can also be present on the face.
  • In people with dark skin tones, pigmentary changes such as hypopigmentation (loss of color) are common, while in those with lighter skin color, hyperpigmentation (increase in skin color) are more common. These discolorations have led to the term ‘sun fungus’.
  • In summers the infection is seen as well-defined, uneven patches. The patches are pale red or brownish, and scaly. The patches often merge into big blotches that may look like maps. Sun bathing evens out the color and makes the condition less visible.
  • In autumn the patches become scaly and change color. In people who have tanned skin, this stage is quite visible as these patches appear white. It is at this point that most people first consult their doctor.

Risk Factors:-

  • People who are at risk for tinea versicolor or pityriasis versicolor are :
  • People who suffer from profuse sweating or high production of sebum, for instance teenagers.
  • People with an immunodeficiency following diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome.
  • People on medications such as corticosteroids.
  • Genetic predisposition.

Diagnosis:-

Microscopic examination of the scales after dissolving in potassium hydroxide reveals the branched hyphae and round spores of the yeast, the classic spaghetti and meatball appearance.