Sunspots & Tinea Versicolor
What causes sunspots?
The sunspots on your skin are caused by direct, prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays or from artificial sources of ultraviolet rays, like from a tanning bed. We develop sunspots on our skin because the skin produces a huge amount of melanocytes. The sun increases the amount of melanin found on the skin. As a result, the skin becomes darker through tanning and we develop sun spots. People with lighter complexions are more prone to developing sun spots on their skin.
Sunspots can be darker or lighter than your normal skin tone and can occur in different shapes and colors. They usually occur on areas of the skin that get repeated exposure to the sun, particularly on your nose, cheeks, upper lip, ears, forehead, neck, arms, or the back of your hands.
What is Tinea Versicolor?
Tinea Versicolor is caused by a yeast called Malassezia furfur which can often be mistaken for sun spots because of the dark color, but it’s actually caused by a fungus. Tinea versicolor appears as dark or white spots or patches on the skin. Patients may experience mild itching and scaling of the skin. Tinea Versicolor usually develops on the chest and back, as well as the neck, shoulders, and upper arms as these areas tend to be oilier than other parts of the body. The spots appear more prominently when the skin is hotter than normal, thus making it easier to detect after a tough workout or day in the sun. They prevent the skin from tanning by producing an acid that shuts down melanin producing cells in the skin under the spotted area.
How to get rid of Tinea Versicolor?
If you have spots and these symptoms you should consult a dermatologist. This condition usually can be cleared up with anti-fungal creams or anti fungal pills. Patients should also try to stay away from the sun.
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