Pityriasis versicolor, sometimes called tinea versicolor, is a common condition that causes small patches of skin to become scaly and discoloured.
The patches may be darker or lighter than your normal skin colour, or may be red or pink. They tend to develop gradually and may join up to form larger patches over time.
The areas most often affected by pityriasis versicolor include the trunk (chest and tummy), neck, upper arms and back.
Although it may look unpleasant and the patches are sometimes itchy, pityriasis versicolor is harmless.
Pityriasis versicolor is caused by a type of yeast called Malassezia. This yeast is found on the skin of more than 90% of adults, where it normally lives without causing any problems.
But pityriasis versicolor can develop if this yeast starts to multiply more than usual. It’s not clear exactly why this happens in some people and not in others.
It’s not clear whether TINEA VERSICOLOR is contagious. Some professionals believe it’s unlikely spread because the yeast is commonly found on skin.