This Skin Fungus Is Super Common And You'll Probably Get It At Some Point
There's nothing fun about FUNgus.
The summer is a glorious time.
But by the end of summer, many people notice some blotches on their chest, back, or face.
This is actually a fungus called tinea versicolor, and it's caused by an overgrowth of yeast that already lives on the skin.
Yeast overgrowth is triggered by hot and humid weather, sweating, tight clothes, and oily skin.
The yeast produces an acid that stops the skin cells underneath and around it from making melanin, or pigment.
Wherever the fungus lives, there will be a lack of pigmentation, which is why this becomes more noticeable if your skin tends to tan during the summer.
People often mistake the rash for eczema, vitiligo, or sun spots — but a dermatologist can confirm it's a fungus.
The good news? You can easily cure it with prescription or over-the-counter anti-fungal treatments.
Anti-fungal treatments come in pill, cream, or shampoo form. The fastest and most effective treatment is usually fluconazole pills or ketoconazole shampoo, Bowe says, which require a prescription from your dermatologist.
The pills give you an oral dose of medication, which you then sweat out through your pores. Once you sweat it out, it kills the fungal infection. "The pills kill all the yeast in 99% of cases,” says Bowe. But they do have side effects like nausea and fever, so many people opt for the shampoos or creams.
“At the drugstore you can buy Selsun Blue shampoo, which contains an anti-fungal called selenium sulfide, or clotrimazole and Lotrimin creams,” says Bowe. These over-the-counter products usually take longer to cure the rash than prescription products, but they will kill the fungus eventually.