Some of us have had these small patches of skin that seem to have abnormal colouration. They do not itch, are often found on the back, face and chest regions; and they appear cosmetically unpleasant.
We tend to refer to them as “eczema” (or “ugwo” in Igbo language), or ifo in Yoruba language right? In Nigerian local parlance, it is generally called ‘lapalapa’.
That disease is called Pityriasis Versicolor or Tinea Versicolor
WHAT IS PITYRIASIS VERSICOLOR?
Pityriasis versicolor is a fungal infection of the uppermost layer of the skin (epidermis). It results in the production of hypo- or hyperpigmented macules or patches. It most often does not itch (when it does it’s symptomatic) and it’s common in teenagers and young adults.
It’s caused by a fungal organism known as Malassezia furfur.
It’s commoner in the summer, for the temperate regions of the world. Possibility of recurrence is high, and contrary to popular belief, Pityriasis versicolor is not easily contagious.
Most cases of Pityriasis versicolor occur in healthy individuals with no immunologic deficiencies. However, several factors predispose some people to develop this condition. They include: genetic predisposition; warm, humid environments; immunosuppression; malnutrition; application of oily preparations; corticosteroid usage; and Cushing disease. It is not caused by poor hygiene and it is not contagious.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU OBSERVE IT?
The answer is simple: kindly #Consult_Your_Doctor.
Normally, Pityriasis versicolor is treated with:
~ Selenium sulphide shampoo or lotion
~ Topical antifungals like azoles (triazoles) and allylamines
~ Systemic azoles (imidazoles) in some cases
~ Terbinafine cream or gel
~Zinc pyrithione soap
~miconazole cream (monistat)
~clotrimazole cream (clotriderm)
~Nixoderm can cure eczema
~ Tribotan cream
~ bathing with dettol, Izal and other antiseptics has been shown to clear eczema.
~ the Hausas, a tribe in Nigeria use Gogamasu extract to cure or clear their eczema
~ I have heard and seen testimonies of persons who used aloe Vera, oatmeal, sandalwood, apple cedar vinegar, baking powder or soda and other herbs. The problem here is that they are not scientifically backed.
~ In some very severe cases, calcineurin inhibitors could be used
So if you find that thing unpleasant, kindly #Consult_Your_Doctor today so he or she can be sure what it is and deal with it appropriately.
Your doctor can diagnose tinea versicolor by looking at it. If there’s any doubt, he or she may take skin scrapings from the infected area and view them under a microscope.
Pityriasis versicolor usually clears up quickly with treatment. But the skin patches may stay discolored for weeks or months. To make them less noticeable, it’s important to use sunscreen to prevent the skin from tanning or burning.
~Eczema is not a communicable disease.
~Eczema does not lead to leprosy
~You cannot contract eczema by sharing clothes or towels with infected persons according to scientific research. But from personal experience I think you can. Don’t share wears.
~ Drs. Caséy Amaefule and Udomoh Eshemokha
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