Skin fungus causing white patches
August 11, 2007|DR. PAUL DONOHUE
Dear Dr. Donohue: What cures sunspots? I have them on my upper chest and back. I'd like to wear a bathing suit, but these spots embarrass me. - S.S.
Dear Dr. Donohue: I swim almost daily in a public swimming pool. My legs are very tan. I have small, white spots on them. Is this a parasite? A worm? How do I get rid of them? - E.F.
Dear E.F.: As best as I can determine from your letters, you both have tinea versicolor. It comes from a common fungus.
The fungus causes small circles of skin to lose their pigment. Next to tanned skin, the circles stand out like a sore thumb. Adjacent circles can merge to form larger depigmented areas. The upper chest and back, the arms, the legs, the face and the neck are the places usually affected. Oily, excessively sweaty skin encourages growth of the fungus, as do heat and humidity.
The fungus doesn't lead to ill health.
The only way to be sure of the diagnosis is to have a doctor scrape involved skin and examine the scrapings with a microscope. The fungus is easily seen.
Selenium sulfide, found in many shampoos, can get rid of the fungus, but a stronger solution than the one found in commercial shampoos is usually required - 2.5 percent selenium sulfide. Spectazole cream and Nizoral cream also work, as do many other fungal medicines.
It takes a long time for the depigmented skin patches to repigment.
Dear Dr. Donohue: I am a 53-year-old male. I work out three times a week. I take Tenormin once a day. How do I judge my cardiovascular workout, since the Tenormin doesn't allow my heart rate to increase much? - B.
Dear B.: Beta-blocker drugs like Tenormin slow the heartbeat. You can't use heartbeat as a gauge of exercise intensity. You have to use your own estimation of how hard you are exercising. Even though you can't raise your heart rate to a predetermined level, you are getting all the exercise you need, and your heart still benefits from it.
Write to Paul Donohue, M.D., P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.
Diaper Rash is Yeast silly2010-01-05 16:57:07 by rawr_seriousas
Most diaper rashes have to do with impairment of skin integrity rather than any specific bacterial or fungal infection. Urine and stool acidity (the latter seen in diarrhea) and chronic wetness coupled with a warm barrier environment are all factors proposed as causes of diaper dermatitis (diaper rash). However, sometimes a superficial skin infection is a factor in diaper rash. The most common infectious cause of diaper rash is Candida albicans (yeast, a fungus).
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