A clinico- epidemiologic evaluation of pityriasis versicolor from a government hospital, India: conventional methods-still a thumbs up?

Yukti Sharma, Sanjay Jain, Kapil Chandra, Krishna Chandrappa Munegowda


Malassezia furfur, the etiologic agent of pityriasis versicolor (PV), is a superficially occurring, benign, chronic, recurring fungal infection of the stratum corneum with a worldwide distribution. There is limited data from North India regarding prevalence and epidemiology. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to give an overview of the prevalence of fungi-associated skin infections, its clinical profile, and to find out the epidemiological characteristics over a period of 18 months, and to assess the use of conventional methods for diagnosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: For this purpose 300 patients suspected of having superficial mycoses, were evaluated clinically on OPD basis in the Department of Dermatology and diagnosis was confirmed mycologically in Microbiology Department at Hindu Rao Hospital- Delhi. The total duration of study period was 18 months. RESULTS: In the present study, 36 (12%) patients were positive for PV. Majority of the patients were young adults. There is prominent seasonal variation of the patients with a peak in August, October, and November. Most of the lesions were hypopigmented macules (83.33%) and were potassium hydroxide positive. Most commonly involved sites were trunk (80.5%), scalp (5.5%), and arm (5.5%). Seborrheic dermatitis sometimes coexisted with PV. Rare areas like groin-involvement (2.7%) were also seen. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, 12% of studied population was positive for tinea versicolor, which is a high prevalence for this disease. The findings of this study indicated that pitriasis versicolor is an important health problem and diagnosis can be easily made on OPD basis using conventional methods.


Clinico-epidemiology, potassium hydroxide test, pityriasis versicolor

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