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Tinea versicolor: Who gets and causes

Who gets tinea versicolor?

The yeast that causes tinea versicolor lives on everyone's skin. It is not clear why the yeast overgrows on some people's skin and not others. We do know the following about tinea versicolor:

  • People of all skin colors get it

  • Teens and young adults are most susceptible because they have oily skin

  • Older adults and children rarely get it unless they live in a tropical or subtropical area

  • People who live in non-tropical areas often see tinea versicolor disappear during the cool, dry months

What causes tinea versicolor?

Yeast normally live on our skin. When the yeast overgrows, it causes the skin disease tinea versicolor. It is believed that the following can cause the yeast to overgrow:

  • Hot, humid weather

  • Lots of sweating

  • Oily skin

  • A weakened immune system