The key difference between pityriasis versicolor and vitiligo is that pityriasis versicolor is a skin disease occurring due to a fungal infection, while vitiligo is a skin disease occurring due to the immune system attacking its own tissues.
Skin diseases are medical conditions that affect the skin. These diseases normally cause rashes, inflammation, itchiness, or other skin changes. Some of these skin diseases may be genetic, while other conditions are due to lifestyle factors. Some skin diseases are minor, and some skin diseases are severe. Some examples of common skin diseases include acne, alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, rosacea, skin cancer, pityriasis versicolor, and vitiligo.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Pityriasis Versicolor
3. What is Vitiligo
4. Similarities – Pityriasis Versicolor and Vitiligo
5. Pityriasis Versicolor vs Vitiligo in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Pityriasis Versicolor vs Vitiligo
What is Pityriasis Versicolor?
Pityriasis versicolor is a fungal infection that causes small patches of discoloured spots on the skin. It is also known as tinea versicolor. This disease is normally a result of a type of yeast that naturally lives on the skin. When the yeast grows out of control, it results in pityriasis versicolor, which appears as a rash. The specific signs and symptoms of pityriasis versicolor include:
- patches that are white, pink, red, or brown which may be lighter or darker,
- spots that do not tan the way the rest of the skin does,
- spots that show up more boldly when they tan,
- spots that may predominantly appear on the neck, chest, back, and arms,
- dry and scaly spots that may itch or hurt, and
- spots that disappear during cold weather and get intense during warm and humid weather.
Moreover, pityriasis versicolor can be diagnosed through wood lamp examination, microscopy using potassium hydroxide (KOH), and skin biopsy. Furthermore, pityriasis versicolor is treated through topical antifungals (clotrimazole, ketoconazole, miconazole, zinc-pyrithione, and selenium sulphide), antifungal pills, and lifestyle changes (avoiding oily skin products, reducing the time spent in the sun, using antifungal shampoos, putting on sunscreen every day, wearing loose cloths, and choosing breathable fabrics like cotton).
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a skin disease that occurs due to the immune system attacking its own tissues. This condition causes loss of skin colour in patches. These discoloured areas normally get bigger with time. This condition can affect the skin on any part of the body. Moreover, it can also affect the hair and the inside of the mouth. The signs and symptoms of vitiligo include patchy loss of skin colour (on hands, face, and areas around body openings and genitals), premature whitening or graying of hairs on the scalp, beard eyelashes, or eyebrows, loss of colour in the tissues that line inside of the mouth and nose.
Vitiligo can be diagnosed through medical history, physical examination with special lamps, skin biopsy, and blood lamps. Furthermore, vitiligo can be treated through medications (corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitor ointments), combining psoralen and light therapy, removing the remaining colour (depigmentation), and surgery (skin grafting, blister grafting, and cellular suspension transplant).
What are the Similarities Between Pityriasis Versicolor and Vitiligo?
- Pityriasis versicolor and vitiligo are two different types of skin diseases.
- Both skin conditions can affect any part of the body.
- Both skin conditions can be diagnosed through physical examination through a special lamp.
- They do not cause life-threatening complications.
- They are treated through specific medications and topical creams.
What is the Difference Between Pityriasis Versicolor and Vitiligo?
Pityriasis versicolor is a skin disease occurring due to fungal infections, while vitiligo is a skin disease that occurs due to the immune system attacking its own tissues. Thus, this is the key difference between pityriasis versicolor and vitiligo. Furthermore, triggers of pityriasis versicolor include hot, humid weather, oily skin, hormonal changes, and weakened immune system, whereas triggers of vitiligo include family history, stress, sunburn, and trauma.
The below infographic presents the differences between pityriasis versicolor and vitiligo in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Pityriasis Versicolor vs Vitiligo
Skin is the largest organ of the body. Pityriasis versicolor and vitiligo are two different types of skin diseases or medical conditions that affect the skin. Both skin conditions can affect any part of the body. Pityriasis versicolor occurs due to a fungal infection, while vitiligo occurs due to the immune system attacking its own tissues. So, this summarizes the difference between pityriasis versicolor and vitiligo.