Normal fungus lives on our skin and protects us from other harmful bacteria and fungus. Sometimes this fungus overgrows and results in an infection called “tinea versicolor” Tinea versicolor affects the chest and back of athletic adults, as the fungus feeds on sweat. It typically appears as pink, white, scaly areas on the chest and back.
There are other forms of fungus that are not normally found on the human body- instead they may be picked up from a pet or by touching a warm, moist area infected with fungus (locker rooms, etc). Tinea capitis is a fungal scalp infection, most commonly found in children. Other fungal rashes can be found in the warm folds of the body- this is known as “intertrigo.” Fungal infections of the toenails may cause yellow-brown thickening and discoloration of the nail and sometimes may result in pain.
Fungus in ethnic skin:
Tinea versicolor may appear as brown scaly patches in ethnic skin. Importantly, as the fungus is treated in ethnic skin, it leaves behind white patches that take months to return to normal color.