After the beach I got spots…

For our dear Amália the beach is great in winter to “catch waves”, and in summer to sunbathe.

Surfing is very early in the morning and at Praia Pequena, because later there are a lot of swimmers floating in the waters.

Before going to university this morning she came to the pharmacy, showing an enviable tan, the fringe covering her eyes and her hair caught in a braid.

She leans against the counter and says softly in a very comical tone:

“I have stains on my back, I need your help or I’ll risk being in the movie “Amália and the 102 Dalmatians”!”

After we both laugh, I ask her:

Has Amália ever heard of Pityriasis versicolor?

With her black eyes opened wide, she blurts out a long: “WHAT?”

I explain: “It is a superficial infection characterized by changes in cutaneous pigmentation, caused by a fungus of the Malassezia family.

It affects areas where there is a greater accumulation of fat, such as the trunk, neck, scalp and face.

She wraps the braid around in her hand as a sign of impatience, and I speed up the rest of the explanation:

“Fungus lesions are most often hypo-pigmented, so there are these changes in skin color, they could also have a slight flaking …”

She interrupts me and says, “I bathe every day!”

Amália, this infection has nothing to do with lack of hygiene, it is not contagious, it does not get caught on the beach nor in the swimming pool, and it becomes more evident when the sun exposure starts, because there is a contrast between healthy skin, which is tanned, and the skin that is infected with the fungus.


In most cases the treatment is simple and the area is washed with an antiseptic and local application of an antifungal (ketoconazole), as a cutaneous liquid for absorption is quick and easy to apply in large areas.

To prevent the progression of fungus growth it is important that you start the treatment immediately. Usually, the results can take a few weeks or months to be visible.

“In addition to the products to treat the spots I also want to take the 50+ sunscreen stick I usually buy to put on my face before surfing.”

She says goodbye, I give her the last and important recommendation:

“Amália, if it develops or becomes worse you should consult your doctor.”

If you have any questions, please contact your pharmacist 😉

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