Understanding how malassezia yeasts affect skin disease

Understanding how malassezia yeasts affect skin disease

Malassezia yeasts (lipid-dependent fungi) are part of normal skin composition and grow on such areas as the face, scalp and upper trunk. Although common, the yeasts are known to cause or exacerbate tinea versicolor, and may play a role in other skin diseases. In the January-February 2009 issue of Dermatology Nursing, Nikki A. Levin describes the different Malassezia-associated skin conditions and treatments.

The most common Malassezia skin condition is tinea versicolor, a chronic fungal infection of the upper trunk, neck, and arms, due to the fungi's unique clinical presentation, a characteristic "spaghetti and meatballs" appearance. Treatments include topical creams and lotions, antifungal shampoos and oral medications.

Malassezia yeasts may also play a role in Pityrosporum folliculitis, in which yeasts grow in follicles and produce inflammation, seborrheic dermatitis, in which higher levels of Malassezia yeasts exist, as well as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and neonatal cephalic pustulosis. Levin says Malassezia-related diseases tend to recur, and recommends strict maintenance, as well as topical antifungals, oral antifungals and shampoos.

"Beyond Spaghetti and Meatballs: Skin Diseases Associated with the Malassezia Yeasts"

Nikki A. Levin, MD, PhD

Dermatology Nursing; January-February 2009


Treating Yeast-Based Acne by Joel Schlessinger MD (Video Medical And Professional 2020).

Section Issues On Medicine: Medical practice