Predisposing Factors to Pityriasis Versicolor in Primary School Pupils in Remo Land, Ogun State, Nigeria
Pityriasis versicolor (PV) is a superficial infection characterized by pale or dark patches of the skin. The etiologic agents are the yeasts belonging to the genus Malassezia, which are normal flora of human skin. Lack of adequate scientific information about the predisposing factors of PV makes the eradication of the disease difficult. The aim of this study is, therefore, to identify the various predisposing factors to PV among primary school pupils in Remo Land in Ogun State of Nigeria. Skin scrapings were taken from 232 pupils with lesions suggestive of PV for culture on Sabouraud Dextrose Agar enriched with olive oil for the isolation of Malassezia species. Culture positive patients were treated with To-To natural skin health cream. Past episodes of PV in the family, use of exfoliative creams and age, were some of the significant factors found to predispose pupils to the disease (P < 0.05). No significant association was found between the disease and sex, overcrowding and means of ventilation (P > 0.05). It is concluded that lack of association of PV with overcrowding indicates that the disease is not contagious but could be genetically linked while the use of exfoliative creams is a predisposing factor to the disease.
KEY WORDS: Pityriasis versicolor, Malassezia species, Predisposing factors.