Evaluation of the Relationship between Pityriasis Versicolor and Consumption of Oral Contraceptives

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor, Dermatology Dept, Imam Reza Hospital, MUMS

2 Professor, Laboratory Sciences Dept, Imam-Reza Hospital, MUMS

3 Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Imam Reza Hopital, MUMS


Introduction: Following national family planning programs in Iran, oral contraceptive pills
(OCPs) have been widely used by women in reproductive ages. Although OCPs considered
safe in many cases, some complications are rarely reported and its prescription is
contraindicated in some disorders. In most references OCP is one of the probable
predisposing factors mentioned for pityriasis versicolor Since there are no studies
supporting a definite relation between OCP and Pityriasis versicolor, the present study was
conducted to confirm this theory.
Methods and Material: A case-control study was carried out, from oct 2004 to oct 2005,
on samples of female patients (n=186) referring to Dermatology clinic of Imam Reza
Hospital in Mashhad. Of these patients, 62 were pityriasis versicolor case group and 124
were the control group. A questionnaire was used as a profile seeking information. The
diagnosis was based on clinical manifestations and direct smear of the lesions and Wood
lamp findings. Data were analysed by SPSS and statistical tests.
Results: Most of the patients (46.2%) were 20-29 years old. The majority of patients were
housewives, mostly rural population (90.3%). There was no considerable association,
between rural or urban localizations and pityriasis versicolor (p= 0.59). The most common
form of the lesions was hyperpigmented and localized ones in upper trunk. Positive family
history was recorded in 41.6% of cases, and 7.3% in controls. Cases, 24.2% consumed OCP,
indicating that there was no significant relationship between OCP consumption and
pityriasis versicolor (p =1.00). All OCP users used LD (Low Dose) pills.
Conclusion: According to this study OCPs do seem to be a predisposing factor for pityriasis
versicolor. OCPs may even have a protective effect on pityriasis versicolor by decreasing
the sebum secretion. Therefore a change in contraception method for eradication of
Pityriasis versicolor in OCP users is unnecessary. 


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