Tinea versicolor, also known as pityriasis versicolor, is a common fungal infection that affects the skin. The infection disturbs the normal pigmentation of skin causing discolored patches.
Tinea versicolor is common among adolescents and in young adults. Sun exposure makes tinea versicolor more explicit.
Antifungal creams, shampoos or lotions can help in treating tinea versicolor. The skin color remains uneven, even after treatment for several weeks till re-pigmentation takes place. Tinea versicolor may return, especially in hot weather.
Symptoms of tinea versicolor
It is a fungus infection on skin. The signs and symptoms of tinea versicolor are:
- Scaly patches of faded skin
- Patches which become visible after exposure to sun
- Mild itching
- The patches can have colors such as dark brown, tan, white and pink. The colors are more visible on dark skin.
- The infection usually affects different regions of the body such as the chest, neck, back and upper arms
Causes of tinea versicolor
Fungus infection occurs in the area where hair follicles burst onto skin surface. Tinea versicolor usually develops when the fungus becomes overgrown. Factors that induce such conditions are as follows:
- Hot, humid climate
- Hormonal changes
- Oily skin
- Increased sweating
- A compromised or suppressed immune system
Tinea versicolor treatment
If tinea versicolor doesn’t respond to over-the-counter antifungal drugs, then one may need a prescription of oral or topical medications which include:
- Itraconazole capsules
- Ketoconazole tablets
- Fluconazole tablets
- Ciclopirox gel, cream or lotion
- Selenium sulfide 2.5 percent lotion
- Ketoconazole shampoo or cream
For mild cases, one can use over-the-counter antifungal cream, lotion, shampoo or ointment. Most fungal infections, including tinea versicolor respond well to the topical agents mentioned below:
- Selenium sulfide shampoo
The affected area needs to be kept dry after a wash. Topical agents may be applied once or twice a day for two weeks. If improvement is not seen even after four weeks, consult doctor for relevant medication.
Avoid applying oily products on skin and avoid non-ventilated, tight clothing. Sun exposure makes the infection more visible and hence should be avoided as well.
Tinea Versicolor pictures