About tinea versicolor

What is tinea versicolor?

Tinea versicolor is a common fungal infection of the skin. The fungus interferes with the normal pigmentation of the skin, resulting in small, discolored patches. These patches may be lighter or darker in color than the surrounding skin and most commonly affect the trunk and shoulders.

Tinea versicolor (TIN-ee-uh vur-si-KUL-ur) occurs most frequently in teens and young adults. Sun exposure may make tinea versicolor more apparent. Tinea versicolor, which is also called pityriasis versicolor, is not painful or contagious. But it can lead to emotional distress or self-consciousness.

Antifungal creams, lotions or shampoos can help treat tinea versicolor. But even after successful treatment, skin color may remain uneven for several weeks or months. Tinea versicolor often recurs, especially in warm, humid weather.

What are the symptoms for tinea versicolor?

Neck and upper arms symptom was found in the tinea versicolor condition

Tinea versicolor signs and symptoms include:

  • Patches of skin discoloration, usually on the back, chest, neck and upper arms, which may appear lighter or darker than usual
  • Mild itching
  • Scaling

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if:

  • Your skin doesn't improve with self-care measures
  • The Fungal infection returns
  • The patches cover large areas of your body

What are the causes for tinea versicolor?

The fungus that causes tinea versicolor can be found on healthy skin. It only starts causing problems when the fungus overgrows. A number of factors may trigger this growth, including:

  • Hot, humid weather
  • Oily skin
  • Hormonal changes
  • Weakened immune system

What are the treatments for tinea versicolor?

If tinea versicolor is severe or doesn't respond to over-the-counter antifungal medicine, you may need a prescription-strength medication. Some of these medications are topical preparations that you rub on your skin. Others are drugs that you swallow. Examples include:

  • Ketoconazole (Ketoconazole, Nizoral, others) cream, gel or shampoo
  • Ciclopirox (Loprox, Penlac) cream, gel or shampoo
  • Fluconazole (Diflucan) tablets or oral solution
  • Itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox) tablets, capsules or oral solution
  • Selenium sulfide (Selsun) 2.5 percent lotion or shampoo

Even after successful treatment, your skin color may remain uneven for several weeks, or even months. Also, the infection may return in hot, humid weather. In persistent cases, you may need to take a medication once or twice a month to prevent the infection from recurring.

What are the risk factors for tinea versicolor?

Various environmental and biological factors can put you at a higher risk for this condition, including:

  • a family history of tinea versicolor
  • excessive sweating
  • a humid, warm climate
  • a weak immune system
  • taking medications that weaken the immune system
  • some types of cancer

Is there a cure/medications for tinea versicolor?

Tinea Versicolor is a very common disorder of fungal infection of the skin.

  • Tinea Versicolor is a generally self-limiting condition, but if the condition doesn’t improve with self-care measures and the fungal infection return frequently or patches cover larger Ares to your body, then one should need the doctor’s advice for treatment.
  • Initial treatments are creams, lotions, or shampoos that you put on your skin.
  • Also, some mild medicines are given according to the size location, and thickness of the infected area.
  • Treatments like Topical antifungals are directly applied to the skin and they may be lotion, shampoo, cream, foam, or soap.
  • Other antifungal ingredients like clotrimazole, ketoconazole, miconazole, zinc-pyrithione, selenium sulfide, and terbinafine are available.
  • Others are Antifungal pills used for some serious conditions to reduce infections faster, but they may have some side effects.

Medications include:

  • Ketoconazole like Ketoconazole, Nizoral, others cream, gel or shampoo
  • Ciclopirox like Loprox, Penlac cream, gel or shampoo
  • Fluconazole like Diflucan tablets or oral solution
  • Itraconazole like Onmel, Sporanox tablets, capsules or oral solution
  • Selenium sulfide 2.5 percent lotion or shampoo

Preventive measures:

  • Avoid oily skin care products
  • Reduce sun exposure time
  • If sun exposure, then use antifungal or sun screams lotions
  • Try a shampoo with selenium sulfide.
  • Use cotton cloths for less sweating.

Lighter or darker skin discoloration found on the back, chest, neck and upper arms,Mild itching,Scaling
Small, discolored patches,Fungal infections
Clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF) cream or lotion,Miconazole (Micaderm) cream

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