Have you been diagnosed with Tinea Versicolor?
Tinea versicolor is a commonly diagnosed dermatological condition characterized
primarily by a rash of the neck, trunk, and arms, and legs (although it can be present anywhere
on the skin). It is caused by fungi in the Malassezia family. These fungi are found normally on
human skin but can cause a rash, given the right circumstances—generally a humid, warm
environment. It is more prevalent in climates that are hot and humid and in those individuals
who sweat a great deal. It is not contagious.
The rash of tinea versicolor is patchy with oval-shaped spots that can range in color from brown
(hyperpigmentation) or grayish-black to pink or pale (hypopigmentation) in color. The rash may
be itchy and scaly.
Your physician can generally diagnose the condition based on its appearance on the skin. To
diagnose the condition in the lab, your physician may also perform a scraping of the skin, a
procedure which is generally painless. The scrapings can then be viewed under the microscope
where the fungi/yeast can be seen.
There are several treatments available for tinea versicolor:
1) Ketoconazole – available as shampoo or ointment. The shampoo is used as a topical
application on the skin.
2) Selenium sulfide – present in Selsun shampoo products
3) Other antifungal agents
If the rash does not improve with a topical treatment or is too large to treat with topical agents,
your physician may treat it with oral medication. Once treated, the skin can take time to heal and
return to the natural skin tone.
It is important to note that recurrence is common. Your physician may suggest treatment with
medication or shampoos for prevention if the rash recurs often.