Tinea Versicolor

Tinea Versicolor
Tinea Versicolor

Overview Of Tinea Versicolor

Tinea versicolor is a long-term (chronic) fungal infection of the outer layer of the skin.

Commonly Associated With

Pityriasis Versicolor

Causes Of Tinea Versicolor

Tinea versicolor is fairly common. It is caused by a type of fungus called Malassezia. This fungus is normally found on human skin. It only causes a problem in certain settings.

The condition is most common in adolescents and young adults. It typically occurs in hot climates. It does not spread person to person.

Symptoms Of Tinea Versicolor

The main symptom is patches of discolored skin that:

  • Have sharp borders (edges) and fine scales
  • Are often dark reddish to tan in color
  • Are found on the back, underarms, upper arms, chest, and neck
  • Are found on the forehead (in children)
  • Do not darken in the sun so may appear lighter than the surrounding healthy skin
  • African Americans may have a loss of skin color or an increase in skin color.

Other symptoms include:

  • Increased sweating
  • Mild itching
  • Mild swelling

Exams & Tests

Your health care provider will examine a skin scraping under a microscope to look for the fungus. A skin biopsy may also be performed with a special stain called PAS to identify fungus and yeast.

Treatment Of Tinea Versicolor

The condition is treated with antifungal medicine that is either applied to the skin or taken by mouth.

Applying over-the-counter dandruff shampoo containing selenium sulfide or ketoconazole to the skin for 10 minutes each day in the shower is another treatment option.