Tinea Versicolor

Tinea versicolor is a long-term fungal infection of the skin.

Avoid excessive heat or sweating if you have had this condition in the past. You can also use anti-dandruff shampoo on your skin every month to help prevent the problem.

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

The condition is most common in adolescent boys and young adult men. It typically occurs in hot climates.

The main symptom is patches of discolored skin that:

  • Have sharp borders and fine scales
  • Are often dark reddish to tan in color
  • Are found on the back, underarms, upper arms, chest, and neck
  • 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
  • Itching

Your health care provider will examine a skin scraping under a microscope to look for the fungus.

 

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

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

Tinea versicolor is easy to treat. Changes in skin color may last for months. The condition may come back during warm weather.