Tinea Versicolor Explained

One of the most commonly occurring yeast, Pityrosporum ovale is generally found on the skin surface and does not cause any health problem. However, in certain situations, it begins to grow out of control in turn affecting the natural pigmentation of the skin. When this happens, the patient may develop patches lighter or darker than the skin color. 


What is Tinea Versicolor? Tinea versicolor is a fungal infection of the skin where the fungus interferes with the pigmentation of the skin and results in discolored patches. This skin disease generally affects the shoulder and trunk. Teenagers and young adults are most commonly affected by this disorder which is also known as Pityriasis versicolor. 


What Causes Tinea Versicolor? The main cause of Tinea Versicolor is rapid growth of Pityrosporum ovale on the skin surface. However, there are a variety of factors that promote yeast growth and some of them are: 

  • Hormonal changes 
  • Oily skin 
  • Hot and humid climate 
  • Weakened immune system 
  • Excessive sweating 

Tinea Versicolor Symptoms One of the most prominent and noticeable symptoms of Tinea Versicolor include discolored patches of skin. These patches may: 

  • Be pink, brown or tan in color 
  • Be more prominent with tanning 
  • Be darker or lighter than surrounded skin 
  • Disappear in cool weather 
  • Be scaly, itchy or dry 

If the patient experiences loss of skin color, the condition is known as hypopigmentation and if the opposite happens, the situation is known as hyperpigmentation. 


When to Consult a Doctor? Over the counters drug helps you treat the condition yourself. These medicines are effective in eliminating discolored patches. But you should consult a doctor if over the counter drugs are not able to give out effective results. The dermatologist may prescribe you certain medicines that will help control the symptoms. 


Tines Versicolor Diagnosis See a doctor if strange colored patches develop on your skin. Diagnosis for Tinea Versicolor cannot be made just by examining the skin. Therefore, the doctor will take a skin scraping and determine whether they can see yeast that brings about this condition. The doctor can even use a Wood’s lamp to see whether the yeast is present or not. 


Tines Versicolor Treatment Various over the counter antifungal creams can be effectively used to treat the condition. Example of some OTC medications includes: 

  • Selenium sulfide (Selsun Blue shampoo) 
  • Clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF, Mycelex) 
  • Terbinafine (Lamisil) 
  • Miconazole (Monistat, M-Zole) 

However, if OTC medications are not able to treat the condition, the doctor may prescribe different medications to help treat Tinea versicolor. Examples include: 

  • Ketoconazole (Extina, Nizoral) 
  • Ciclopirox (loprox, Penlac) 

Oral treatments for tinea versicolor include: Ketoconazole 200mg tablets – Take 2 tablets by orally (400mg total). Indulge in one hour exercising session or until you sweat. Increase your water intake and drink plenty of water. Leave sweat on skin for 1 hour and then wash off. The medicine will come out through the pores to the surface where the yeast is overgrown. Repeat once in a week.