(topical means medication that is applied on skin only) -it's like a small tube of lotion.
Tinea versicolor (TIN-ee-uh vur-si-KUL-ur), also called pityriasis versicolor, is a common fungal infection of the skin. The fungus interferes with the normal pigmentation of the skin, resulting in small, discolored patches.
Tinea versicolor is most common in teens and young adults. Sun exposure may make tinea versicolor more apparent.
Antifungal creams, lotions or shampoos can help treat tinea versicolor. But even after successful treatment, skin color may remain uneven for several weeks until repigmentation occurs, and tinea versicolor may return, especially in warm, humid weather.
Back to TopSymptomsClick to Enlarge Tinea versicolor
Tinea versicolor is a type of infection that appears as a tissue-thin coating of fungus on your skin. The signs and symptoms of tinea versicolor are:
Small scaly patches of discolored skin
Patches that grow slowly
Patches that tend to become more noticeable after sun exposure
Possible mild itching
The patches can be various colors, including:
Although the discoloration may be more apparent on dark skin, the infection can affect anyone, regardless of skin color.
The infection, which is most common in warm, humid temperatures, usually affects the:
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
Back to TopCausesHealthy skin may normally have the fungus that causes this disorder growing in the area where hair follicles open onto the skin surface. Tinea versicolor occurs when the fungus becomes overgrown. A number of factors may trigger this growth, including:
Hot, humid weather
Immunosuppression — when your immune system is unable to protect your body from the growth of yeast or fungus on your skin or elsewhere
Back to TopPreparing for your appointmentYou're likely to start by first seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, you may then be referred to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist).
Because appointments can be brief, it's a good idea to arrive well prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
Make a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements, that you're taking.
Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For tinea versicolor, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
How did I get tinea versicolor?
Are there other possible causes for these symptoms?
Do I need any tests?
Is tinea versicolor temporary or long lasting?
What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
What types of side effects can I expect from treatment?
How long will it take for my skin to return to normal?
I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?
Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What Web sites do you recommend visiting?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
How long have you had these discolored areas on your skin?
Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
Have you had this or a similar condition in the past?
Do the affected areas itch?
Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
What you can do in the meantime
Over-the-counter fungal creams or shampoos can often clear up tinea versicolor. If you don't notice any improvement after about a month of treatment, be sure to see your doctor.
Back to TopTests and diagnosisYour doctor can diagnose tinea versicolor with a skin exam. If there's any doubt, he or she may take skin scrapings from the infected area and view them under a microscope.
Back to TopTreatments and drugsIf tinea versicolor is severe or doesn't respond to over-the-counter antifungal medicine, you may need a prescription-strength topical or oral medication. Such medications for tinea versicolor treatment include:
Selenium sulfide 2.5 percent lotion
Ciclopirox (Loprox) cream, gel or lotion
Ketoconazole (Nizoral) cream or shampoo
Ketoconazole (Nizoral) tablets
Itraconazole (Sporanox) capsules
Fluconazole (Diflucan) tablets
Even after successful treatment, your skin color may remain uneven for several weeks, or even months. Also, the infection may return in warm, humid weather. In persistent cases, you may need to take a medication once or twice a month to prevent the infection from recurring.
Back to TopLifestyle and home remediesFor a mild case of tinea versicolor, you can apply an over-the-counter antifungal lotion, cream, ointment or shampoo. Most fungal infections respond well to these topical agents, which include:
Selenium sulfide shampoo (Selsun Blue)
Wash and dry the affected area. Then, apply a thin layer of the topical agent once or twice a day for at least two weeks. If you're using shampoo, rinse it off after waiting five to 10 minutes. If you don't see an improvement after four weeks, see your doctor. You may need a stronger medication.
Back to TopPreventionAvoid applying oil or oily products to your skin or wearing tight, restrictive or nonventilated clothing. Sun exposure makes the fungal infection more apparent.
To help prevent tinea versicolor from returning, your doctor can prescribe a topical or oral treatment that you take once or twice a month. Preventive treatments include:
Selenium sulfide (Selsun) lotion applied to the affected areas every two to three weeks
Ketoconazole (Nizoral) tablets once a month
Itraconazole (Sporanox) capsules once a month
You CAN pass this on to your partner so make sure he checks himself...not only "down there" but his armpits and middle of back too. Again, this is a fungus and is NOT harmful. Thank you :-)
its not a fungus. its because you shave. i get this too, its the type of skin we have. the inner thigh is a very sensitive place to shave. i used to do that as well, and i started using a skin toner. stop shaving, and start waxing. much better results.
i have it too by my bikini line and i also dont know what to do. at first i thought there was something wrong with me.
Anyway so i've been putting tea tree oil which is a natural antifungle and it really is starting to lighten!!! but obv the chemical store bought stuff would prob be more effective.