Tinea versicolor is a common fungal infection of the outer layer of the skin causing scaly, discolored patches.
Causes of Tinea Versicolor
Tinea versicolor is fairly common and 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 warm and humid climates and does not spread from 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 lighter or darker than the surrounding skin
- 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.
Treatment of Tinea Versicolor
Tinea versicolor is easy to treat. 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.
Changes in skin color may last for months and the condition may come back during warm weather.
- Tinea versicolor. 2022. Medline Plus. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001465.htm