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Tinea Versicolor

Tinea Versicolor – The Basics


Tinea versicolor is basically a chronic fungal infection of the skin characterized by hypopigemented or hyperpigemented and scaly macules. A superficial and mild skin infection, it usually involves the upper trunk and occurs mostly in younger individuals who live in a humid, warm environment.

Research points towards Malassezia furfur, a lipophilic fungus to be the probable cause of the condition. In the following section, we’ve listed some of the key causes of tinea versicolor and other such tinea infections.

The Key Causes

The fungus that causes tinea versicolor, tinea manuum, tinea corporis or any of its variant can basically thrive on perfectly healthy skin. However, the condition begins to set in once the fungus overgrows, which could be due to a series of factors including:

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- Excessively oily skin

- Humid or warm weather

- Hormonal changes

- Weak immune system

Important Signs and Symptoms

The key symptoms of tinea versicolor, also known as pityriasis versicolor, centre around apparent spots on the skin, along with other related changes. Here, we’ve listed some of the key signs of tinea versicolor:

- Spots that are dry, scaly and a shade different from the skin. Being lighter
or darker than the usual tone of your skin, these spots can be present in a
range of colors such as pink, white, salmon, brown, tan or red.

- Spots that occur anywhere on the body and are accompanied by an itchy
skin.

- The skin on the spot will not tan as the yeast will prevent it from doing so.

- Spots that grow very slowly.

- Spots that combine as they grow and form patches of skin.

- Spots that might diminish or even disappear as the temperature falls, only to return when the air gets warmer.

Home Remedies

If you’ve been affected by tinea versicolor, tinea barbae, tinea capitis or any of the lot, you should know that there is always a chance of recurrence, even if you’ve had complete recovery. To begin with, you can follow the below listed home remedies to prevent such recurrences.

- Stay dry and avoid excessive sweating

- Wear loose-fitting and light clothing

- Use a shampoo that contains selenium sulfide or other such ingredients that combat dandruff

- Another important part of tinea versicolor cure is to regularly use a preventive medication such as ketoconazole or itraconazole.

- Emu Oil moisturizer ~ This oil elimintaes the fungus that causes Tinea

Treatment Options

The first line of treatment for tinea versicolor, tinea corpus, tinea pedis, tinea nigra and the like include using the above listed home remedies and prevention tips.

However, if these fail in treating tinea versicolor, then the following topical and oral prescription medications are generally advised.

Topical medications

A number of anti-fungal, topical medications can be used as a part of tinea
versicolor treatment, including:

- Selenium sulfide (Selsun)

- Ciclopirox cream/gel/lotion (Loprox)

- Ketoconazole shampoo/cream (Nizoral)

Oral medications

Tinea versicolor treatments can also include a number of oral prescription
medications including:

- Itraconazole (Sporanox)

- Ketoconazole (Nizoral)

- Fluconazole (Diflucan)

Moreover, to prevent recurrences of scalp tinea, your doctor might also recommend usage of a medicated shampoo or moisturizer for some period of time, especially if you are prone to getting tinea versicolor frequently.

By Jasmin Pannu

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