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Tinea Versicolour - How It Can Be Treated?

Written and reviewed by
MD, Ex Sr Dermatologist AIIMS New Delhi
Dermatologist, Delhi  •  9 years experience
Tinea Versicolour - How It Can Be Treated?

If different areas of your skin are appearing to be of a different colour, then you might be suffering from pityriasis versicolour or tinea versicolour. This is a fungal skin infection which is caused by a yeast which dwells on the skin. The skin disease appears as a rash when the yeast grows out of control. The patches which develop may be pink, white, red or brown in colour and are usually lighter or darker than the surrounding skin.

Causes
The infection can take place because of the following reasons:

  • If your skin is oily
  • If you live in a hot climate
  • If you sweat excessively
  • If your immune system is weak

This condition is capable of affecting people of any skin colour, although it is more common in teens. Tinea versicolour is not contagious as the yeast grows on the skin naturally.

Diagnosis
Tinea versicolour is diagnosed by a doctor based on the rash and how it looks like. Ultraviolet (UV) light is sometimes used for diagnosis. This makes the affected areas of the skin appear fluorescent yellow-green, if they caused due to tinea vesicolour. A skin sample is also taken by scraping the skin and scales from the affected area. This is observed under a microscope. In case of children, the skin cells are lifted off by attaching a clear tape to the affected region and then removing it. The sample is then studied under a microscope for proper diagnosis.


Treatment
The treatment of tinea versicolour is carried out by using lotions, creams and shampoos. Certain medicines are also used for treatment. The mode of treatment depends on the location, size and thickness of the condition. Here are the following treatment options for tinea versicolour:

  • Topical antifungal products: These products are applied to the affected skin surface directly. They may be used in the form of lotions, creams, foams, soaps and shampoos. They help in preventing the growth of yeast. You can use over-the-counter (OTC) topical products which consist of ingredients such as selenium sulfide, zinc, miconazole, terbinafine and clotrimazole.
  • Antifungal pills: These medicines are used in cases of serious tinea versicolour. They are also used when the condition is recurring in nature. In some cases, they provide a quick and simple solution for treating the infection.

The treatment of tinea versicolour helps in eliminating the fungal infection. It might take several months to resolve the discolouration of the skin.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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