Tinea versicolor (also known as dermatomycosis furfuracea, pityriasis versicolor, and tinea flava) is one of the most commonfungal skin infections and is often seen in young men and women. The name Versicolor originates from the Latin name “versāre” which means to turn or change color.
The infected skin becomes either lighter or darker (usually lighter) than
the surrounding skin. It is most commonly seen on the back, shoulders and chest, however it may also show itself in the groin, under the breasts and other folds of skin such as the crook of the arm.
Exactly what triggers tinea versicolor?
Tinea versicolor is brought about by yeast called Malassezia furfur (formerly known as Pityrosporum) that lives on the surface of the skin and is present in the majority of healthy adults without causing any adverse health issues. Problems can occur when the balance of microorganisms are disturbed, causing an overgrowth of yeast.
The causes of Tinea Versicolor are largely unknown, however, there are some factors that have been identified as possible triggers, and these are:
• Hot and humid weather conditions
• Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
• Oily skin (sometimes caused by over-active sebaceous glands)
• A weakened immune system
• Hormonal imbalances
People who are overweight are at a higher risk due to them often having more folds of skin that can harbor the fungus in a warm moist environment, often leading to fungal overgrowth.
How to get rid of Tinea Versicolor
Treatments applied to the skin:The majority of cases are treated using medication that is applied directly to the skin in the form of body washes, shampoos and creams. Shampoos often contain substances such as ketoconazole and selenium sulphide to reduce the amount of yeast on the skin.
There are also some very effective skin treatments for Tinea Versicolor that contain only natural ingredients such as; Tea Tree, Jojoba, Coconut, Rosemary, Oregano, Peppermint, Aloe Vera and Eucalyptus.
Medicines taken by mouth:
These can include itraconazole and fluconazole. They are very effective at getting rid of Tinea Versicolor but are usually only prescribed to patients with severe or persistent cases.
Tinea Versicolor home treatment
Recently there has been an increase in the amount of websites promoting Tinea Versicolor home treatments. Some of the treatments listed are not only ineffective they are also potentially very dangerous. For instance, would you wash your back in neat bleach? My advice is to stick to the over the counter or prescribed medication.
Our top picks of the over the counter Tinea Versicolor Medications
How to get rid of Tinea Versicolor quickly and easily by using specially formulated shower gels, creams, body lotions and tablets. Our top choices for over the counter Tinea Versicolor medications are listed below. This is by no means a complete list of all available medications, however those listed have been tried and tested by real people suffering from the infection. By reading the Amazon reviews you can quickly narrow down your choices, enabling you to select a medication that suits you.
Anti Fungal Body Wash
ArtNaturals Antifungal Soap with Tea Tree Oil
Oleavine Antifungal Soap with Tea Tree Oil & Neem
Mountainbreeze Naturals Funga-Free Foot & Body Wash
Purely Northwest Antifungal Soap with Tea Tree Oil
Once treated, the pigmentation color of the skin may take several months to return to normal, giving the affected person the misconception that the problem is still there.
Due to the fact that the fungus is a natural part of the skins makeup, the condition is not contagious and not hereditary.In many cases the problem will in fact recur after treatment, but in most people not straight away. So the infected person may need to repeat the medication at some point in the future.
Tinea Versicolor Diagnosis
Before trying any sort of over the counter or homemade medication it is advisable that you have the condition correctly diagnosed by a doctor. Then, when you know for definite that you have Tinea Versicolor and not one of the other conditions that can resemble it, you can then decide if you want to treat it by prescription or over the counter medications.
Most of these types of rash can be diagnosed by the doctor with a simple visual inspection. If the diagnosis cannot be made visually the doctor may use an ultra violet lamp referred to as a woods lamp to get a better image of the rash. In some cases a skin scraping will be taken and analyzed under a microscope. You may also be referred to a dermatologist.
 By Sarahrosenau on Flickr.com (Flickr.com) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
 By Warfieldian (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons