Tinea versicolor (TV) is a relapsing skin condition caused by a fungal infection (by a fungus named Malessezia Furfur) mostly seen in adolescents. The condition presents itself with a color change in the affected area; the skin in the affected area may become lighter or darker depending on the patient.
Different tinea versicolor treatment types can be applied to successfully remove the tinea versicolor symptoms, but the condition generally relapses within one or two years and requires treatment to be reapplied. The tinea versicolor infection is mostly seen in the back, chest and shoulders.
The yeast that causes tinea versicolor is actually present in the skin of the majority of adult population. Since it already exists on the skin, the tinea versicolor infection is not contagious. There are two forms of Malessezia Furfur and one of these forms causes the discolored spots or white patches on skin.
As is the case with any other yeast and fungal skin infection, tinea versicolor also thrives in humid areas, and can also be triggered by hormonal or immune system problems. It is important to note that tinea versicolor is not a “disease”; it’s just an infection caused by the thriving of the yeast already present in the human skin.
Different Types Of Tinea Versicolor Treatment
There are different ointments, creams and pills used for tinea versicolor treatment. These medications help remove the symptoms of the infection, but as we mentioned before, tinea versicolor generally recurs after one or two years.
The efficiency of the treatment also depends on the actual color of the affected skin patches: the darker spots get removed almost immediately after the treatment, while lighter patches tend to be much more resistant and can take months to be completely cured.
Although it is a recurring condition, the good news is that tinea versicolor does not leave permanent color changes on the skin; so once the symptoms are treated with any tinea versicolor treatment, the skin will look perfectly normal until the infection relapses.
Topical TV Treatment
The first option that can be applied as a tinea versicolor treatment is topical solutions that contain antifungal agents applied directly to the affected skin patches. The most popular topical treatments include Selsun Blue or ketoconazole shampoos, clotrimazole and miconazole.
Although topical agents can be effective in treating tinea versicolor, if the affected area is too big, the application of these topical treatments can be harder, and most of the topical treatments take a couple of weeks (up to 4 weeks or more); hence, most patients tend to give up on their treatment before the topical agents can have any positive effect. If that is the case, your doctor may prefer systemic tinea versicolor treatment options.
Systemic TV Treatment
Oral tinea versicolor treatment can be effective in curing the symptoms much faster than topical medications. For instance, Nizoral’s ketoconazole product requires a single dose of application, and Sporanox’s itraconazole requires five doses per day to treat tinea versicolor.
But while oral tinea versicolor treatment can be very simple and effective, these medications can interact with other medications used to treat other conditions; therefore you should inform your physician if you are using other medications so that he/she can decide which treatment to prescribe.