Tinea Versicolor Information and Cure

By: Juliet Cohen

Tinea versicolor is one type of fungal infection due to which a few portions of the skin color gets darker or lighter in color than normal. It is also known as pityriasis versicolor. These darker or lighter macules and patches are generally found on chest, back, upper arms, and legs. They are often called hyperpigmented or hypopigmented macules and patches. The number of these spots on one's skin might vary in number. Although recurrent in nature, this skin infection is not contagious and doesn't interfere with the overall health of the patient.

Self-treatment methodologies work well in mild cases of tinea versicolor. Antifungal topical over-the-counter products are the best options in this purpose. Selenium sulfide shampoo (1%) or Selsun Blue is mostly recommended to be used on the affected skin surface. Selsun is applied at night and rinsed off in the morning. However, as per the users comments Selsun generates some kind of irritation after the initial application of it and it is also a little tough to apply on spots that are hard to reach like those on the back.

Apart from this, clotrimazole and miconazole has also gained immense popularity for evading this fungal infection. Topical application of these OTC remedies 10 to 14 times a day exerts powerful action to reduce the fungal growths. These creams come in tubes and therefore it is relatively easier to apply them as compared with Selsun.

Rigorous medical care and doctors' advice might be necessary in severe and persistent cases of tinea versicolor where self-care methodologies fail to work. Self-treatment might be continued for 4 weeks, still if there is no satisfactory progress, one must consult a doctor without wasting time. The physician might recommend an initial diagnostic procedure which might include skin scrapings from the infected portion. Physicians generally recommend same or similar topical and oral remedies as used in self-care medication, but in the form of stronger prescription drugs. Selenium sulfide again is prescribed broadly by dermatologists but this time at 2.5% strength. Aside from selenium sulfide, ciclopirox or ketoconazole are also suggested quite often. Ciclopirox is available in the form of creams, gels, or lotions, and ketoconazole is either a cream or shampoo. All these medicine are for topical use and they are undoubtedly prescription drugs. Nevertheless, simpler forms of oral medications are also sometimes preferred by the skin professionals. Out of these the names of ketoconazole, itraconazole, and fluconazole are most prominent. Generally a single dose of ketoconazole or five doses of itraconazole on a daily basis is usually recommended by the physicians.

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