Tinea Versicolor


Tinea versicolor is an often recurrent superficial fungal infection primarily occurring on the chest, back, and occasionally on the neck. It is not known how this superficial yeast infection usually occurs and by who is susceptible. It usually presents as orange-yellow or white slightly scaly patches that are usually asymptomatic and persistent. The scale is commonly seen when the skin is stretched and can be seen as a slight silvery sheen. This condition tends to be recurrent during the summer months when sweating is more perfuse.


The treatment of tinea versicolor is through the use of topical antifungal agents such as over-the-counter miconazole, prescription antifungal agents, antifungal shampoos used as a body wash, or selenium sulfide shampoos / lotions applied to the body area (over-the-counter and prescription).

  • Selenium Sulfide 2.5% lotion or shampoo applied for 10-15 minutes prior to taking a shower for 1 week
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral®) shampoo applied for 10-15 minutes prior to taking a shower for 1 week, or applied daily in the shower for 3-5 minutes and then rinsed off
  • Miconazole or other antifungal creams twice daily for 2-3 weeks

Selenium sulfide lotion / shampoo or Ketoconazole shampoo may be used prophylactically to prevent future recurrence by application 1-2 times per week.

For stubbornly persistent infections, oral antifungals may be taken followed by physical activity one hour after administration in order to get the medication to the skin via sweat.

Despite adequate treatment of this infection via any of the above methods, this condition may continue to occur annually.