Tinea versicolor


Tinea versicolor can be diagnosed visually by a healthcare provider. In case there is any doubt, they will scrape any loose skin cells they suspect to be infected with tinea versicolor. A microscope is used to examine for yeast cells in this skin sample.

A Wood lamp may also be used by your healthcare provider to evaluate your skin. This device illuminates your skin with ultraviolet (UV) light. When exposed to UV light, skin areas with tinea versicolor appear yellow-green in color.


There are several self-treatment options available for tinea versicolor. One common and cost-effective approach is to use a dandruff shampoo containing selenium. During your shower, apply the shampoo to the affected areas of your skin and allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off. Additionally, numerous over-the-counter remedies are also accessible for this condition.

Although tinea versicolor might be bothersome, it is usually quite simple to treat. Topical treatments, lotions, or shampoos are used on the skin to treat tinea versicolor. Your healthcare provider might prescribe oral medicine for cases of tinea versicolor that are more severe or widespread. Antifungals are present in all of these medications to either eliminate the fungus or inhibit its growth. Antifungal medicine must be used properly to guarantee a full recovery and stop recurrences.

  • Over-the-counter antifungal medication: Antifungal lotions, creams, or shampoos that you may get at the pharmacy are effective for mild cases of tinea versicolor. Before rinsing them off, you can apply these to your skin for durations ranging from a few minutes to several hours.
    • Clotrimazole
    • Miconazole
    • Selenium sulfide
    • Terbinafine
    • Zinc pyrithione soap
  • Prescribed medication: You might need a prescription-strength treatment if your tinea versicolor is severe or if over-the-counter antifungal medications don’t work for you. Certain medications come in topical forms, applied directly to the skin, while others are taken orally. Examples encompass:
    • Ciclopirox: Cream, gel or shampoo
    • Fluconazole: Tablets or oral solution
    • Itraconazole: Tablets, capsules or oral solution
    • Ketoconazole: Cream, gel or shampoo
    • Selenium sulfide: 2.5 percent lotion or shampoo

Even after completing a successful treatment regimen, it’s common for your skin tone to remain uneven for several weeks or even months. Additionally, humid and hot weather conditions can potentially trigger a recurrence of the infection. In cases of persistent infection, it may be necessary to take medication once or twice a month as a preventive measure to stop it from recurring.