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Pityriasis Versicolor

more about Pityriasis Versicolor

Tinea versicolor, liver spots, or T Flava

  • Tinea Versicolor is caused by a Yeast Infection of the skin that results in a rash.
  • Treatment is usually successful, but the rash may come back without continued treatment.

  • Usually, it is asymptomatic (without symptoms) other than rash.  In a small number of people, it may be itchy.
  • The rash can be tan, pink, white, or brown in color.  Usually, there are many small spots of discolored skin (i.e., Liver Spots).  The rash is not very scaly when compared to other fungal infections of the skin.
  • It is most often found on the upper part of the chest and back.
  • Often, people notice that the areas with the infection/rash do not tan well.

  • Tinea Versicolor is due to a Yeast Infection of the skin.
  • The yeast that causes the rash is found on almost all of us.  However, it only affects a few people.  It is not known why only some people develop the infection.

  • Examination -- the doctor easily recognizes the typical appearance of the rash.
  • The doctor may also scrape the rash and examine it under the microscope.
  • Sometimes a culture of the rash may be needed to make the diagnosis.

  • Medicines will help treat only the raised and scaly part of the rash.  The color changes may take weeks to months to clear.  In some cases, the color changes may be permanent.
  • A mixture of equal amounts of propylene glycol and water can be used to cover the area once a day for a week.  Leave it on for about 10-20 minutes at a time.  If the skin becomes irritated, stop using the medicine or dilute it with more water.
  • A lotion called Tinver may also be effective.
  • Selenium sulfide lotion is often used.  It is applied over the chest and back once a day for a week.  It should be left on for 10-15 minutes a day.
  • Repeat the treatment once a week for 4 weeks, then once a month.
  • Once the infection has been treated, use a lotion or cream periodically to prevent re-infection.  Use a Selenium sulfide lotion once a month, Ketoconazole shampoo once a week, or Sebulex soap or shampoo to prevent repeat infections.
  • Some cases will require treatment with oral anti-fungus medicines, such as Ketoconazole (200 mg once a day for a week, or 400 mg as a one time dose).  Patients are advised not to take a bath for at least 14 to 20 hours after taking this medicine.  There is a risk of developing Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) with Ketoconazole, and it is prescribed only when other treatments fail.
  • Other anti-fungus creams and lotions are available, but they are expensive and to be used only when the above treatments do not work.


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