For a mild case of tinea versicolor, you can apply an over-the-counter antifungal lotion, cream, ointment or shampoo. Most fungal infections respond well to these topical agents, which include:
- Clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF) cream or lotion
- Miconazole (Micaderm) cream
- Selenium sulfide (Selsun Blue) 1 percent lotion
- Terbinafine (Lamisil AT) cream or gel
- Zinc pyrithione soap
When using creams, ointments or lotions, wash and dry the affected area. Then apply a thin layer of the product once or twice a day for at least two weeks. If you're using shampoo, rinse it off after waiting five to 10 minutes. If you don't see an improvement after four weeks, see your doctor. You may need a stronger medication.
It also helps to protect your skin from the sun and artificial sources of UV light. Usually, the skin tone evens out eventually.
April 22, 2015
- Ferri FF. Tinea versicolor. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Yeast infections: Candidiasis, tinea (pityriasis) versicolor and malassezia (pityrosporum) folliculitis. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Bamford J, et al. Interventions for the treatment of pityriasis versicolor. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://ovidsp.tx.ovid.com/sp-3.14.0b/ovidweb.cgi. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. Superficial fungal infections. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Tinea versicolor. American Academy of Dermatology. www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/q---t/tinea-versicolor. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Tinea versicolor. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic_disorders/fungal_skin_infections/tinea_versicolor.html. Accessed March 9, 2015.