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Tinea Versicolor


Tinea versicolor

is a long-term infection that leaves colored spots on your skin. Tinea versicolor is caused by a fungus that is normally present on your skin. This infection is not harmful.

Common signs and symptoms include the following:

You may not have any symptoms until you see spots on your skin. You may have many oval, patchy spots on your chest, back, arms, or face. They may be white, pink, red, or brown. The spots may be close together and cover a large area. They may be lighter than the rest of your skin in summer and darker in winter. The spots may itch.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your infection does not get better within 2 weeks of treatment.
  • Your signs and symptoms get worse or come back after treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


Tinea versicolor is usually treated with an antifungal cream. You may need to use the cream for up to 4 weeks to treat your symptoms. You may also need to use a special shampoo on your skin. Apply the cream or shampoo as directed. It may take several weeks or months after treatment for the color of your skin to return to normal.

Manage or prevent tinea versicolor:

Tinea versicolor usually comes back, especially in hot and humid times of the year. You can manage the symptoms and help prevent it. Keep your skin clean and dry. Dry your skin completely after you bathe and play sports. Dry between your toes, between folds, and other areas where skin touches skin. You may also need to apply a special shampoo to your skin each month to prevent anther infection.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Tinea Versicolor (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.