• Tinea versicolor is a common fungal infection of the skin
  • It is a condition that causes small patches of skin to become scaly and discoloured.


  • Patches of skin discoloration, usually on the back, chest, neck and upper arms
  • Mild itching
  • Scaling


  • Over growth of fungus Malassezia
  • Some factors that promote the growth of this yeast on the skin, include:
  • Hot and humid weather
  • Excessive sweating
  • Oily skin
  • A weakened immune system
  • Hormonal changes

Risk Factors

  • A family history of tinea versicolor
  • Excessive sweating
  • A humid, warm climate
  • A weak immune system
  • Medications that weaken the immune system
  • Some types of cancer

Diagnostic Tests

  • Physical examination
  • Skin scraping for microscopic examination
  • Biopsy


  • Ciclopirox (Loprox, Penlac) cream, gel or shampoo
  • Fluconazole (Diflucan) tablets or oral solution
  • Itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox) tablets, capsules or oral solution
  • Ketoconazole (Ketoconazole, Nizoral, others) cream, gel or shampoo
  • Selenium sulfide (Selsun) 2.5 percent lotion or shampoo

Lifestyle Management

  • Avoid excessive heat
  • Avoid tanning or excessive sun exposure
  • Avoid excessive sweating
  • Avoid using oily skin products
  • Do not wear tight clothing
  • Wear breathable fabrics, such as cotton
  • Put on sunscreen every day