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Tinea Versicolor - Symptoms & Treatments Like Selsun Blue

Updated on November 17, 2021
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Jacob is an activist & writer living in D.C. He loves sharing his unique expertise on a wide-range of mental health and recovery topics.

Pictures of typical tinea versicolor rashes

Tinea versicolor on a man's chest.
Tinea versicolor on a man's chest.
Tinea versicolor on a man's back.
Tinea versicolor on a man's back.
Tinea versicolor close-up.
Tinea versicolor close-up.

What is Tinea Versicolor?

Tinea versicolor is a relatively common skin rash caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Malassezia. Often times, tinea versicolor appears as clusters of small reddish or brown spots on the skin of the chest, neck, arms, or genital areas. This rash can be itchy, and is often made worse by exposure to the sun or by sweating. Tinea versicolor causes discoloration of the skin that will usually not go away without proper treatment.

Tinea versicolor sufferers should not be embarrassed. It is estimated that up to 20% of the world's population has been affected by this condition at some point in their lives. Some people's immune systems have no problem keeping the tinea versicolor fungus in check, while other people's have a tough time keeping the growth at bay. Fortunately, the skin rash and discoloration caused by tinea versicolor can be easily treated by a variety of over-the-counter medications.

Those with more sever cases of tinea versicolor, where the skin rash and discoloration covers a significant portion of the body, may wish to see a doctor before beginning treatment.  Although over-the-counter topical medications are extremely effective at treating tinea versicolor, a prescription oral anti-fungal medication may be preferred when treating large areas.  Any dermatologist or general practitioner should be able to diagnose tinea versicolor and write a prescription for its treatment.

How Can I Treat Tinea Versicolor?

Treating the skin rash caused by tinea versicolor is a relatively easy and straightforward process.  Since tinea versicolor is caused by a fungus, most over-the-counter anti-fungal medications will quickly and easily treat the problem.  The most recommended treatment for tinea versicolor is the application of Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo directly to the skin.  After a couple of weeks of daily applications, the fungus will be killed and your skin's appearance will start to return to normal.  Further instructions on using selsun blue shampoo to treat tinea versicolor can be found in the article linked to below.

Other anti-fungal creams and sprays, such as those used to treat athlete's foot and jock itch, will also clear up the rash caused by tinea versicolor.  It is important to note that the discoloration of the skin will take a few weeks to clear up regardless of the treatment you use.  Once you have successfully treated your tinea versicolor, repeat your anti-fungal treatments once a week to keep the pesky skin rash from returning.


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