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Tinea Versicolor - Symptoms & Treatments Like Selsun Blue

Updated on October 11, 2013

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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      Ivan 3 years ago

      This article is total nonsense!!! It was clearly written by someone who has never suffered from this condition! Tinea versicolor is NOT easy to treat, it's EXTREMELY persistent, over-the-counter medications do NOT work 90% of the time, and it takes MONTHS for any treatments to actually show any results. Whoever wrote this deserves to get it!!

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      Crystal 3 years ago

      I've had this on and off for years!!! Selson blue does work. I barely got my area affected, wet with water and rubbed the shampoo into a lather and let it set on there for 5 minutes then rinsed away. It worked. One year I went to dermatologist and had to take an antibiotic and believe she said to use a yeast infection cream for this. Hope this helps. I don't like this stuff either, but I am thankful there is an over-the-counter product, because I can't afford to go back to the doc. Especially since I know I can use this stuff and it fix it.

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      Ms. Embarrassed 4 years ago

      This is not fun considering I live at the beach and expose my skin a lot. I'm about to try this treatment and hope to God it works :(

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      Mr.Worldwide 5 years ago

      this article is worth reading

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      Bj 5 years ago

      Selsun blue-extra strength! I had the rash on my entire torso for at least 3 months

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      deepa 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing .

    • almasi profile image

      almasi 6 years ago

      Thanks for an informative hub.

    • DonnyBoy profile image

      DonnyBoy 7 years ago from Western New York

      I should try that, gawd I hate this freakin rash!!!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Central Oregon

      Very good article~!

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      chelseagirl 8 years ago

      I just had to try and help you out some more. Try and antifungal diet. Items that contain fungus are wheats, grains, corn, peanuts and antibiotics. The Phase One diet by Doug Kaufman would be good for this condition as well as the Paleofood diet. The paleofood diet was the hunter-gatherer diet of the paleolithic period before man began to eat wheat, corn and the like. Look it up.

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      chelseagirl 8 years ago

      As a firm believer in colon cleansing to eradicate dissease, I'm going to suggest colon cleansing as a way to combat this problem. If you haven't heard it before, here it is in a nutshell. There are four channels of elimination in the body: the colon, the urniary tract, the lungs and the skin. If the colon is plugged up, then all the waste matter absorbs back into the body via the nerves and blood vessel connected to all other parts of the body. If the colon is not eliminating 2-3 times a day, the person should take a remedy, Psyllium hulls or another colon cleanser to move the waste out of the body. The hulls should be taken everyday for at least 30 days. Once the colon is cleansed then all the other forces of elimination should improve readily, the urinary tract will improve, the lungs will breath freely and all skin ailment should go away. Try it! You'll be very pleased with the results.