Tinea Versicolor - Signs and Symptoms

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What is tinea versicolor? What are symptoms and signs of tinea versicolor?

Tinea versicolor is a common fungal infection of the skin that often affects adolescents and young adults. The term versicolor refers to the fact that it causes the affected skin to change color and become either lighter or darker than surrounding skin. The most common areas it affects are the shoulders, back, and chest. At times, it can affect folds of skin, such as the crook of the arm, the skin under the breasts, or the groin. The face is usually spared, although sometimes children can have the face affected. There may be just a few spots or so many that it gives the appearance that the affected skin is normal while the unaffected skin around it seems to have a problem.

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Comment from: Sherlock, 45-54 Male Published: April 25

Using dandruff shampoo to treat tinea versicolor is a myth. It rarely works. I've had it for 31 years. I tried all the Selsun treatments. All that did was make me smell like sulfur. Canestan cream does nothing. Two things that I've found that work really well are: Take regular probiotics; yogurts, Yakult, or Inner Health Plus capsules. It helps keep the internal yeast manifestations in check. (A buildup of yeast in the body gets excreted through the skin). To treat the affected areas topically, I've found Whitfield's Ointment (Benzoic Acid) to be by far and away the quickest method of killing the yeast infection. It burns a little and is greasy, but it works. Apply it for two days in a row, just two hours per day. Then wash it off (which isn't that easy). It's worth the effort. For darker, reddish spots, they will just fade away. For the white spots, you will need exposure to the sun to tan them a little. I get both; the reddish/brown spots and the white spots. You never really get rid of this; you just have to treat it when it appears. The probiotics do help keep it to a minimum.

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Comment from: Noelle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 28

I have had tinea versicolor since my mid-twenties. I am now 59. I"ve never found anything that stops it for more than a couple of weeks. It"s spread from my back, up my neck, and on to my scalp. The itching is so intense that I scratch my head bloody while I"m sleeping. I"ve tried everything mentioned and nothing really helps.

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