Tinea Versicolor - Treatments

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What is the treatment for tinea versicolor?

There are many antifungal agents available to apply to the skin for the treatment of tinea versicolor. Over-the-counter (OTC) remedies include clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex) and miconazole (Lotrimin). These should be applied twice a day for 10-14 days but come in small tubes and are hard to apply to large areas. Another OTC option is selenium sulfide shampoo 1% (Selsun Blue) or 1% ketoconazole shampoo (Nizoral). Some doctors recommend applying these for 15 minutes twice a week for two to four weeks.

There are also many prescription-strength antifungal creams that can treat tinea versicolor, as well as a stronger form of selenium sulfide (2.5%) and prescription-strength ketoconazole shampoo (2%). However, these pose the same application problems as their OTC counterparts.

Oral treatment for tinea versicolor has the advantage of simplicity. A single dose of ketoconazole or five daily doses of itraconazole (Sporanox) are two therapies your doctor can prescribe. Some common medications, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor) used to lower cholesterol, may interact with these drugs, so your doctor will need to know what other medications are being taken before treating tinea versicolor orally.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Lady 100, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 17

I suffered with the outbreak a little over 10 years ago when I was carrying my first child and I didn't know what it was. I ran into a woman about two years later that said she suffered with it as well but she didn't have any sightings on her skin and I asked what she had used. She told me she used an antifungal pill called Fluconazole and Selenium Sulfide shampoo. I went to my doctor and explain to him what I had heard and after he check my allergies he proscribed the pill and topical and it disappeared for about 3 years and came back but I went back to my doctor and got another prescription and haven't seen it again.

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Comment from: ladybug, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

I have had tinea versicolor (TV) since my teenage years and since the recent flare ups in adulthood, simple OTC antifungal creams like found in the dollar tree and the 88 cent Walmart brand work just fine. If I use them at the first sign of reoccurrence it fades rather quickly. If I let it take over my back, neck, and chest, it takes longer to fade but the itching subsides quickly. It also helps when I shower directly after sweating as fungus thrives on sweat and that"s what TV is.

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