Tinea Versicolor (cont.)

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What is the prognosis of tinea versicolor?

As noted above, the white spots of tinea versicolor tends to linger even after successful treatment. This persistent discoloration often leads people to think that the condition is still present long after it has been eradicated. It may take months for skin color to blend and look normal, but it always does. The red or brown variety of rash, on the other hand, clears up much sooner. It is, therefore, a good idea to have the condition treated as soon as new spots appear so that any discoloration lasts as short a time as possible.

Recurrence of the rash is all but inevitable, though it won't recur necessarily every year. Applying selenium sulfide or ketoconazole shampoo on affected areas once a week may slow the onset of recurrence but is cumbersome and often not worth the effort, since the condition may not come back for a long time anyway.

Can tinea versicolor be prevented?

Since the organism that causes tinea versicolor is a normal inhabitant of the skin and the disease does not affect the patient's general health, there is no widely accepted approach to prevention.

Previous contributing author: Alan Rockoff, MD

REFERENCE:

Bigby, Michael, and Hu, Stephanie W. "Pityriasis Versicolor: A Systemic Review of Interventions." Arch Dermatol. 146.10 (2010): 1132-1140.


Last Editorial Review: 10/19/2011


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