It will be persistent if you don’t treat it and it takes several weeks of treatment to get it to resolve Tinea versicolor is are very common fungal infection that we see here in Florida. It’s caused by a fungus called malassezia furfur, and the fungus actually causes a hypopigmentation or lightening of the skin. It also causes a little bit of scale on the skin. The fungus will be on a surface that our skin comes directly in contact with when we don’t have clothing, and we get that fungus on the skin. Just a small area, and then it starts to grow on the skin. And then what happens is, we go in the shower, we dry off with a towel and we start to push the fungus over the surface of the skin. So over time, you get increasing sizes of the hypopigmentation, or lightening of the skin. You’d want to see a specialist if you started to notice the hypopigmentation was becoming more noticable for cosmetic purposes. You’d also want to see the specialist if you developed some scaling and some of the itching and the other symptoms that we see. We treat the patient depending on the
extent of the disease, either topically or topically with an
oral medication. Topically, we tend to use an anti-fungal medicine. And we like to use ketoconazole shampoo, which is an anti-fungal shampoo, but we don’t use it as a shampoo on the
skin where the yeast exists. Where the fungus exists, we use it as a body wash, and we have the patient place it on the
skin for one to two minutes. We let it sit there and then they wash
it off, and we typically have them do that for about two to three weeks. That will get rid of the fungus and allow the skin color to come back to normal and resolve the symptoms of itching and
scaling. If it’s a more extensive disease process, we’re involving a greater portion of the body, or if it doesn’t respond to the topical medications, we use an oral medication called fluconazole, which the patient takes for seven days. The other thing that we like to advise the patients to do while they’re going through the treatment is that any clothing that comes into direct contact with the skin needs to be worn one time and then washed. And bath towels are to be used one time and then washed. If not, the yeast will exist on those surfaces and you’ll just re-implant it on the skin. We can actually cure this, the problem is, patients tend to pick this up in public places that they frequent, like a gym. So they are re-exposed, so typically we’ll tell patients to treat themselves prophylactically with the ketoconazole shampoo on their skin once or twice a month each month so they don’t get the symptoms and the clinical findings.