Topical and oral antifungal medications, and antifugal shampoos are usually used for curing tinea versicolor, which is a type of fungal infection of the skin. The causes, symptoms, and the treatment of this condition are briefly discussed in this article.
Tinea versicolor is a fungal infection of the skin, which is characterized by the development of small, discolored skin patches. The fungus that causes this skin infection can be found on the human skin, but it does not cause any problem under normal circumstances. But sometimes, it can proliferate rapidly to cause an infection. This fungal infection of the skin is more prevalent among teenagers and young adults.
Causes and Symptoms
Tinea versicolor is commonly caused by the fungus, Malassezia globosa, though another fungus Malassezia furfur can also cause this condition at times. These fungi can be found on the human skin, but they usually do not cause any problem. Certain factors can however, stimulate an overgrowth of these fungi that can eventually cause an infection.
In general, the fungi thrive in a hot and humid environment. Therefore, factors like hot and humid weather, excessive sweating, and oily skin can increase the risk of developing this fungal infection. Even a weak immune system and hormonal fluctuations can predispose an individual to this fungal infection.
This skin infection can be identified by the appearance of oval or irregular-shaped, small white spots on the skin. Along with this, mild itching and scaling can also be present. Additionally, some small, but scaly and discolored skin patches can develop at times. The characteristic skin patches caused by this condition can be white, pink, or dark brown in color, and they can enlarge with time.
This skin condition is usually treated with the over-the-counter and prescription antifungal creams or topical medications. The most effective topical antifungal medications available for this purpose are, ketoconazole cream and shampoo, clotrimazole, selenium sulfide, terbinafine, miconazole, butenafine, and naftifine. The symptoms of this condition usually resolve with the use of these topical antifungal preparations.
If topical antifungal medications fail to cure the infection, then oral antifungal medications can be required. The oral antifungal medications that are usually used for treating this fungal infection are, ketoconazole, itraconazole, and fluconazole. These medications can, however, cause a few side effects like nausea and liver damage, if used for a long time.
Though less effective than antifungal medications, dandruff shampoos can also be used for treating this condition, especially if the infection is mild. Anti-dandruff shampoos that contain sulfur, salicylic acid, and zinc pyrithione, as well as selenium sulfide shampoos are usually used for this purpose.
Tea tree oil and garlic are some effective natural remedies for this condition. Both the substances are known for their antifungal properties, and hence, their topical application can provide significant relief. You can also consume one or two cloves of garlic daily. Unflavored and unsweetened yogurt is another home remedy that can be consumed, as well as applied topically on the affected area of the skin. Other natural remedies for this fungal infection are, citrus fruits, tomato juice, and apple cider vinegar.
However, do not forget to visit a physician to evaluate this skin condition. This will help determine the severity of the condition, and design a proper treatment plan accordingly. It is possible to restore the normal pigmentation of the discolored skin patches with proper treatment. Finally, be sure to maintain good personal hygiene to avoid this fungal infection in the future.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.