Dermatology Information and Resources


Tinea versicolor is a common fungal skin infection created by the skin’s overproduction of yeast, which affects the skin’s pigmentation. Ringworm, Scalp ringworm, Athlete’s foot, and Jock itch are all variations of this type of fungal infection.[1]

Common symptoms: Symptoms will vary depending on the location, but most people notice small, discolored patches throughout the upper body areas, varying from dark to light. In the case of ringworm, a red skin rash forms a ring, with normal looking skin inside of it. Scalp ringworm causes severe itchiness, dryness, and red rashes on the scalp. Bald patches may appear as well. Athlete’s foot causes burning and itching sensations, as well as cracked skin, dryness, as well as possible odor and skin or nail discoloration. Jock itch causes itchy, burning rashes in the groin area.and possible skin discoloration that can spread to the abdomen, back, and shoulders.[2]

Causes: Tinea is most commonly passed via skin to skin contact, or via damp, shared areas such as locker room showers. In many cases, tinea occurs due to an overproduction of fungus on the skin which can be caused by hot, humid weather, oily skin, changes in hormones, and tight clothing.[3]

Treatment: Those prone to fungal infections should avoid too much sun exposure and UV radiation, or should be sure to use sunscreen frequently. Using products that add extra oil to the skin should also be avoided. A doctor may prescribe topical antifungal creams, ointments, or shampoos if needed. Oral anti-fungal capsules can be used to treat more serious or recurrent cases of tinea.[4]

Other preventive Tinea treatments include:

  • Selenium sulfide (Selsun) 2.5 percent lotion or shampoo
  • Ketoconazole (Ketoconazole, Nizoral, others) cream, gel or shampoo
  • Itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox) tablets, capsules or oral solution
  • Fluconazole (Diflucan) tablets or oral solution[5]

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