Tinea versicolor (pityriasis versicolor) is a fungal infection caused by a yeast called malessizia furfur. It usually leaves either darker or lighter spots on the skin, depending on a person's complexion. Malessizia furfur lives naturally on the skin as a fungus, but can at times overproduce when certain regions of the body are exposed to warm, humid conditions. Tinea versicolor often appears in the folds of the skin such as under the breast or in the groin area. Remedies can include both topical and oral medications, diet and nutritional supplements.
Types of Topical Remedies
Most people use anti-fungal creams, lotions or shampoos to treat their tinea versicolor symptoms. Some of these include selenium sulfide (Selsun), ciclopirox (Loprox) and Ketoconazole (Nizoral). The Selsun lotion (2.5 percent ) works well as a tinea versicolor remedy. Loprox comes in a cream, gel or lotion. And Nizoral is available as a shampoo and cream. Medicated cleansers may also be an effective remedy, especially in humid summer months, because tinea versicolor can sometimes reappear.
Types of Oral Remedies
There are several effective oral anti-fungal mediations that can help cure tinea versicolor. These include Itraconazole (Sporanox) capsules, ketoconazole (Nizoral) tablets and Fluconazole (Diflucan) tablets. These medications are most effective if a person avoids using oily products or wearing tight-fitting clothing while using them (during humid months). This can prolong treatment as recurring infections are more likely to occur under these conditions.
Some people believe that the malessezia furfur yeast can be treated with a restrictive diet, just like with candida albicans overgrowth, another type of skin fungus. People on the candida diet usually restrict or eliminate their sugar intake, which can actually feed the yeast. Yeast also tend to feed on gluten, which is an ingredient in most commercial breads, pastas, cereals and even milk. Certain diet restrictions along with medications can be an effective remedy for tinea versicolor.
Effects of Probiotics
Probiotics are "friendly" bacteria supplements that can help replenish the body's natural bacteria. These bacteria are eroded while fighting any yeast infestation. Probiotics kill yeast such as excess candida albicans and may be an effective remedy against the malessezia furfur yeast as well. Probiotics are available at most health food stores. A person may also consider eating yogurt or drinking buttermilk, as these foods contain probiotics or cultures.
There is no set time frame for curing tinea versicolor. Those who take a more proactive approach in using a variety of remedies stand a better chance of healing more quickly. However, this is contingent upon the severity of the outbreak. Some outbreaks can take up to six months to heal. And if a person does not take preventative measures, it may reappear within two years.