Definition of Tinea Versicolor

tinea versicolorTinea Versicolor is a fungal infection of the skin that causes areas of altered pigmentation, usually darkened patches.

Unlike other forms of tinea, tinea versicolor is not contagious.

The fungus responsible, malassezia furfur, is normally present on the skin (normal flora). Dermatologists do not know why the fungus causes infection in some people and not in others, though they suspect the infection is opportunistic in being able to gain a foothold when other challenges are occupying the immune system.


Treatment is typically a combination of topical and oral antifungal medications. As M. furfur is normal flora, tinea versicolor tends to recur in people who are susceptible to it. When recurrences are frequent, the dermatologist may prescribe prophylactic antifungal therapy.

See also VITILIGO.

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