What is pityriasis Versicolor?

Pityriasis Versicolor is also known as tinea versicolor. This is a superficial fungal infection that tends to occur more commonly in spring and summer. It is caused by an organism called Pityrosporum Ovale. The condition is spread in swimming pools and by sharing clothing.

What is the clinical appearance of this condition?

This condition presents with white or dark scaly patches involving the anterior hairline and extending downwards to involve the mid-chest and upper back region.

The patches have an overlying branny scale. The condition may be localised or widespread to involve the entire body.

What is the treatment for this condition?

The treatment depends on the extent and severity of the condition. The therapeutic options include the following:

  •  Topical azoles eg  Pevaryl spray/cream
  • Selenium Sulphide
  • Sodium Hyposulphite 2x day for 2 weeks
  • Nizoral (Ketoconazole tabs) 400mg  on day1 and day 8
  • Oral Itraconazole – 100mg bd for 5 days and then, 100mg bd for 1 day /month for 6 months to prevent further recurrences.
What is the outlook for this condition?

The condition tends to respond well to antifungal treatments. Unfortunately, recurrences of this condition do occur. Once fully treated, this condition tends to heal with post-inflammatory hypo/hyperpigmentation. With repeated exposure to the sun, the skin gradually fades into the normal skin colour.

 For further information on any other topic, please visit:

 New Zealand Dermnet

American Academy of Dermatology

Web MD Skin Treatment Centre