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Tinea Versicolor Follow-up

  • Author: Craig G Burkhart, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
 
Updated: Feb 08, 2016
 

Further Outpatient Care

Tinea versicolor has a high rate of recurrence, and prophylactic treatment with topical or oral therapy on an intermittent basis is necessary to prevent recurrences in most cases.

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Prognosis

Tinea versicolor is a benign skin disease that causes scaly macules or papules on the skin. As the name implies (versi means several), the condition can lead to discoloration of the skin, with colors ranging from white to red to brown. The condition is not considered to be contagious because the causative fungal pathogen is a normal inhabitant of the skin.

The skin of an individual who is affected by tinea versicolor may be either hypopigmented or hyperpigmented. In the case of hypopigmentation, tyrosinase inhibitors (resulting from the inhibitory action of tyrosinase of dicarboxylic acids formed through the oxidation of some unsaturated fatty acids of skin surface lipids) competitively inhibit a necessary enzyme of melanocyte pigment formation. In hyperpigmented macules in tinea versicolor, the organism induces an enlargement of melanosomes made by melanocytes at the basal layer of the epidermis.

Although tinea versicolor is recurrent for some patients and, therefore, a chronic disease, the condition remains treatable with the available remedies (see Medical Care and Medication). Thus, the prognosis is excellent.

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Patient Education

Patients need to realize that tinea versicolor is caused by a fungus that is normally present on the skin surface; thus, it is not considered a contagious disease. Sequelae from the disease are not permanent, and any pigmentary alterations resolve entirely 1-2 months after treatment is initiated. Treatment is needed to remedy the condition and for prophylaxis to prevent recurrences.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Craig G Burkhart, MD, MPH Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Ohio; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Craig G Burkhart, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: Association of Military Dermatologists, American College of Aesthetic and Cosmetic Physicians; American Society of Aesthetic/Cosmetic Physicians, Michigan Dermatological Society, Academy of Medicine of Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio Dermatological Association, American Academy of Dermatology, Ohio State Medical Association, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Craig N Burkhart, MD MSBS, Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

Craig N Burkhart, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Michael J Wells, MD, FAAD Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine

Michael J Wells, MD, FAAD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Edward F Chan, MD Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Edward F Chan, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatopathology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Kathryn Schwarzenberger, MD Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Vermont College of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Division of Dermatology, Fletcher Allen Health Care

Kathryn Schwarzenberger, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Women's Dermatologic Society, American Contact Dermatitis Society, Medical Dermatology Society, Dermatology Foundation, Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

Lorie Gottwald, MD Chief, Division of Dermatology, Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical College of Ohio at Toledo

Lorie Gottwald, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Medical Student Association/Foundation, and American Medical Women's Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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In patients with lighter skin color, lesions frequently are light tan or salmon colored.
 
 
 
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