Send to

Choose Destination
J Fam Pract. 1996 Aug;43(2):127-32.

Diagnosis and treatment of tinea versicolor.

Author information

Department of Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


Tinea versicolor (pityriasis versicolor) is a common superficial fungal infection of the stratum corneum. Caused by the fungus Malassezia furfur, this chronically recurring disease is most prevalent in the tropics but is also common in temperate climates. Treatments are available and cure rates are high, although recurrences are common. Traditional topical agents such as selenium sulfide are effective, but recurrence following treatment with these agents is likely and often rapid. Currently, therapeutic interest is focused on synthetic "-azole" antifungal drugs, which interfere with the sterol metabolism of the infectious agent. Ketoconazole, an imidazole, has been used for years both orally and topically with great success, although it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the indication of tinea versicolor. Newer derivatives, such as fluconazole and itraconazole, have recently been introduced. Side effects associated with these triazoles tend to be minor and low in incidence. Except for ketoconazole, oral antifungals carry a low risk of hepatotoxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center