Home > Skin Conditions > Tinea Versicolor
Tinea Versicolor (white spot fungus disease) 

Tinea versicolor is an unsightly (although not serious) condition affecting the skin.  The torso is most commonly affected but it may involve practically any part of the skin with white (or red or brown) patches.  Tinea versicolor is caused by a yeast fungus (Malassezia globosa), which lives in our pores.  It lives in everyone’s pores, but some people are particularly prone to develop the spots.  In these people, the yeast fungus (a microscopic plant) multiplies rapidly and “spills” over the surface of the skin around the follicles (pores).  Here it creates a discolored spot that may coalesce with adjacent spots and form large and small patches of discolored and slightly scaling skin.  The fungus tends to multiple rapidly, particularly in those who perspire excessively.  Several steps can be taken to help rid you of this fungus.  While we may not be able to kill the fungus entirely and forever, at least we can keep it confined to the depths of the pores where it will not be visible:

 • Try to avoid applying oily or creamy substances to your skin.  These oils enter the pores and encourage growth of the fungus.  For example, if you use a white creamy sunscreen, try using a sunscreen formulated as a gel.  Gels are not as occlusive to the pores and will allow your skin to breath.

 • Try to keep yourself cool, the more you sweat the more you encourage growth of the fungus.  Of course, this may not be possible due to the work or activities you are involved with, but try to wear clothing with cool, light, colors and breathable fabric.  Seek out the shade when outdoors.

 • If your tinea versicolor is extensive you may need to see your dermatologist to get a prescription for an “antibiotic” which will kill the fungus—at least for an extended time.

 • Use CutiCare sulfur bar soap in the shower with a back scrubber on at least a once daily basis.  The sulfur is actually lethal (fungicidal) to the fungus and over a period of time will help clear your skin.  Remember, CutiCare sulfur soap is specially formulated by a dermatologist to be free of sensitizing that may cause an allergic rash, e.g., lanolin.  CutiCare sulfur cleanser is also gentle on your skin because it is formulated with glycerin, one of the mildest chemicals which can be used in cleansing bars, and it is oil and lipid free to keep your pores open and clean.

 • Once you are free of the fungus, and your skin has returned to normal try using the CutiCare sulfur bar soap on a twice-weekly basis when you shower to help keep the fungus from returning.  CutiCare products are formulated with gentle, effective, and economical ingredients.

Our patients are foremost in the minds of our doctors and chemists.