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Tinea versicolor: Tips for managing

If tinea versicolor is mild, you may be able to treat it yourself. There are anti-fungal products that you can buy without a prescription. These include:

  • Shampoo that contains selenium sulfide

  • Anti-fungal cream or ointment that contains miconazole, clotrimazole, or terbinafine

When using these products, dermatologists recommend the following:

  • Wash and dry the affected skin

  • Apply a thin layer of the anti-fungal cream or ointment. Do this once or twice a day for at least two weeks

  • When using a shampoo, leave it on your scalp for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing

Some people need stronger medicine, so they see a dermatologist. Whether you decide to self-treat or see a dermatologist, these tips can help you get better results:

  • Stop using skin care products that are oily. Use products that are oil-free. The label may also read "non-comedogenic."

  • Wear loose clothes. Nothing should feel tight.

  • Protect your skin from the sun. A tan makes tinea versicolor easier to see.

  • Do not use a tanning bed or sun lamp. Again, a tan makes tinea versicolor easier to see.

How to protect your skin from the sun

To get the best results, you need to protect your skin from the sun. To do this, you should apply sunscreen every day. Be sure to apply the sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside. And apply it to all skin that will not be covered by clothing. Make sure to use a sunscreen that offers:

  • UVA and UVB protection (label may say broad-spectrum)

  • Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher

  • Non-greasy formula (label may read "oil-free" or "non-comedogenic")