Pityriasis (Tinea) versicolor is a fungal infection caused by Malassezia furfur. It is benign, superficial, and localized to the stratum corneum.
It may present as chronic or recurrent infection and may occur in healthy individuals.
It is more common in summer than winter months.
It presents with multiple well-demarcated macules or patches and finely scaled plaques with hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation, hence the term "versicolor".
Lesions are usually found on the upper trunk, chest, back and shoulders, and may extend toward the neck, face and arms.
  1. Andrews MD, Burns M. Common tinea infections in children. Am Fam Physician. 2008 May;77(10):1415-1420. PMID: 18533375
  2. Vander-Straten MR, Hossain MA, Ghannoum MA. Cutaneous infections: dermatophytosis, onychomycosis and tinea versicolor. Infect Dis Clin N Am. 2003 Mar;17(1):87-112. PMID: 12751262
  3. Crespo-Erchiga V, Gomez-Moyano E, Crespo M. Pityriasis versicolor and the yeasts of genus Malassezia. Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2008 Dec;99(10):764-771. PMID: 19091214
  4. Faergemann J, Gupta AK, Mofadi A, et al. Efficacy of itraconazole in the prophylactic treatment of Pityriasis (Tinea) Versicolor. Arch Dermatol. 2002 Jan;138(1):69-73. PMID: 11790169
  5. Gupta AK, Batra R, Bluhm R, et al. Pityriasis versicolor. Dermatol Clin. 2003 Jul;21(3):413-429. PMID: 12956196
  6. Gupta AK, Einarson T, Summerbell R, et al. An overview of topical antifungal therapy in dermatomycoses: a North American perspective. Drugs. 1998 May;55(5):645-674. PMID: 9585862
  7. Gupta AK, Ryder JE, Nicol ZK, et al. Superficial fungal infections: an update on pityriasis versicolor, seborrheic dermatitis, tinea capitis, and onychomycosis. Clin Dermatol. 2003 Oct;21(5):417-425. PMID: 14678722
  8. Lio PA. Little white spots: an approach to hypopigmented macules. Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed. 2008 Jun;93(3):98-102. doi: 10.1136/adc.2007.135194. PMID: 18495902
  9. He SM, Du WD, Yang S, et al. The genetic epidemiology of tinea versicolor in China. Mycoses. 2008 Jan;51(1):55-62. PMID: 18076596
  10. Mellen LA, Vallee J, Feldman SR, et al. Treatment of pityriasis versicolor in the United States. J Dermatol Treat. 2004 Jun;15(3):189-192. PMID: 15204154
  11. Miranda K, de Araujo C, Costa C, et al. Antifungal activities of azole agents against the Malassezia species. J Int Antimicrobs Agent. 2007 Mar;29(3):281-284. PMID: 17223320
  12. Rupke SJ. Fungal skin disorders. Prim Care. 2000 Jun;27(6):407-421. PMID: 10815051
  13. Gilbert DN, Moellering RC, Eliopoulos GM, et al. The Sanford guide to antimicrobial therapy. 37th ed. Sperryville, VA: Antimicrobial Therapy Inc; 2007
  14. Habif TP. Superficial fungal infections. Clinical dermatology: a color guide to diagnosis and therapy. 4th ed. Pennsylvania: Mosby, Elsevier; 2004:409-439
  15. Morelli JG. Cutaneous fungal infections. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, et al, eds. Nelson textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, Elsevier; 2007.
  16. MedWorm http://www.medworm.com/rss/index.php/Dermatology/12/ http://www.medworm.com/rss/medicalfeeds/specialities/Dermatology-News.xml
  17. MedWormhttp://www.medworm.com/rss/index.php/Pediatrics/33/http://www.medworm.com/rss/medicalfeeds/specialities/Pediatrics.xml
  18. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Pityriasis Versicolor. NICE. http://cks.nice.org.uk/pityriasis-versicolor. Nov 2010. Accessed 03 Jul 2013
  19. Burkhart CG. Tinea versicolor. eMedicine. http://www.emedicine.com/DERM/topic423.htm
  20. Crowe MA. Tinea versicolor. eMedicine. http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic2260.htm.Faergemann. Feb 2006
  21. Goldstein SG, Goldstein AO. Tinea versicolor (pityriasis versicolor). UptoDate. https://www.uptodate.com/. May 2018.
  22. Plensdorf S, Livieratos M, Dada N. Pigmentation disorders: diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2017 Dec;96(12):797-804. PMID: 29431372
Editor's Recommendations
Most Read Articles
Pearl Toh, 31 Dec 2019
Adding the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir to usual care speeds up recovery from influenza-like illness by a day compared with usual care alone, with even greater benefits seen in older, sicker patients with comorbidities, according to the ALIC4E study.
23 Dec 2019
At a Menarini-sponsored symposium held during the Asian Pacific Society Congress, renowned cardiologist Prof John Camm provided the latest evidence for chronic stable angina with or without concomitant diseases, with a special focus on the antianginal agent ranolazine and combination therapies. The event was chaired and moderated by Dr Dante Morales from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.
Natalia Reoutova, 07 Jan 2020

A prospective cohort study of mothers taking antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and their breastfed infants has found substantially lower AED concentrations in infant vs maternal blood, with nearly half of all obtained AED concentrations in nursing infants being less than the lower limit of quantification (LLoQ).

5 days ago
Testosterone treatment may slightly improve sexual functioning and quality of life in men without underlying organic causes of hypogonadism, but it offers little to no benefit for other common symptoms of ageing, according to a study. In addition, long-term efficacy and safety of this therapy remain unknown.