What Colors the Decision to Treat Tinea Versicolor?

November 1, 2008

Untreated tinea versicolor has no grave sequelae. However, cutaneous dyschromia-hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation-will persist without treatment (Figure).

What are the consequences-if any-of not treating tinea versicolor?

--MD

 

Untreated tinea versicolor has no grave sequelae. However, cutaneous dyschromia-hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation-will persist without treatment (Figure). Dyschromia can have social ramifications, because the degree of discoloration can be striking and can affect the face as well as the trunk in some patients. Also, tinea versicolor can be pruritic; the degree of itching tends to correlate with the extent of involvement. Neglected tinea versicolor is likely to become extensive and result in an uncomfortable degree of pruritus. Since the various topical therapies are benign, I would encourage treatment.

-- Ted Rosen, MD
Professor of Dermatology
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston