Tinea versicolor is a common, benign, superficial cutaneous fungal infection usually characterized by hypopigmented or hyperpigmented macules and patches on the chest and the back. In patients with a predisposition, tinea versicolor may chronically recur. The fungal infection is localized to the stratum corneum.
Tinea versicolor is caused by the dimorphic, lipophilic organisms in the genus Malassezia, formerly known as Pityrosporum. Tinea versicolor can be successfully treated with various agents. Effective topical agents include selenium sulfide, sodium sulfacetamide, ciclopiroxolamine, as well as azole and allylamine antifungals.
Tinea versicolor is most common in persons aged 15-25 years. Tinea versicolor occurs worldwide, with prevalences reported to be as high as 55% in the humid, hot environment and as low as 1.5% in the colder temperatures. The national prevalence of this condition is 1-10% of the population.