Number One Question For Tinea Versicolor

Is Tinea Versicolor Contagious?

Answering the Big One.
There are some big questions in life: Is there a God? Was there ever a beginning to time? How do I make a million dollars? How’d we get the egg without the chicken?

And my personal favorite: Why can’t others just accept that I’m right all the time? That last one gets me daily. I just don’t understand the problem.

But there’s one other biggie that baffles the mind. Oh, it may not be an issue for some, but if you live with Tinea Versicolor, this question from others can be monumental: Is Tinea Versicolor contagious?

Now, you could offer them a one-word answer of NO, but you’d likely be eyed with reticence and piercing skepticism.

With that in mind, lets see if this zealot can formulate a convincing epistle, one that will arm fellow afflictees with the truth—a truth that will free our dermatological atheists from the chains of cynicism…that they may come to believe!

All jest aside; the contagiousness of Tinea Versicolor (TV), is a valid concern and one that requires an honest and sincere answer. Others aren’t being insensitive by asking the question.

All they know is one day you’re skin was healthy and now, just a few days later, you’re scratching like mad at your newly spotted skin. They’re scared, that’s all.

So, the answer is NO, TV is NOT contagious and here’s why:

Fungus is a naturally occurring part of the human skin, as is bacteria and yeast. We all have these microorganisms living on us, feeding upon the oils and sweat, working hard to keep each other in check and maintain healthy looking skin.

As long as these organisms function the way they’re supposed to, they go unnoticed. However, when any one of these three goes rogue, we start to see blemishes.

That’s what happens with TV. Malassezia is one of the many fungi living on our skin and in some people, those that develop a hormonal or immunological imbalance, it begins to multiply at a rate faster than the other organisms can compensate.

It happens when conditions are more favorable—usually when there’s an increase in temperature and humidity—and can spread with alarming speed.

But it won’t spread to others because they would need to be predisposed with similar hormonal or immunological imbalances. In that case, the Malassezia already living on that person’s skin would cause TV to take hold, not the Malassezia on another’s skin.

So in summary, according to the Gospel of Malassezia: TV is NOT contagious.

We all have fungus on our skin and a person would have to be predisposed by certain imbalances within the body for TV to take root. Even then, it would come from his or her own skin, not another person’s.

And for it to spread on the person’s body, conditions must be favorable. Now my dear children, go and proclaim!

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Comments

    • Alysha Davis
    • April 19, 2017
    Reply

    I’ve had TV since i was about 15 years old. I grew up with my dad (Not biological) having it. I only got it once i went to Hawaii for the first time though. Even though i was around someone who had it my whole life. No one else besides my dad and i have it. My boyfriend of 10 years hasn’t gotten it either. My first time having it was the worst, i honestly don’t normally realize i have it till i start itching really badly. I have really pale skin naturally and only seem to realize ive got a few small patches of it if i get a tan from being outside. I buy antifungal cream apply that then leave it on over night. It seems to kill it all off after two nights of doing this. I remember i was given medication from the doctor the first time i got it. I find that i get it in places i sweat in hot weather ( back, under arms, back of legs, and around the boobs) i don’t really think it’s contagious. But i do find that when i sleep next to my boyfriend really close it flares up. I think it’s about getting too warm and sweating. Or if i use a towel and then it doesn’t dry fully before i use it again i tend to get it faster then too.

    • Richard
    • March 6, 2017
    Reply

    If it’s not contagious, then let me tell you about one big coincidence. When I got married, my wife and her sisters all had TV. Within a year I had TV. When our children came along all three developed TV. Just a big coincidence I guess.

      • Tony
      • March 6, 2017
      Reply

      Hi Richard. Thanks for contacting me.

      Seems lately I’m getting more and more reports of these “coincidences”!
      I certainly hear you…I wish the medical community did also.
      Clinically speaking, Tinea Versicolor is NOT contagious.

      Does anybody else have a report on their own “coincidence”? (Please reply.)

        • Dave
        • March 8, 2017
        Reply

        I love Richard’s comment. Anyway, I’m specifically looking because after I had contact with someone that had multiple skin colors, and I now have TV. I don’t know if it transmitted physically or not (no clue), but coincidence indeed. I had no issues before that, and was in my late twenties.
        [edited from original]

        • Jazzzie by Nature
        • June 23, 2017
        Reply

        I have seen small patches on my skin since marrying my husband. They have since gone away.

        • Bernadette
        • September 21, 2017
        Reply

        I had never even heard about TV until my boyfriend told me he had it. He is prone to night sweats and after 7 months of living together, I too, have TV. I fully believe it is contagious!!!

      • Cds
      • May 3, 2017
      Reply

      I also didn’t have TV until 1.5 years after meeting my husband. I now struggle with TV everyday for the past 7 years

    • Mike
    • October 21, 2016
    Reply

    I’ve had Tinea Versicolor since I was in high school. I’m now 28. Its not contagious at all. Its more embarrassing then ever. Can’t even take my shirt off in the summer without feeling awkward. Its spread so bad all over my chest back and arms. Before it would just disappear. Now it just stays. I learnt to deal with it. It’s just embarrassing when my lovers say to me, “Whats that on your skin?” That I have to shamelessly explain. Any good tips anyone? I want this thing gone 🙁

      • SheKnows
      • March 10, 2017
      Reply

      Same here! Got it in high school while being homeless. Treated it, and it stayed away UNTIL I had my first child. Right after her birth it came back but I treated it promptly, and it stayed away.

      But after my 2nd child it came back with a vengeance! Couldn’t get rid of it, and now baby #3 is 2 years old (I’m 29) and it is all over my body- even my hands and legs. It is truly out of control!

      This is Georgia heat though, that just makes it so much worse.
      I’ve even had people take a step back while waiting in line.

      But get this- my Daughter #3 now has it, too. And it is spreading FAST.

      So this is where I’m confused- I’ve shared my bed with the same person for 6 years now and he hasn’t gotten TV.
      Makes me think it ISN’T contagious. But how does one explain my DD her TV? (She cuddles with me EVERY night, and still nurses… Coincidence?)

      In any case, I totally understand! It is embarrassing but mainly due to the fact that many are uneducated on this condition.

        • Tony
        • March 11, 2017
        Reply

        Hi SheKnows. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jim
    • April 9, 2016
    Reply

    One time I asked a doctor about its communicability and she gave the example that it could appear to spread among children who shared beds. That made sense. Yes, just like athlete’s foot it thrives on certain imbalances, which could be hereditary or common between people in some other way, but constant and repeated re-exposure could make some marginal difference in the predisposed.
    I know there’ll be no cure for all the years I have fought it, but I kept it down last summer with frequent use of the exfoliant kese mitt and the folk remedy of Turkish Bittim soap. Daily pumice stone treatment keeps down the Tinea Pedis (athlete’s foot).

      • Tony
      • April 27, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Jim. Thanks for sharing with us.

      With summer coming soon, I’m sure your testimony will help many people.

    • Mike
    • January 2, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Tony,
    I have been dealing with TV since about 1982. Sometimes the symptoms are more severe than others. Back in the day, I used to get a 10 pill 10 day prescription and all symptoms would vanish. Sometimes for years I would not see any signs. Now the Dermos will only give a 4 pill prescription, even when I tell them 4 pills wont do the job. So now I have it all across my back, neck, and shoulders. Why do you think they have reduced the prescription ? Maybe so they can get rich on the co-pay each visit?

      • Mike
      • January 2, 2016
      Reply

      Also, not sure if TV is contagious, but I remember as a kid, my dad had severe case of TV.

      • Tony
      • January 4, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Mike. Thanks for contacting me.

      Do you know the active ingredients of the different sets of pills?

      One explanation might be that anti-fungal pills are known to damage internal organs. A reduction from 10 days to a 4 days coarse could be “medical-regulator’s” attempt to minimize collateral damage.

        • Mike
        • January 24, 2016
        Reply

        Hi Tony,….fluconazone
        A recent visit to a new Doctor and a 10 pill scrip of fluconazone. After 5th day I already see an amazing decrease in the spots and large areas. My Doc told me that a 10 pill scrip would be fine if we see positive results, but if we don’t see positive results we may need to take a different route. I am seeing amazing results with my severe case of TV. I’m hoping some of your concerned readers may take something positive from this info.

          • Tony
          • January 25, 2016
          Reply

          Hi Mike. Thanks for your comment.

          It is good that you have positive results. My concern besides the possible damage to the liver, is the long-term effectiveness of the treatment.

          I don’t mean to be a “wet blanket”…only, keep be aware of the relentless nature of Tinea Versicolor. As a safe guard, have a plan in place to maintain your healthy looking skin with regular topical methods.

            • Karli Medley
            • March 10, 2016

            My father has it. I have it, and my two brothers have it. I believe it’s hereditary. My fiancee has lived in the same house with me and has slept with me nude for two years and he doesn’t have it. Only me. It spreads like a wildflower, and I don’t know what I’ve done differently to make it spread. Help.?!?

            • Tony
            • April 27, 2016

            Hi Karli. Thanks for contacting me.

            Being predisposed to Tinea Versicolor may include hereditary tendencies. Medically, the jury is still out on this point!
            Anyway, your testimony certainly supports the NOT contagious camp.

            What treatment are you employing for your skin?

    • Doreen
    • December 5, 2015
    Reply

    Hi Tony. I wish someone had given me reasons why it isn’t contagious a long time ago! I had it as a teenager. Due to depression and some emotional issues I began thinking that I was spreading TV to everyone around me. I became very obsessive-compulsive and began washing everything around me because I thought I was spreading it to everyone. Doctors should be careful about spreading misinformation. I still get TV occasionally. The OCD has gotten better over the years, but sometimes still can’t get the thought out of my mind that I’m spreading it when I slack off keeping my clothes and house spotless. Thanks for your input.

      • Tony
      • December 7, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Doreen. Thanks for contacting me with your experience.

      I’m sure people will identify with you.

    • Lanina
    • November 29, 2015
    Reply

    I’ve been dealing with this issue since I was five years old, 30 years now. My husband or my five kids don’t have it. I do have family members that live on the East coast and I live on the West, and they deal with the same issue, along with other skin conditions like eczema. My husband has it, I have it and our kids do too, not severe thank God. For my experience I think it’s hereditary and not contagious. It only really bothers me if it’s on my face. This summer was the worse on my back and shoulders. I’ve just learned to live with it by the time I was 24.

      • Tony
      • November 29, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Lanina. Thanks for sharing with us.

      Hopefully our stories help someone.

    • Lanina
    • November 29, 2015
    Reply

    I ‘ve been dealing with this issue since I was five. As far as being contagious, I don’t think so or my husband and kids would have it as well. I on the other hand, have family members that have it. They live on the East coast and I am on the West. I’m definitely not around them.

    • Suzanne
    • October 6, 2015
    Reply

    Hi,
    My personal theory on the subject. Is that you can not develop this disease /condition whatever you want to call it. Without having an imbalance of yeast /fungus inside your body. As an imbalance inside the body is in direct link to dietary habits.

    Too much sugar/grain in the diet. In combination with antibiotic use. No probiotic or replenishment of good bacteria to keep things in balance. Families tend to have the same dietary habits/eat the same foods etc. Same when you move in with a boyfriend and so on. You tend to eat together.

    I started having issues with Tinea Versicolor (TV) well over 20 yrs ago. Along with tons of other issues. Being miserable and receiving no help from drs. I went on an elimination diet. I found no sugar/grain made me feel better. After 8/9 mos I felt amazing! Crazy thing I noticed my skin cleared up 90% as well. Moved in with boyfriend. After one yr of relaxing on what I ate, things went to hell in a hand basket. Systemic fungal infection, along with ringworm, nail fungus and TV in full force, and over whole body instead of just chest back and shoulders.

      • Tony
      • October 16, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Suzanne. Thanks for your comment.

    • Nancy
    • July 21, 2015
    Reply

    Hi Tony.
    I have a cat that developed ringworm after going for surgery. I first saw 2 flay round red circles on my inside forearm. When we visited the vet she saw my arm and said yes you have ringworm. However, mine never became raised but multiplied all over my body with lines running everywhere.

    I have taken terbinafin for a month which I read isn’t indicated for TV. Then diflucan. Treating my body with anti-fungals, vinegar, baking soda, coconut oil, diaper rash ointment, all the dandruff shampoos ETC…Why if exposed to microsporum canis did I get Mallessezia Furfur?

    I read everything I can to help. I do believe there is some contagious element involved. If it is not contagious why so much cleaning and changing linens EVERY day? I’m exhausted. I CANNOT LIVE THIS WAY. Never have I been so depressed.

    I’m uninsured and waiting on disability. I have been to the clinic 3 times now for different meds. I honestly think (no offense) that most docs take it lightly and keep you coming in. This is not just a little thing. I dread every day. Itch like crazy and more importantly the only companions I have are my 2 kitties that NEVER GO OUTSIDE, and I have to keep them away from me. The cat that got ringworm isn’t mine and hasn’t been in my home.

    Aside from crazy lines and circles all over, I have red bumps under my breast really bad. I get little red bumps in other places too and it ends up being the center of the circles. This cant be lived with. I’ve read that it eats lipids so I stay away from any lotions that have the wrong ingredients. I’m losing hair. Get the red bumps in my head too. Seriously, I cant live with this.

      • Tony
      • July 29, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Nancy. Thanks for contacting me.

      I truly sympathize with the discomfort you are experiencing. I can only reply with a question, “Have you consulted a reputable Dermatologist?” (You mentioned you have visited a “clinic”.)

      Given the severity of the symptoms you describe, only a professional can make an accurate diagnosis of your skin condition and determine the appropriate treatment.

    • Mel
    • June 25, 2015
    Reply

    Tinea versicolour is contagious! My whole life I had perfect skin until I turned ten. My brother caught tinea versicolor and gave it to me. It is contagious by far!

      • Tony
      • June 29, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Mel. Thanks for your comment.
      Clinical science describes Tinea Versicolor as a condition where one particular type of body fungus gains the ability to multiply and overcome any effort by a number of other [body] organisms that would normally keep it regulated. So (they say) if you were not pre-disposed to this condition, you own body would eliminate the increasing production.
      I know “what they say” and what we feel can be very different.

    • Mel
    • June 23, 2015
    Reply

    All this is bull! I’m sick of my tinea versicolor. I’ve had it for over 4 years and used these types of anti dandruff treatments everyday. I’m over it, they don’t work. All the doctors lie about “not knowing what causes tinea versicolor” when they do. They just don’t want us to know because then we will have to buy their anti dandruff/fungal products and they make money. I am honestly at the point where I am just gonna hang myself. No matter what I do or what I try, it doesn’t go away. Why don’t normal people get it huh? And they don’t do these treatments or do stupid diets that don’t work. Truth is tinea versicolor will never be cured. We may as well just all kill ourselves rather than wasting our whole life trying to treat an annoying skin condition that screws up our lives. I’m at the point where I’m just going to rip all my skin off my body. And don’t say there are always treatments? Treatments only mask the problem and don’t fix it. What is actually causing the tinea? Tinea is being caused by something happening on the inside of our bodies. Applying stupid solutions on the effected skin isn’t curing it. It is just getting rid of the symptoms and the tinea versicolor will be back before you know it. I want to know what inside of us is CAUSING the tinea versicolor? Normal people don’t do these stupid treatments yet their skin is perfect. You “Tony” probably haven’t had tinea versicolor at all. You’re probably just some scum bag doctor sitting behind a computer screen lying to us all. Health=no money. Disease=money. That’s how it is. The more health problems we have, the more money scum bag doctors and chemists make. If everyone was healthy and had no skin conditions, the chemist, doctors and hospitals would run out of business. It’s all a game you see. They want us to take the medications that temporarily gets rid of tinea versicolor because they know it will return and when it does, we will have to buy more and more of the medication. Scum bags I tell you. Everyone with tinea versicolor don’t listen to what the websites and doctors tell you, try to figure out whats causing the tinea versicolor on the inside.

      • Tony
      • June 24, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Mel. Thanks for contacting me.

      You are certainly right about Tinea Versicolor being caused by something on the inside of us, and soaps and creams only a superficial solution to the symptoms. But for me personally, soaps and creams make this condition bearable.

        • Jazzzie by Nature
        • June 23, 2017
        Reply

        I really respect how you handled that comment, Tony.
        Kudos to you.
        I will take this into consideration when responding to comments on my blog.

      • Steve
      • October 15, 2017
      Reply

      Mel I agree with you 100% about the game doctors play. I have TV as well and no matter what I do from all the things you can apply to even eating healthy, it never goes away.

    • John
    • February 20, 2015
    Reply

    My partner developed symptoms after living together and sharing a bed for a year. I got it from my brother when we shared a room together. TV is contagious I believe when sharing close quarters. I was just to my skin doctor who essentially dismissed the possibility, after all they have all the medical books. But science is about observing the world around you too and there are A LOT of people who are observing TV being contagious.

      • Tony
      • February 24, 2015
      Reply

      Hi John. Thanks for contacting me.

      I have to agree…on all accounts.
      Many people report Tinea Versicolor symptoms only after a close-contact scenario with an infected individual. And, modern medicine seems determined not to do anything new in this field.

      My advice is find what works best for you, and stay with it.

      • Sara
      • August 18, 2015
      Reply

      TV is contagious. I lived with an ex boyfriend who had it. When I lived with him I got it too. I had it for a couple years after I moved out with it going away more and more every year. It’s been gone completely for about 5 years now. There is definitely something about being close to someone else that has it that makes it come out on your own skin. I used dandruff shampoo and it went away really easy.

        • Tony
        • August 20, 2015
        Reply

        Hi Sara. Thanks for letting us know your experience.

        I get many comments supporting what you say. Hopefully the medical research community is listening.

    • Kristina
    • January 21, 2015
    Reply

    I find it very frustrating that scientist continue to dismiss the possibility that TV is contagious. I have lived in the “ideal climate” my whole life (coast of Texas) without ever showing any symptoms. It wasn’t until a few months of “close contact” with someone who had out of control TV that I started to show symptoms. Nothing else in my life changed. I wasn’t going through any hormonal changes. I exfoliate religiously. So I definitely think more research needs to be done. Because it is most definitely contagious.

      • Tony
      • January 24, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Kristina. Thank you for your comment.

      I hear from many people whom claim similar circumstances to you, and I truly sympathize.
      All I can say is I agree more conclusive research needs to be done.

      Dealing with an embarrassing skin condition that makes you feel socially uncomfortable is bad enough…we really don’t need the nebulous information from the medical community.

    • Leo
    • November 15, 2014
    Reply

    This is honestly the first time I hear that TV is caused by immunological imbalance – I have used creams and shampoos – I’m at my wits’ end with this. Others in my family have it and they don’t seem to care or maybe they are not as affected by it than I am. But it seems to be growing! It doesn’t matter what season it is – how dry it is (because I keep reading that it has to do with humidity) – I’m simply covered by these dark spots. Anyway, this is the first site I hear about a link to hormones! Now I have to read more. Anyway. I don’t know what to do. I have tried every cream and it goes away for a week (two if I’m vigilant), but that’s it. What makes it go away for a longer time? Does it ever go away? Dermatologist is an idiot. He keeps prescribing creams that do not work.

      • Tony
      • November 16, 2014
      Reply

      Hi Leo. Thanks for contacting me.

      The only effective treatment for Tinea Versicolor is one which addresses the recurring nature of this skin condition. This means that treatment continues much longer than 1 or 2 weeks…most likely years.
      I am very pleased with the results I obtain from the treatment routine I described on this website.

    • Rachel
    • October 29, 2014
    Reply

    Hi Tony,
    My brother, myself, and my mother have TV. I got it (first) during my first pregnancy living in very hot Texas. My younger brother and my mom both live in Colorado and did not get it from each other, because my mom was scared of it and refused to touch it. (lol.) I would think it may have more of a hereditary link, but no…I do not feel it is contagious.

      • Tony
      • October 30, 2014
      Reply

      Hi Rachel. Thanks for contacting me.

      The number 1 complaint from people afflicted with Tinea Versicolor is the emotional aspect of feeling unattractive and even repulsive due to their patchy discolored skin which is classically-symptomatic of this condition.

      Good news is that we can treat ourselves easily, and not have to live feeling that way.

    • James yang
    • July 25, 2014
    Reply

    I agree with Janince…I noticed my older brother with TV to begin with. As teens my mother told me not to share clothes with him…..but I did any way. Approximately 6 months or so on down the road my mother started to notice the same spots on my neck…it was the first signs of TV for me. I agree a lot more study needs to be done. In Asian cultures it is considered to be contagious.

    Just like in the 1980’s baby formula was supposed to be better than breast milk…now its found to not be true. And how babies were supposed to be sleeping on their stomachs. Also now considered to be very dangerous. More studies need to be done. There’s a pretty good chance the truth could be told.

      • Tony
      • July 27, 2014
      Reply

      Hi James. Thanks for your comments.

      I pray the medical community hears us.

    • Sharon
    • August 25, 2013
    Reply

    Hi Tony,

    I am wondering if due to the fact that if, for example, family members can share some of the same traits like similar hormonal or immunological imbalances, couldn’t that mean that tinea versicolor can be considered to be contagious among certain groups of predisposed people related or not? I’m no doctor, but it makes sense to me.

    I’ve been dealing with TV for years, but have kept it under control by exfoliating regularly. My sister who also has it, moved in next door to me and has borrowed my clothes and started spending a lot of time at my house. Once she stayed the night and the next morning I changed the sheets on her bed. That’s when I noticed changes coming on. Now here I am suddenly dealing with it again for the first time in three and a half to four years. By the way, I’ve tried numerous times to convince her to use a wash cloth instead of a loofa or brush. My belief is that it could spread the TV and she’ll never get rid of it. So far my technique has worked far better and longer than hers.

      • Tony
      • August 27, 2013
      Reply

      Hi Sharon. Thanks for your comment.

      I posed your question about “contagious and predisposition for Tinea Versicolor” to a doctor-friend…he replied, “Contagious or infectious literally means communicable by contact. Tinea Versicolor is not.
      Being predisposed is a constitutional tendency to a particular disease or infection. And additionally, there is no scientific evidence of Tinea Versicolor being hereditary.”

      With the introduction of your sister into your environment, you might consider the transmission of “fungus-fuels” through shared items that come in contact with your skin. I would suggest sanitizing your laundry and your sister’s included, and a pro-active routine of anti-fungal body wash.

    • Janince
    • June 11, 2013
    Reply

    I disagree with the above statement and the reason why is because I’ve been living with this issue for over several years now.
    My eldest cousin had it first, then my brother got it and then my other cousin got it which I was living with at the time and that’s how I ended up with it… My Boyfriend did not have it until he started spending the night at my house.
    So I truly believe that more research needs to be done. Because there is a strong possibility that it is contagious. Myself and family are proof… And I’ve also seen on forums that there are others having the same issue.

      • Tony
      • June 11, 2013
      Reply

      Hi Janince. Thanks for contacting me.

      Wow, that’s some history. I am going to start by agreeing with you that more research needs to be done…absolutely so!

      But I’m simply quoting all references available, Tinea Versicolor is not considered to be contagious.
      Consider this, how many people whom you live with (or even people you come into contact with,) have not developed any symptoms? In my household, I am the only case.

      • kelly
      • December 5, 2014
      Reply

      I believe it is contagious. I have always had great skin until I got together with my husband. He’s had it for some time, and now suddenly I do. I’ve heard a couple of times that it is not contagious however, IT IS. It’s most likely prolonged exposure as I didn’t start getting spots until about a year after sleeping in the same bed with him.

        • Tony
        • December 7, 2014
        Reply

        Hi Kelly. Thanks for contacting me.

        Medical research insists that Tinea Versicolor is not contagious. I sincerely understand how you feel, but I wonder if some other coincidental event concerning your hormone or immune systems has triggered the onset for you?

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