Will Tinea Versicolor Scar My Skin?

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Resolving Discolored Skin Patches.
By Stewart Catz, Contributing Writer.

Tinea Versicolor Tattoo

Forever Tattoo

Tammy in Wisconsin writes,”…I feel like I have some freakish tattoo on my skin! I feel literally branded and I’m worried I’m scarred for life!”

This must be a normal reaction, because regularly here at Tinea-Versicolor.net, people ask if the discoloration of skin is permanent, and whether they will ever look normal again?

The answer to the question is quite obvious once you understand what is actually causing your discolored skin…let’s get into it.

Everybody has fungus on their skin!

It’s pretty gruesome, but true…that normal healthy skin supports a whole ecosystem of micro-organisms living on its surface. Yeast, bacteria and fungus all co-exist and work with your body to keep a natural balance on each population.

Malassezia is the name of one of the fungi. When everything with the human body is working normally, this fungus goes about its existance without any special notice.

Everything was fine until I got TV!

It’s unsure exactly where the real blame lies, but some people have or develop an inbalance with their hormone or immune systems. And when external conditions are favorable such as higher levels of humidity and body oils, the Malassezia fungus on their skin begins to multiply at a rate that overcomes the body’s natural control of the micro-organisms on its surface.

This is the condition known as Tinea Versicolor (TV).

Understanding what makes our skin color.

Regardless of origin, all people’s skin color is made by a pigment in our skin called Melanin. When we tan, the sun’s rays simply influence more Melanin production in our skin.

Malassezia (the fungus responsible for Tinea Versicolor,) as it thrives produces an acid that inhibits the production of Melanin in the skin cells it comes into contact with, effectively shutting down the pigment in that area of the skin.

So what you see on your body as discoloration, is simply the contrasting areas of skin where the pigment production has been compromised and neighboring areas of skin that are normal.

This is why your patches and spots become more noticeable during summer when you tan!

Take back control and restore your skin!

Finally the answer to the question, “Is the discolored skin associated with Tinea Versicolor permanent?” should be clear.

In the process causing the condition of TV, NO skin cells are killed or damaged.

So once you begin to control the over-abundant fungus responsible, your skin will again produce the pigment to naturally restore the discoloration and normal appearance of your skin.

NO permanent damage, and NO scars or visible evidence will remain.

Keep this in mind.

Your aim to treat Tinea Versicolor and keep your skin looking healthy, should be to assist your body in maintaining a natural balance of skin surface conditions. Adopt a long term offensive against the over-active fungus and you will achieve visible results.

To learn a detailed approach to successfully combat TV, see the treatment page of our website.

30 Responses to “Will Tinea Versicolor Scar My Skin?”

  1. johnny says:

    I’ve had tinea versicolor for as long as I can remember. I never knew what it was. Recently I got around to treating it. My tinea versicolor is gone but there are still light spots where the infection use to be. I feel like a freak of nature and I’m very uncomfortable with my arms. How do i get rid of these light spots?

    • Tony says:

      Hi Johnny. Thanks for contacting me.

      When you have Tinea Versicolor(TV,) controlled, you will be able tan naturally to restore your skin complexion. Be sure to keep up the good work, as TV is relentless and very prone to re-occur.
      See also my article on vitamins that treat TV.

  2. Fadhly says:

    Hi, I have brown skin, and am having this hypo-pigmentation area over the trunk and stomach area, definitely Tinea Versicolor. I’ve been treated with ketonazole, the spot currently no longer scaly, but not sure the fungus has gone or not, the discoloration been there for almost a year, but no active symptoms like itchiness. Help me to get rid the spot…thanks.

    • Tony says:

      Hi Fadhly. Thanks for contacting me.

      Reading between the lines, it sounds like you’ve seen a dermatologist…good!

      Restoration of your natural skin tone tone takes time, and only when you have the natural balance of fungus maintained on your skin. So my suggestion is to implement and follow the maintenance routine as set out in my treatment article.

      Additionally, try my suggestions for promoting the melanin in your skin.

  3. Amy says:


    So my doctor gave me Ketoconazole shampoo which I have been using. My concern is I am getting married in August and I only started treating it in April. I thought it was just dry skin so I was putting more lotion on it and it just kept spreading all over my arms. So I’m treating it now, and I will get the vitamins, but is there anything else I should do? Leave the shampoo on longer than 10 minutes? Exfoliate the skin? I want to be tanned for my wedding but I don’t want the spots to stand out even more. I read somewhere apple cider vinegar? I will take all the help I can get. Thank you.

  4. Becky says:

    Hi. I recently went to the doctors about a week and a half ago as I developed a rash over my body. The rash is a spotty rash and it is itchy. It is red although it sometimes appears like a white color, almost a bit like blistery. It is on my neck, stomach, thigh and arms. I used to go to sunbeds although I stopped I am quite tanned. The doctor prescribed me with ketopine 2 percent shampoo to apply once daily. My spots aren’t that bumpy anymore but they seem to have gone really white compared to my body, almost like they have scarred. Now all over my stomach it looks like I have loads of white spots but they are really noticeable and still slightly bumpy… Do you think it’s actually TV? I don’t want to be applying ketopine if it isn’t doing any good. Thank you. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Tony says:

      Hi Becky, and thanks for contacting me.

      Your comment was directed to my Spam folder and I have only now discovered it.

      Tinea Versicolor does not change color during treatment as you’ve described. I would suggest you see a qualified dermatologist for a diagnosis of your skin condition who will observe a simple skin scraping under a microscope, and utilizing a Wood’s lamp to determine the extent of infection over your body.

      Ketopine is a generic brand containing Ketoconazol, a broad anti-fungal agent used in many topical skin treatments. You should discuss your concerns with the dermatologist.

  5. Steve says:

    Hi Tony, I don’t know if you still answer questions here but thought I should give it a shot… I got TV about 3 weeks ago, got diagnosed and started medicating about a week ago (ketoconazole 400 mg/day) I think its gone now cause its no longer scaly. The discoloration (hypo-pigmentation) is what bothers me… I wouldn’t have minded but its really conspicuous on my neck region (my girlfriend hates it!) Please, what’s the fastest way to get skin pigmentation back to normal. Will tanning help? I have to go to school so people are going to see whether I like it or not. Any answers would be greatly appreciated.

    • Tony says:

      Hi Steve. Thanks for contacting me.

      Tanning helps only once you have the melanin levels restored in your skin…otherwise your darkened skin will further exaggerate the hypo-pigmentation.

      I have had good feedback from people who have taken vitamins to boost their melanin production as I set out in a post titled Vitamins that treat Tinea Versicolor.

      Most important is that you understand the recurring nature of Tinea Versicolor, and you adopt a routine to treat your skin even if you think it has gone.

      • Cindy says:

        Hi Tony,

        I have recently been tanning, both on a bed and outside. Recently, my skin has been itching and definitely has tinea versicolor.

        Will my skin go back to its normal color if I follow the steps in the treatment?

        Thank you

        • Tony says:

          Hi Cindy. Thanks for contacting me.

          I have absolute conviction you will dramatically improve your chances of a favorable outcome in controlling Tinea Versicolor by following a regimen as in the treatment page.

  6. Jayne says:

    Hello. I have had these red blotches for a few weeks. First started as little patch on top of thigh, then spread.
    On arms, legs, feet and little on the back. These blotches are almost perfect biggish circle. A Doctor said eczema. I went back to see another Doctor and said TV. I am really scared as some websites say there is a serious underlying problem and shampoos and creams will not work so I’m really confused..
    I also suffer with a B12 deficiency and have regular blood tests and injection if required. But on a lighter note, since using shampoo Ketopine 2% for 3 days it does not look as angry.
    So my real question is, can these blotches also be slightly raised like a swell or completely flat, and is it life threatening?
    Please help me to understand and not be scared …
    Thanks for any advice.

    • Tony says:

      Hi Jayne. Thanks for contacting me.

      With so many facets to your condition, you really should consult a dermatologist.

      Common symptoms of Tinea Versicolor do not include raised circular red swells, and the infection is definitely not life threatening.
      The Ketopine shampoo you used contains ketoconazole. This is an effective treatment for a number of fungus and yeast infections which explains why your skin may have appeared better.

  7. Joseph says:

    I was 14 when I first got Tinea Versicolor about 2 years ago on my stomach and back. This is when it was the worst; itchy nights and they went scaly now and again so I got treatment. My doctor prescribed Ketoconazole 2% to apply all over my body once a week and Betamethasone o.1% to apply on affected areas every night. It cleared up pretty quickly and within about 2 months it was gone, but I still had 3 or 4 scars on my back that kind of looked like bruises but wouldn’t go away. I continued to with my prescription until it ran out which was about 1 month after it had gone. All was fine except for those few scars on my back but 6 months later it came back again. I decided to not use Ketoconazole because it was a nuisance applying all over my body but just applied the beta cream on it and it went away the following day. My problem is my scars will they go away? I have 1 on my torso which is bright like its been scarred and then I have scars on my back that look like small bruises (1 shade darker than my skin), and when I got it the second round I got 1 minor scar on my leg. Compared to others cases of Tinea Versicolor it’s not much of a big deal but it really pisses me off. I have a toned and tan body but I don’t want to show my legs or torso because of the marks. Right now, I haven’t really been doing anything to get rid of the marks just applying beta cream every-time Tinea Versicolor comes up, no proper regime. Should I start using Ketoconazole again, will it make the marks go away?

    • Tony says:

      Hi Joseph. Thanks for contacting me.

      I’m concerned about what you call “bruises”. I can only advise you to see a doctor.

      But let me assure you, Tinea Versicolor does no permanent damage to the skin. It’s symptoms are completely manageable and reversible. And at your young age, it is most likely to be with you for many years.

      Unfortunately, there is no cure…no magic-bullet that can knock it out. So I would encourage you to find a solution to treat your skin other than with drugs that have inherent side-effects. I personally prefer natural remedies. And I personally follow a routine that successfully maintains my skin looking and feeling healthy. You can see my routine on treating Tinea Versicolor here.

  8. Wafa says:


    I discovered I have Tinea Versicolor recently, and I am shocked that it is all over my body (while I never noticed,) on my chest, back, hands and foot. I went crazy because I never knew it was there and the spots on my back (down) thought its just something that will go away. My skin color prevented me from noticing it and now I just want it to go away soon. I use Ketoconazole 2% shampoo for the second day now and I wonder if I should apply an anti-fungal cream too? I also want to know if using a lotion on effected areas will delay or effect treatment. The shampoo leaves my skin very dry and a bit itchy when previously it was not at all!

    • Tony says:

      Hi Wafa. Thanks for contacting me.

      Ketoconazole is an anti-fungal [synthetic.] So additionally using a cream is unnecessary.

      In the past, I used Ketoconazole also but I could not tolerate standing in the shower for 15 minutes, and the associated dryness and itching. There are more gentle and effective products available which I use today.

      As for “lotion”…check the ingredients for fungus promoting substances like certain essential oils.

  9. Hamza says:

    Hi…I have TV since December 2012… it started from a very little patch in my left hand… and now it is spread to the whole back of both hands and also 50% of the face…it is summer season and my real skin tone is brownish and that is getting more tan in sunlight.. I am worried that my TV seems to get worse…everybody can notice white patches on my skin now…I am using shampoo and multivitamins… also did 10 days oral intake of terbinafine month ago…and fluconazole week ago…
    Guide me about when will my skin get evenly toned again. What will help it in this recovery…tips???
    I am treating TV with the help of a doctor about 2 and half months ago…also tell me about my treatment quality…

    • Tony says:

      Hi Hamza. Thanks for contacting me.

      I would suggest you get the opinion of another Doctor…(a Dermatologist,) if you are dissatisfied with the events and results of your present professional.

      Also, read my reply-post to Shelby (dated also today,) for affirmative actions you can take immediately against TV.

      • Hamza says:

        Thanks Tony….pale white patches on my hands are turning to the original color near the roots of the hairs on the back of my hand…is it normal? Am I recovering?

        I have been using all those vitamins about 28 days now…also advise me whether I should continue taking them or should I take a break afterwards…Thanks…

        • Tony says:

          Hi Hamza.

          It sounds like you are having success. Congratulations.

          Given the reoccurring nature of Tinea Versicolor I would suggest continuing the vitamins and your treatment. You should notify your doctor and obtain his opinion.

  10. Shelby says:

    Hello! I got tinea versicolor in April of 2011 after I started using a greasy cocoa butter ointment on my stretch marks. My dermatologist recommended that I use Selsun Blue shampoo and use twice daily for 1-2 weeks or until the blotches disappeared. (Rash only occurred on my stomach thankfully!)
    The spots did disappear after about 2 weeks of treatment but since the condition is chronic, I continued to lather up my stomach once or twice a month to keep it from coming back. From July of 2011 until June of 2013, I had no problems with the condition. No itching, flaking, redness, raised skin, nothing!
    The skin on my stomach is very pale. Always covered up with clothing and not exposed to sun like other areas of my body. Honestly until a couple days ago I had completely forgotten about my tinea versicolor because it never caused any problems for me. I’ve never been in a tanning bed or anything like that to make it obvious.
    I used some tanning lotion on my skin 3 days ago which I feel was a BIG mistake. How could I be so stupid? I have read over and over that the spots do not tan…. but there were no spots so I went ahead and put on some instant tanning lotion. I had no idea my skin was still doing this to me!
    I know that the infection is not there because I have treated it and taken all precautionary measures to keep it from coming back like I am supposed to. My guess is that the spots I am seeing (the ones that did not tan) are the areas that were infected previously that never regained pigment.
    Since I am usually pale, I am assuming that these areas just blend in with my pale skin tone so I don’t realize they are there. I would like to know if this is possible and if so, how can I get my skin to return to normal? I feel like this is permanent! I don’t know what to do all I want is an even complexion. I would like to tan and have an even skin tone but I am scared to death to do it, let alone apply any kind of lotion to my skin.(any kind of lotion application leaves my skin red and blotchy and suspiciously looks like it will develop into tinea versicolor but I shampoo right away and skin returns to normal.) Any tips on how I can get pigment back to these spots? I have considered trying a new diet to balance out the yeast in my system but I don’t know where to start. Since my last breakout I’ve tossed the cocoa butter, tanning lotion, everything into the trash and have been exfoliating my skin. Also in a last ditch attempt to lift the fake tan off my skin, I found myself lathering baking soda and lemon juice on my skin to buff out the tan and reveal healthy skin cells below. Please help and thanks for reading!

    • Tony says:

      Hi Shelby…and thanks for contacting me with such a detailed report.

      Let me assure you the discoloration of your skin is not permanent. Pigment producing cells are dramatically inhibited by secretions from the rampant fungus on your body. And once the hyper-production of fungus is stemmed, the original level of pigment will be restored and your natural color renewed.

      I have heard good reports from people who take vitamins A, B12, C and E to assist their body recover natural levels of pigment. I would suggest you consider undertaking the same steps, along with a continued anti-fungal body wash regimen. See my post Vitamins That Treat Tinea Versicolor.

      I’m glad you are thinking of limiting your diet of fungus promoting foods…have you also considered sanitizing your laundry? All these things combined would give you the most powerful arsenal against Tinea Versicolor.

  11. Amber says:

    I Also currently have tv. And my question is when it starts to like scab over … does that mean that the treatment the doctor gave me is working and its going away? And also how long does it take for the color to go back to normal?

    • Tony says:

      Hi Amber…thanks for contacting me.

      I’m unsure what you mean by “scab over”…and concerned! I think it best to ask this question to your doctor.

      As for your natural color returning once you have the fungus under control, there are vitamins such as A, B12, C and E that will target melanin production in your skin and speed up the process. See my blog post Vitamins That Treat Tinea Versicolor.

  12. Alex says:

    I have tinea and have for a while. I use dandruff shampoo sometimes. I got a large area that was up near
    my shoulder around my armpit and the skin has exfoliated. It was really deep, A lot of thick skin dots fell off.
    However, it has left what looks to be scars. I know
    what “versicolor” means, It has left an area that is darker not lighter on my skin. My question, so you don’t get confused is: If left untreated, will tinea versicolor permeate the skin to a depth that will leave scaring after it is treated? more than the versicolor trait of the fungus, which can be darker or lighter, which will “tan/exfoliate” back to normal…? Please establish that a versicolor spot is NOT A SCAR, because it can “tan/exfoliate”. I am asking about a 3year old colony on my shoulder that went deep into my skin, Lets not misuse the word scar, do I have a scar? If tinea eats through your skin what does it look like after it heals, “I assume that there will be versicolor, but will there be a scar? Thanks in advance for any advice!

    • Tony says:

      Hi Alex…and thanks for contacting me.

      The answer is absolutely NO. Tinea Versicolor will not scar your skin in any way as it does not harm skin cells…it simply shuts down pigment producing melanin which comes into contact with the fungus. And since melanin is constantly being produced by your body, your natural skin appearance will be restored once you get the fungus under control.

      • rohit says:

        I first had tinea versicolor 2 yrs ago. I didn’t know what it was, so I didn’t treat it. But surprisingly it healed without any treatment. I repeat, without any treatment. But a few months ago it reoccurred on my stomach portion. I visited to my doctor and she said it was tv. She prescribed for me kezole tablets, selenium sulfide shampoo and crematozole cream but it seems not to be working. What can I do?

        • Tony says:

          Hi Rohit. Thanks for contacting me.

          I think you have 2 options here:

          1. Re-visit your doctor and discuss the situation further with her.

          2. Start a very disciplined regimen similar to which I detail on the treatment page, and keep an accurate journal of any action you take and results observed.

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