Tinea versicolor home treatment: Tinea Versicolor Treatment, Causes, Pictures, Remedies & Symptoms

Tinea Versicolor: Causes, Treatment & Natural Remedies

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Summers can be brutal, especially the heat and humidity it brings along. If you are one of those people who live by the beautiful and calming seas, humidity is your well-known enemy. Even though we spend most of our time under the air conditioner, we often find ourselves drenched in sweat; multiple times a day. The one thing this outrageous season brings along is the various skin infections. One such skin infection is most commonly found in the Tinea versicolor.

What is Tinea versicolor Infection?
Natural Remedies

What is Tinea versicolor Infection?

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Tinea versicolor is a common fungal infection that affects the skin. The fungus disrupts the skin’s pigmentation which results in small, discolored patches. The fungus called Malassezia is a type of yeast that is found on the surface of the skin. Malassezia helps in protecting your skin from infections and harmful diseases.

They have a symbiotic relationship with the skin cells and support them. There are times when the yeast growth can go out of control and cause damage to your skin’s color and its pigmentation. This can cause the development of patches that can be lighter or darker than your natural skin color.

The patches are mostly found on the trunk, back and arms of a person affected by tinea versicolor. It occurs mostly in teens and young adults and can be more visible under sun exposure. Though this infection is not contagious or painful, it can suppress your immune system and cause emotional distress.


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  • Hot And Humid Weather
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Oily Skin
  • Weak Immune System
  • Hormonal Changes

Pro Tip: If you live in a city with hot and humid weather and tend to sweat a lot, try making sure to keep yourself as dry as you can. During summers, try using talcum powder to keep your skin sweat-free and dry.


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During summer, heat and humidity levels are on the utmost rise, especially in tropical areas. This causes the fungi to grow more rapidly which then affects the natural balance of the skin, causing discolored patches. Here are some often found symptoms that one must look out for.

  • The discolored patches can cause acidic bleaching around the yeast growing areas which can make the spots look red, white, pink, darker or lighter than your natural skin.
  • If the spots do not tan the same way the rest of your skin does and shows up more boldly.
  • If the spots are more prominent on your neck, back, chest and arms.
  • The patches feel dry and might itch or hurt.

Pro Tip: If you find any of the above symptoms and feel like you’re not sure if it’s a fungal infection, try taking pictures of the affected area for a few days. If you feel like any of these symptoms have gotten worse, immediately show it to your doctor. The progress images of your infection will help the doctor understand and treat it better.


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If you have noticed any of the above symptoms, it is important to show them to your doctor. Three commonly done tests to diagnose Tinea versicolor which is done by the doctor. Here are the three tests that can be done to get an official diagnosis.

  • Black Light Examination: For this testing method, ultraviolet light is used on the affected areas. If the affected areas or patches appear a fluorescent coppery orange color, then it is diagnosed as tinea versicolor.
  • Microscopic Testing With Potassium Hydroxide: In this testing method, the medical professional will remove the cells from your skin, mainly from the area of the affected part and soak them in potassium hydroxide. Once it is fully soaked, the skin cells are looked at under a microscope for further testing.
  • Skin Biopsy: Similar to microscopic testing, the skin cells from the affected area are scraped out and tested under a microscope. For younger children, the method of scraping the affected skin area can also be done with the help of a tape. The tape is stuck in the discolored skin patch and then removed. The sample then goes under microscopic observation. Skin Biopsy also checks for any signs of skin cancer and as well as other possible infections.

Pro Tip:For younger children, the method of scraping the affected skin area can also be done by sticking a tape on the discolored patch and then removing it.


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It is preferred to get treatment from a certified medical professional. The treatment can include ointments, lotions, shampoos as well as medicinal pills. The treatment will vary from the size of the affected area as well as the severity. Here are a few treatment options that are often suggested by doctors.

Topical Antifungal Treatments: Topical treatments consist of ointments, creams, soap, foam or lotions which can be put directly onto your skin. These treatments help in keeping the fungal growth under control and can work greatly on reducing the patches for almost everyone with the infection. These topical treatments can be found as over-the-counter- products, which do not need a doctor’s prescription as well as medically prescribed products that cannot be sold without medical approval.

Oral Antifungal Treatments: If topical treatments are not being effective, your doctor can prescribe oral medications which can make the healing process go faster. These oral medicines are usually used for more serious and recurrent cases of tinea versicolor. These medications can only be sold with a doctor’s prescription. Oral treatments can also have a few side effects- so it’s important to consult a doctor before taking pills and be in constant contact and keep updating them while you are on your treatment cycle.

Pro Tip: Oral treatments can also have a few side effects- so it’s important to consult a doctor before taking pills and be in constant contact and keep updating them while you are on your treatment cycle.


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Though Tinea versicolor is quite common among teens and young adults, it is important to make a few lifestyle changes from stopping it from aggravating. These changes create a conscious effort in maintaining your wellbeing. Here are a few ways you can avoid getting Tinea versicolor.

  • Avoid using products that can make your skin oily. Any kind of moisture that remains on your body for a long can cause fungal infection.
  • Wear loose clothes which are preferably made out of breathable fabrics such as cotton. This helps your sweat dry faster and keeps your skin moisture-free.
  • Make sure to go out in the sunless. Sun damage can cause rash and the tan can make the affected area look more prominent.
  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a non-greasy formula every day. This can help your skin protect against any rash or infection caused by sun damage.
  • If you do have to go out and spend the day under the sun, make sure to use an antifungal shampoo or soap.

Pro Tip: Carry extra cotton t-shirts whenever you go out for day trips. Try changing into a fresh t-shirt as this will help prevent any sweat build-up.

Natural Remedies

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If you prefer to have an at-home, natural treatment, here are a few ingredients, which you can find easily at home that can help you treating for Tinea versicolor.

  • Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a plant loved by all households thanks to its multiple benefits. An ingredient that can cure almost all your concerns, Aloe Vera is greatly known for soothing irritated skin. It is rich in Vitamin B12, which is good for treating Tinea versicolor along with its anti-inflammatory and alkalizing properties which can help soothe the affected area and stop the fungus from spreading.

  • Neem

The neem plants consist of bitter leaves which works wonders in treating various skin infections. It has many antimicrobial properties which makes it an effective remedy for treating Tinea versicolor.

  • Yoghurt

Yoghurt paste can be applied to the affected area and can help in neutralizing the overbalance of yeast which is the main cause of Tinea versicolor. Yoghurt is rich in probiotics which helps in keeping the growth of fungi in check.

  • Turmeric

A kitchen remedy for all your problems, turmeric can be used in various forms. Applying turmeric paste on the affected area can help reduce irritation, itching and pigmentation for those suffering from Tinea Versicolor. Turmeric can give you instant relief from all your woes.

  • Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a great ingredient for moisturizing and calming your skin. Coconut oil is a natural anti-fungal that can kill and stop any fungal infections.

Pro Tip: Mix a teaspoon of turmeric with a half tablespoon of cold yoghurt. Mix it well and apply it to the affected area, and keep it on for up to 10-15 minutes. Then, wash it off with a warm, damp cloth. This will help soothe your irritated skin.


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Q. How long does it take for Tinea versicolor to get treated?

A. With the right medications and treatments, Tinea versicolor can be gone after 1-2 months of starting the treatments. You should get a medical professional to look at as soon as you first spot the symptoms. Do remember that the healing process might vary from person to person. It is important to listen to your doctor’s advice and follow all medical protocols.

Q. Can Tinea versicolor leave a permanent impact on the skin?

A. No, Tinea versicolor does not leave any permanent pigmentation, scarring or scars. The complete healing of the scars and pigmentation might take time as every treatment works differently for everyone. Stay calm and positive and take all the medical advice seriously.

Q. Is Tinea versicolor hereditary?

A. Though there are no confirmed sources of Tinea versicolor being hereditary, there might be a slight chance of it being so. Tinea versicolor can happen even to the healthiest of individuals. It is important to maintain personal hygiene and avoid letting your skin be moist for a long period.

Also Read: Dermat-Recommended Solutions To Body Acne

Ayurvedic Remedies For Tinea Versicolor


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What is Tinea Versicolor?

Tinea Versicolor is a common non-contagious skin disorder that results in white patches on the skin. It is a yeast infection caused by Malassezia globosa fungus. This microbe dwells in the body, but owing to many circumstances like humid, temperate climate, poor hygiene etc. it tends to multiply rapidly causing irritation, itch and patchy flakes on the skin. 

Though it is not a life-threatening or painful disease, but the visibility of diseased skin can cause severe emotional distress and trauma and make one extremely self-consciousness.  

Ayurvedic Remedies for Tinea Versicolor

Though there are several medicines to treat the condition, but using effective Ayurvedic remedies is always preferred because of the low cost and safety associated with such treatment. 

Ayurveda bestows upon us the knowledge of using the gifts of nature to treat a myriad of diseases without having any side effect.

Some of the effective tools that Ayurveda prescribes to treat Tinea Versicolor are:

Aloe Vera

This high valued medicinal plant has been used since ages to treat various skin conditions. Aloevera is ladened with Vitamin B12 which is essential for treating Tinea Versicolor. Further, aloevera has the ability to alkalize the body and no disease or infection can exist in an alkaline environment. Aloevera inhibits the fungus’ ability to spread and soothes the skin with its anti-inflammatory cooling effect.


The bitter leaves of this holy plant work wondrously in treating a plethora of skin infections. Its antimicrobial properties make it a highly effective remedy for Tinea Versicolor. 


Yogurt is a sure cure for many skin troubles. Applying a paste of yogurt on the patchy skin helps to neutralize the yeast responsible for tinea versicolor. The probiotics present in plain yogurt keep the growth of fungi in check. This in turn promotes quick recovery and prevents recurrence. Yogurt is a slow but permanent cure for tinea versicolor.


The pungent smelling liquid is a popular ingredient in skin care regime. Its antifungal properties help in killing the fungi responsible for tinea versicolor. Vinegar, when used regularly for a few months, helps in eradicating the pigments and spots and returns the natural skin.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is endowed with antifungal properties which when applied on the spots or patches make them disappear whilst lending a cool soothing effect on the skin.

Turmeric Paste

Turmeric is the most popular kitchen remedy for all types of skin woes. Be it infections, bruises, inflammation or any other skin trouble turmeric is the go-to spice that guarantees instant relief.  This golden hued spice is very effective in treating tinea versicolor as it reduces the irritation, itching and the pigmentation of the skin.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a treasure for the skin that moisturizes the skin and soothes irritation, itching and burning sensations of the skin. It is an effective remedy for fungal infections, including tinea versicolor. Coconut oil is a potent natural fungicide that can kill and retard the growth of the fungi responsible for skin infections.


Revered for its medicinal benefits, garlic is a magical spice used to treat tinea versicolor. Its anti-fungal properties inhibit the growth of fungi and provide relief from itching caused by the condition.

Pityriasis versicolor – treatment, symptoms, photo

Pityriasis versicolor, also called multi-colored, is a fungal pathology that affects the upper layers of the epidermis. There is an opinion that residents of countries with a hot climate suffer from this disease much more often. But the Russians are also becoming victims of this extremely unpleasant disease. The number of infections increases markedly during the summer months. The majority of the patients are teenagers.

The main problem is related to the duration of therapy, which can last up to several months and even years. This is due to the propensity of the pathogen to numerous relapses. Despite the fact that the disease does not limit a person’s working capacity, it can cause great psychological discomfort. Therefore, if multi-colored lichen occurs, treatment should be carried out as soon as possible.

Turning to a highly qualified and experienced dermatologist will shorten the treatment period. Such a specialist can be found at the Yuzhny Medical Center. By making an appointment at any convenient time, you can undergo a diagnosis and receive competent recommendations regarding the treatment of the disease, as well as its prevention.

Pityriasis versicolor – what is it?

The disease is a superficial lesion of the skin, which is provoked by a yeast-like fungus of the genus Malassezia.

The mentioned pathogens are representatives of the typical microflora of the skin and are normally present on the skin of many people, while not causing skin pathology. But, under the influence of external or internal factors, these microorganisms pass from a non-pathogenic to a pathogenic form. As a result, the fungus penetrates into the upper layers of the skin, where it affects melanocytes. The latter are the cellular structures that are responsible for skin pigmentation.

These processes cause scaly patches to appear on the skin, which can vary in color from light pink to pinkish brown on fair skin, and depigmented (devoid of pigment) light spots on dark or tanned skin. When touched, scabs peel off, which look like flakes. It was this feature that caused the pathology to be called pityriasis versicolor. With large areas of damage, the spots merge into foci and in appearance resemble a geographical map, while different parts of the spots have different staining intensity, as a result of which this disease has received a second name – versicolor versicolor.


In addition to external defects, the disease does not have any effect on the functioning of the body as a whole and the functioning of its individual organs, and does not entail any physical restrictions. However, the unaesthetic appearance that the skin acquires due to the development of pathology can cause a decrease in self-esteem, psychological discomfort and tightness of a person. What the skin of a person suffering from pityriasis versicolor looks like can be seen in the pictures below.

Lichen versicolor species

Modern doctors talk about the existence of several forms of pathology:

  1. Achromatic – flowing without pronounced pigmentation.
  2. Hyperpigmented – the development of which leads to the appearance of dark spots on the skin of the patient.
  3. Follicular – characterized by small round spots located around the hair.

Human causes

The role of the main provocateur of the appearance and development of pathology is the reproduction of its pathogens on human skin. These are the yeast-like fungi Malassezia or Pityrosporum. The following factors can become the cause of the pathological process:

  1. Immune deficiency and disruption of the endocrine system.
  2. Acute stage of chronic inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, hearing organs, throat, etc.
  3. High activity of the sebaceous glands.
  4. Increased sweating.
  5. Hormonal failure.
  6. Extended exposure to high humidity.
  7. Influence of UV rays.
  8. Frequent application of aggressive agents or antibacterial gels to the skin that violates its protective barrier.

In addition, local or general protective forces can be weakened under the influence of other factors:

  1. Poor, unbalanced diet.
  2. Surgical interventions
  3. Severe forms of infectious diseases.

Sometimes the disease occurs during pregnancy or during the treatment of malignant neoplasms. It can also occur as a result of prolonged use of hormonal drugs. If we are talking about children, then in this case, multi-colored lichen most often occurs due to the frequent application of cosmetics that have a fatty or oil base to the skin.

It often happens that the disease affects several relatives at once. Factors that contribute to the emergence of a family form of pathology are the similar composition of sweat and skin type.

Symptoms of pityriasis versicolor

As a rule, the very first signs of the disease are single rashes that appear on the human body. Outwardly, these are rounded spots with a diameter of 2 to 10 centimeters, having a pink color and darker edges.

As the pathology progresses, individual rashes become larger in size and eventually merge with each other, forming large areas with scalloped edges. The color of the spots varies from pink-red to a darker red-brown hue. The spots begin to gradually spread to other areas of the body, capturing larger and larger areas of the skin. Sometimes the pathology affects the scalp, hips and armpits. Rare cases of spots on the face.

Over time, bran-like scales appear on the surface of the rashes, which are almost invisible outwardly. However, when scraped, they are easily separated. On the skin there are both old and newly appeared rashes.

As a rule, the disease does not cause pain and physical discomfort and is not accompanied by an inflammatory reaction of the skin. However, approximately 50% of patients experience itching and hyperhidrosis. The disease is characterized by a tendency to a chronic course.

Diagnostics in the Yuzhny center

You can identify lichen in a timely manner by contacting the Yuzhny medical center. Experienced and competent dermatovenereologists provide services here, who will conduct a competent examination, using all the necessary examination methods, in order to make an accurate diagnosis. In the vast majority of cases, the disease can be diagnosed using the Balzer iodine test. Its essence is reduced to intensive staining of infectious foci using a 2% iodine solution.

In modern medicine, Wood’s lamp is also widely used as a diagnostic tool used to detect lichen versicolor. This device emits long-wavelength ultraviolet rays. A specialist using a magnifying lens carefully examines the skin illuminated by a lamp. Unaffected areas show a light blue color when exposed to UV rays, while diseased areas differ from them in color under the lamp. It is a certain color that allows the doctor to draw a conclusion about the type of skin disease that occurs in each case.

Treatment of pityriasis versicolor

Pathology therapy involves taking antifungal drugs, which are prescribed by the attending physician based on the clinical picture and the results of the diagnosis. Medicines contribute to the destruction of pathogens and stop their reproduction on the surface of the epidermis. External agents are indicated for a small area affected by the disease. When pityriasis versicolor is detected, treatment involves the use of medicines for internal administration, if the rash has spread widely enough, and local remedies do not show effectiveness.

In the process of therapy, experts advise spending more time in the sun and sunbathing. Exposure to sunlight allows you to get rid of the coarsened fungus and help speed up the treatment. Only white spots remain on the skin, called pseudoleukoderma. They can be easily removed by exposure to UV radiation.

During treatment, it is important to change clothes and underwear frequently, as well as to boil them for at least 20 minutes. This is necessary to exclude the presence of the causative agent of the pathological process on them.

Treatment of multi-colored lichen with drugs is prescribed exclusively by a qualified doctor. Self-medication is unacceptable. In order to shorten the time to fight the disease and avoid unwanted complications, it is recommended to contact the Yuzhny clinic at the first manifestations of the disease.

Review of effective drugs

A wide variety of antifungal drugs are available today. This allows you to choose the right form, and eliminate addiction. Among the most effective drugs:

  1. Lamisil spray is easy to apply to the skin. It is prescribed for extensive lesions of the skin with rashes. Has a low risk of side effects.
  2. Clitromazol, available as an ointment or cream. Active components destroy the causative agent of the disease, suppressing the production of ergosterol in it. Possible side effects.
  3. Mycorozal is an ointment, the effect of which appears quite quickly. But it is important to complete the course of treatment to the end. Contraindications – the period of pregnancy and lactation.


As you know, the development of any disease is easier to avoid than to treat it. The same expression is relevant for pityriasis versicolor. To reduce the risk of pathology, you must adhere to the following preventive rules:

  • minimizing stress;
  • a healthy diet that can prevent hypovitaminosis;
  • timely treatment of chronic diseases of internal organs;
  • the use of clothing made from natural materials and the rejection of fabrics that provoke irritation of the skin;
  • combating hyperhidrosis by wiping the skin with a solution of water and salicylic alcohol, maintaining personal hygiene, etc.

You can prevent the development of lichen on vacation by avoiding being in direct sunlight immediately after swimming. You should wait until the skin dries up, and only then sunbathe. It is better to refuse visits to spontaneous beaches, the use of other people’s towels and other items. You should definitely take a shower after swimming in the pool or visiting the beach.

It is known that the fungus remains in dust particles, on clothes and other things for quite a long time. In order to prevent the recurrence of the disease, all items should be disinfected using chlorine. Iron linen and clothes with a hot iron.

Can children have pityriasis versicolor?

The disease affects not only adults, but also children. It occurs in a child due to the reproduction of yeast-like fungi, which are part of the microflora of the skin. This reproduction takes place under the influence of changes in the activity of the glands of the skin and the general weakness of the body resulting from:

  • prolonged use of antibacterial drugs;
  • non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene;
  • hyperhidrosis;
  • use of synthetic clothing;
  • overweight;
  • endocrine pathologies, etc.

How to treat pityriasis versicolor in a child, only the doctor decides. It is not necessary to carry out therapy on your own, so as not to worsen the patient’s condition.

Is versicolor contagious?

Pathology is slightly contagious, which means that the risk of its transmission from a sick person to a healthy one is possible only in some cases. For example, the disease can be transmitted through the use of towels, bed linen and clothing of a patient with shingles.

Pityriasis versicolor during pregnancy

During the period of bearing a child, the female body can be affected by various pathologies, including pityriasis versicolor. The main reasons are hormonal changes and decreased immunity.

In most cases, therapy of the disease during pregnancy is not carried out. Sometimes a doctor may prescribe a gentle treatment course, while all its components are selected especially carefully to prevent harm to the fetus and improve the quality of life of a pregnant woman. The treatment program is individual.

how to treat at home and how not to get infected

A whole group of skin diseases is united by the general term lichen in humans. Although the causes of all these pathologies are different, people classify them as one group. Moreover, the word “lichen” itself is used for the most part according to the established historical tradition, and does not describe the essence of the biological origin or medical features of the disease.

The disease may be fungal, viral, or non-infectious in origin, and it is often difficult to visually distinguish one condition from another. Therefore, it is impossible to try to diagnose yourself on your own, using a photo from the Internet. Mistakes can lead to the spread of the disease among family members and others, and the condition of the victim himself can deteriorate greatly.

Among the key characteristics of all lichens, several common points can be distinguished. These include the following:

  • all lichens affect the skin;
  • typical inflammatory changes in the epidermis;
  • elements are located on different parts of the body – single or multiple;
  • is usually round in shape, with relatively distinct borders.

Types of lichen in humans

Different types of pathology have differences in gender and age. Various infectious forms of skin lesions (for example, ringworm) are typical for childhood, pink lichen is especially common in adolescents, herpes zoster – in people over 50 – 60 years old. This is due to the characteristics of the immune system. Some types of lichen, for example, red flat, are more common in women.

In men, especially those with dense facial and body hair, some forms of the disease are more severe, which is associated with the peculiarities of skin care, excessive sweating and the complexity of treatment.


This is the most contagious of all types of ringworm. They usually infect children who have been in contact with infected animals (street or domestic cats, dogs), and then generously reward all family members with the infection through close contact. By its nature, ringworm is a mycosis that affects smooth skin (or, more simply, a fungal infection). It is provoked by several types of fungi (dermatophytes) parasitizing on the skin of animals and humans. The most common are trichophytosis with microsporia.

Affects the skin on different parts of the body and the scalp. First, pink spots are formed, which are covered with a halo of small bubbles along the edges. Black dots are visible inside the spot – these are stumps of broken hair. The size of the spot gradually increases, the skin turns red along the periphery, bubbles, ring-shaped elements form, but inside the ring the skin is relatively normal. If the lichen is not treated, new rings form inside the old elements – the elements become like targets.

Ringworm got its name from the typical changes in the areas of the skin where hair grows (head, chest in men). Rounded bald spots are formed with a bristle in their center – with microsporia, the hair is broken off at a level of 4 – 5 mm from the edge of the skin and along one line, with trichophytosis – at a height of up to 2 – 3 mm and the stumps are located at different heights, some look like black dots in skin. The surface of the plaque itself is flaky, covered with small crusts.

The disease can be fungal, viral, or non-infectious in origin, and it is often difficult to outwardly distinguish one condition from another. Photo: globallookpress.com

Pityriasis rosea

The disease is not contagious and its medical name is erythematous-squamous dermatosis. It is impossible to establish the exact cause today, there is evidence that the lichen is of an infectious origin, often spilling out after SARS. Confirmation of this is the presence of formed immunity to this disease for life, repeated episodes of lichen in later life do not occur. But even close, long contacts with the patient do not lead to the appearance of similar elements in other people.

You need to know what lichen looks like in a person: the very first, “maternal” plaque, a pink rounded spot covered with scaly scales in the center. After about 7-8 days, small spots in the groin and on the arms and legs are eliminated from it, forming plaques up to 20 mm. Against the background of plaque sieving, catarrhal symptoms occur, and the “maternal” plaque disappears.

The appearance of the elements is typical – red edges of the plaque and a pale center covered with small scales. The spots may coalesce to form larger, uneven patches that disappear in a couple of months without intervention.

Peculiarities of rosacea – elements do not appear in the area of ​​the face and head, feet or hands. If it is Zhiber’s lichen, multiple small spots of pink color are formed.

Lichen versicolor

To be precise, it’s called pityriasis versicolor or versicolor. This is a fungal disease, but not contagious. The fungus that provokes the development of lichen lives on the surface of the epithelium of any person, but in the presence of a genetic predisposition and under the influence of provocateurs, it forms rashes. Fungi infect hair follicles and epithelium, multiplying and forming yellow-brown, red spots up to 10 mm in diameter. The edges of the elements have a “lace” look. The surface of the elements peels off, it seems that they are sprinkled with bran – hence the name. Spots can merge with each other without treatment, forming elements up to 10 – 20 cm. Most often, rashes appear on the neck and back, in the shoulders and chest. Under the action of ultraviolet radiation, they disappear, leaving behind non-tanned areas – pseudo-leukoderma (low-pigmented zones).


This is a kind of greeting from childhood to those who, as a child, had chicken pox. It is provoked by the same virus – herpes zoster, for which a feature is typical: after suffering chickenpox, it does not disappear from the body, but remains in the body for life. For many years, he can doze off in the nerve ganglia, without making itself felt. But with immune suppression from chemotherapy, HIV, or serious health problems, especially in the elderly, it reactivates. There is pain and itching in the chest or back, along the intercostal nerves. Then, after a few days, bubbles filled with a clear liquid pour out at the site of the pain areas. The rashes look like stripes of bubbles encircling one or two sides, hence the name. These places are painful, especially from rubbing clothes, crusts gradually form. Even after the sores go away, pain may remain – this is postherpetic neuralgia. In places where there were rashes, pigmentation remains for several weeks.

And one more important point: during the period of rashes, the patient is contagious for those children and adults who have not had chickenpox. The contents of the bubbles contain millions of viruses.

Lichen planus

Another non-contagious form of lichen. The elements are quite specific, they can only be similar to individual forms of psoriasis, it is difficult to confuse them with other types of depriving them. Polygonal plaques are formed on the skin, which are slightly raised above the skin, in the center there is a slight depression. The plaques typically do not grow in width, but the plaques may sprout in clusters, itch, and have a surface with large scales. The color of the elements is bright – purple-violet, shine is visible in artificial light. On closer examination, a fine mesh is visible on the surface of the plaques (Wickham’s sign), due to the different thickness of the skin lesion.

This lichen also affects the mucous membranes of the genitals and mouth, forming “frost patterns” on the surface. Fingernails and toenails may suffer – grooves, opacities and thickenings, foci of erosion (nails crumble) form.

Lichen psoriasis (psoriasis)

This is not lichen at all, but an autoimmune disease, which is correctly called psoriasis. Skin lesions and plaque formation is one of the symptoms of a disease that is not contagious to others and occurs as a result of a breakdown in the immune system. As a result, immune cells mistakenly attack their own tissues, forming foci of inflammation. If the skin suffers, psoriatic plaques or more extensive, large foci are formed.

Psoriasis lesions appear as thickened skin delimited from healthy areas by a bright red ridge. The surface is highly flaky, slight itching, formation of small bubbles, cracks, dryness is possible.

The appearance of the rash varies depending on the location – there may be large spots in the hair growth area, plaques or “drops” of psoriasis on the body.

Psoriasis. Photo: globallookpress.com

Lichen symptoms

All manifestations, with the exception of psoriasis and lichen planus, affect only the skin. Inflammatory foci of different sizes are formed, with peeling, vesicles or itching. Not always the external manifestations of lichen can be typical, therefore it is important to consult a doctor, only a specialist can determine the exact nature of the rash.

Treatment of lichen in humans

Outwardly, many types of rashes are similar, especially if they itch and are injured, covered with crusts. Therefore, it is important to visit a dermatologist or therapist to assess the appearance of the elements, associated symptoms and existing diseases.


Diagnosis principles differ depending on the type of lichen.

If it is versicolor, a Balzer test with iodine solution is required. The affected and loosened areas in the area of ​​​​the plaque stain more strongly, forming a spotted appearance. Also, the doctor scrapes the surface of the elements – falling particles are removed like wood shavings (positive symptom of Besnier). In addition, an examination is carried out under a Wood’s lamp – fungal colonies will give a yellowish glow in the thickness of the skin. The last stage – the study of scraped particles under a microscope – a fungus is detected – dermatophytosis or microsporia.

Ringworm is defined by indicating patients for contacts with possibly sick animals, the presence of elements in family members and the detection of typical plaques. Microscopic analysis of scrapings from the surface of the elements is also performed.

For herpes zoster, the clinical picture and indication of previous chickenpox are important. Sometimes they look at the titer of antibodies in the blood to herpes zoster.

Modern methods of treatment

We discussed the treatment of different types of lichen from general practitioner, endoscopist, head of the organizational and methodological office Lidia Golubenko .

In general, the treatment of patients with different types of lichen will be given in four main areas.

The first is etiotropic therapy (that is, drugs aimed at the cause of the disease): for ringworm and pityriasis, these are antifungal drugs (fungicides), and for shingles, antivirals.

The second is the elimination of the symptoms of the disease through various medicines: they are taken orally or applied topically.

The third is a variety of non-pharmacological activities (UV therapy, skin care, physiotherapy, strengthening the immune defense).

And the fourth (this item is not always needed) – disinfection in the outbreaks (for clothes, linen and at home).

The drugs most commonly used in the treatment of different types of lichen are:

  • antifungal creams, ointments or tablets;
  • antiviral injections, tablets or topical agents;
  • antihistamines to relieve itching and topical gels;
  • vitamin-mineral complexes, adaptogens.

If there are associated signs of depressive disorders (eg, when large areas of the body are affected), antidepressants may be required. Sometimes we can recommend sedatives, as well as sleeping pills, if people are not sleeping well due to itching and anxiety. If the inflammation is acute, the skin is severely affected, a short course of corticosteroids may be needed, but strictly under the supervision of a doctor to prevent side effects.

Some treatment options depend on the type of lichen. With ringworm, shaving off the hair in the affected area is highly recommended, especially against the background of large bald spots that have appeared. This will help to treat the skin more effectively and quickly eliminate the fungus. If the stain is the only one, the hair can be carefully cut around, but if there are a lot of them, it is better to remove them all.

If this is a treatment for lichen planus, in addition to all the above measures, the use of drugs against malaria, drugs from the retinoid group may be recommended. They have shown their effectiveness.

If it is herpes zoster, it is important to complete the full course of Acyclovir, as well as to additionally use painkillers and antiplatelet agents (antiplatelet agents).