Elk Haven Herbals

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Tinea Versicolor Treatment

Tinea versicolor or pityriasis versicolor is a superficial fungal infection of the skin that often spreads around the surface of the entire body leaving skin both scaly and discolored. In humid climates its prevalence can be found in up to 50 percent of the population (1). Individuals with oily skin are also more susceptible to the fungus.

There are an innumerable number of treatments for fungal skin infections. Popular treatments include both fungistatics and fungicidals. Fungistatics only prevent the fungus from reproducing while fungicidals actually kill the fungus. Fungistatics include azole derived compounds such as miconozole nitrate and ketoconazole. Fungicidals include compounds such as terbinafine hydrochloride (2). Other treatments for fungal infections include the use of anti-dandruff shampoos with active ingredients including salicylic acid, coal tar, and pyrithione zinc. Most of these products have been shown to be effective in at least decreasing the symptoms associated with tinea versicolor when compared to a placebo (2). However, most non-prescription based products are too weak to effectively kill the fungus as a low concentration of active ingredient minimizes risk of adverse reaction in these products. Therefore, most individuals suffering with tinea versicolor are forced to consult a dermatologist who offers prescription products that are more concentrated and more expensive. For example, seven days of itraconazole therapy at 200mg per day costs $105 (3). Both topical and oral fungal treatments are available although oral antifungals can be toxic to the liver (3). Despite all of these efforts many treatments are ineffective in curing the disease.

Ineffective and expensive treatments have led researchers to develop novel treatment methods. Such treatments include acidified nitrite or nitric-oxide liberating cream (4). These are less expensive and just as concentrated as prescription antifungals. Acidified nitrite cream works by providing a nitrogen source to the already existing bacteria found on the surface of the skin. These bacteria convert the nitrite in the cream to nitric oxide, which kills fungus (1). In fact, many cell types involved in natural immunity produce nitric oxide to kill invading pathogens. There simply isn’t enough nitrogen present to kill as large a fungal infection as tinea versicolor. Acidified nitrite creams provide this nitrogen source and were initially shown to be effective against viral and fungal infections such as tinea pedis (4, 5). Recently however, they have shown the greatest promise in effectively treating tinea versicolor (1).

Our Tinea Versicolor Treatment (TVT) at Elk Haven Herbals provides the necessary concentration of nitrogenous compounds to propely treat an often incurable tinea infection. Our four ounce bottle should last on average one month with daily treatment.

Studies cited:

1. Jowkar Farideh, Akram Jamshidzaseh, Soroush Pakniyat, and Mohammad Reza Namazi (2010). “Efficacy of nitric oxide-liberating cream on pityriasis versicolor”. Journal of Dermatological Treatment; 21:93–96

2. Hu Stephanie and Michael Bigby (2010). “Pityriasis Versicolor:
A Systematic Review of Interventions. Archives of Dermatology; Vol 146 No. 10

3. Stratman Erik (2010). “Failure to use available evidence to guide tinea versicolor treatment”. Archives of Dermatology; Vol 146 No. 10

4. Ormerod A.D., M.I. White, S.A.A. Shah, and N. Benjamin (1999). “Molluscum contagiosum effectively treated with a topical acidified nitrite, nitric oxide liberating cream” British Journal of Dermatology 1999; 141: 1051-1053

5. Weller Richard, Anthony D. Ormerod, Richard P. Hobson, and Nigel J. Benjamin (1998). “A randomized trial of acidified nitrite cream in the treatment of tinea pedis”. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology; Volume 38, Number 4.

*Results may vary. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking any medication or have a medical condition, please consult your healthcare practitioner before using a topical antifungal.