Pityriasis versicolor can be treated with antifungal medicines. These are available as shampoos, creams and tablets.
Antifungal shampoos (such as ketoconazole or selenium sulphide shampoo) are often the first treatment recommended for pityriasis versicolor.
These are available to buy over the counter from pharmacies, or a GP can prescribe them.
In most cases, these shampoos need to be made into a lather and left on the affected areas of skin for 5 to 10 minutes before being rinsed off. This usually needs to be repeated every day for 5 to 7 days.
You may experience some skin dryness or irritation when using these shampoos, particularly selenium sulphide.
It may be helpful to dilute the shampoo with water before applying it. Some people also find the odour of selenium sulphide shampoo unpleasant.
If only small areas of skin are affected, a GP may prescribe an antifungal cream.
These creams usually need to be applied to the affected area of skin once or twice a day for several weeks.
Some people experience a burning sensation when they use these antifungal creams, but this is not common.
If a large area of skin is affected or other treatments have not helped, you may be prescribed antifungal tablets.
These usually need to be taken once a day for 1 to 4 weeks.
Side effects of these tablets are uncommon, although some people experience problems such as rashes, feeling sick and tummy (abdominal) pain while taking them.