"Tinea versicolor, pityriasis versicolor or haole rot is a common skin infection that was widely believed to be caused by the yeast Malassezia furfur (formerly termed Pityrosporum ovale). Recent research has shown that the majority of pityriasis versicolor is caused by Malassezia globosa, although M. furfur is responsible for a small number of cases. These yeasts are normally found on the human skin and only become troublesome under certain circumstances, such as a warm and humid environment, although the exact conditions that cause initiation of the disease process are poorly understood."
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
Aloe, Tea Tree Oil, Eucalyptus Oil
[YEA] 03/19/2013: Steve from Darwin, Nt: "I have finally found a natural treatment that works for tinea versicolor
100ml Aloe gel 100 organic
5-10ml Teatree oil
5-10ml eucalyptus oil
Mix in bowl till emulsified to a white cream suck back into empty aloe gel tube
Apply twice a day after shower works a treat see results fast clear in about 3 days but continue treatment to stop reoccurrence.
All the best."
Apple Cider Vinegar
[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS] 07/25/2010: Lyn from Chicopee, Massachusetts: "I started doing the acv and water. However since doing so the area where I have the tinea versicolor is now very itchy and tends to have a burning sensation, but the discoloration is gone. Can anyone give a clue as to what's going on. By the way, the acv is definitely helping with my sinuses!"
12/23/2009: John from Phoenixville, Pa, Usa: "I have suffered from Tinea Versicolor for several years now. The selenium shampoo the doctor prescribed worked at first, but over time it was less effective. My routine now includes Apple Cider Vinegar applied with a cotton pad at bed time, followed by a lathering of coconut oil. In the morning I only have time to apply a moisurizing lotion after my shower. (The tinea versicolor dries out the skin.) After reading elsewhere on this site I may try a topical application of coloidal silver."
EC: Hi John, is the apple cider vinegar helping? Thanks.
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 01/12/2010: John from Phoenixville, Pa, Usa replies: "My combination of treatments helps, but does not cure. One thing I've added to my regime is castille soap when I shower. I think it helps. I am also contemplating oil pulling."
Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda, Vitamin C
[YEA] 12/07/2009: Maggie from Dayton, Oh: "Cold apple cider vinegar applied to affected area with a cotton ball dramatically decreased the rash and redness that come with tinea versicolor. I think this has something to do with the properties of the acv balancing out the yeast/fungus on the skin. It also helps to orally take 2tbsp. acv with 1/4 tsp baking soda with 8 oz. distilled water 5 days, then break for 2 days. Vitamin C along with the regimn helps with the supposed loss of this vitamin by the sodium bicarbonate. Hope this helps others with this funk, it worked for me, but we all know...things effect people in different ways, so Good luck!"
[YEA] 12/19/2011: Caroler from Kilgore, Texas: "Baking soda is a great remedy for tinea versicolor if you apply it transdermally. Dissolve it in hot water, soak a cotton cloth and apply in to the skin for at least 15 minutes on each area, keeping it warm. I devised this remedy after reading that baking soda is effective against skin cancer, which also loves acid."
05/10/2011: Wydo from Ventura, Ca, United States: "Put a few grains of borax in the palm of your hand then ad a small amout of hand cream or other type of cream with water as one of the ingrediants. Then mix the two together and apply to the infected area. You will also need to treat the fungus inside of you as well. See candida under ailments here at EC."
[YEA] 11/02/2009: Nita from Somerset, Ky: "My daughter also has this condition and her doctor said it is tinea versicolor-a skin fungus. If the hair growing in the white patches still has color then the pigment isn't gone. We rub virgin coconut oil on the white patches and are now seeing normal skin color returning! Hope this helps."
EC: This post was copied from the vitiligo page here: http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/vitiligo.html#TEDS
[YEA] 03/31/2013: Megan from Springfield, Mo replies: "Coconut oil is the ONLY thing that has helped my tinea versicolor. I only been using a week and 90% of my affected spots has returned to normal. I still apply every night very generously."
[YEA] 04/22/2013: Kevin from San Diego, Ca replies: "Coconut Oil was the only thing that worked successfully for me. Selenium Sulfide worked occasionally."
[WORKED TEMPORARILY] 05/09/2013: Arnold from Germany: "I tried colloidal silver water for tinea versicolor, it helps, but as soon you you forget it is back again intense. :("
[YEA] 03/31/2013: Ailis from New York: "My doctor prescribed a cream for Tinea Veriscolor that my insurance would not cover. It would have been $70 for me to fill it, so I said "No way!" Instead, I picked up a $7 tube of C----d Silver [contains Silver Chloride 55ppm, Antimicrobial]. I suppose any colloid silver solution would do. Result? In 3 weeks I was completely cured."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 07/03/2008: Thalia from Detroit, Michigan: "WOW! I has folliculitis on my thighs and on the sides of my calfs which is like hair bumps. I used the selsun blue on it and WALA! not completely gone but what an improvement. Its great stuff. And it also works for tinea versicolor overtime. I have already noticed a difference on my arms. I just hope I don't turn blue!! LOL"
Over the Counter, Sanitize
[YEA] 08/02/2012: Patrick from Vancouver, British Columbia: "My name is Patrick. I'm 43 years old and wanted to post a remedy for tinea Versicolor. I got tinea Versicolor approx. 10 years ago. My doctor sent me to a dermatologist at that time. He recommended I use a product called Versel (selenium sulfide lotion 2.5%). I used it as directed, (shower or bathe, dry well. Apply to infected areas and let dry for 15mins, rinse off with water and repeat every day for 7 to 14 days). Well I tried this a few times, entending the time to 25 days the second time only for it to come back).
Well this past year I thought I would try it again. This time after doing some reading saw that this fungus could actually live in your towel, cotton shirts, etc. what I realized was I was using a fresh towel and shirt every time I did it but never used a high heat or anti-bacterial mode still making sure my towel and shirt that I used every day was put through this process. I know it might be a pain but my results were great. It was completely gone and has not returned. When I did have it it was on my stomach, chest, back and arms. I hope this works for you and it is the one thing I was never told. I wish you luck. Let me know your results. Please note that I used it for 20 days."Replies
08/02/2012: Patrick from Vancouver, Bc replies: "It's Patrick from Vancouver writing again. Make sure you dry your bedding the same way, on high heat, a few times while going through the process. I did my bedding twice which worked for me."
05/25/2011: B. from Anon, Anon: "Hi Parhatsathid!
After trying many, many treatments recommended on earth clinic (i.e.,medicated shampoo, borax, ACV, ect.) I continue to suffer with a severe case of Tinea Versicolor. It has plagued me for over 5 years now and seems to increasingly get worse. It is beyond troublesome and embarrassing and has now spread from my toroso to my back, up my chest and is now making its way up my neck and into my hairline. I continue to use the borax solution, wash my clothes in the borax solution and apply coconut oil for dryness and all to no avail. Twice now, I have visited family on the California coast where the beach was within 5-10 minutes (I live in Burbank, CA which is about 30 minutes from the nearest beach). Each time I visit the coastal area the Tinea Versicolor immediately improves by 75% and my skin isnt anywhere near as flakey or red as when I arrived. Im at a loss for solutions and do not want to revert to pharmaceuticals is there any direction you can point me in to alleviate my symptoms (besides moving)? With much gratitude for your time!"Replies
06/07/2011: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "It seems as if your tinea versicolor responds to UV light. Obviously there could be some factor of mycoplasma that is killed with the tinea, but doesn't respond to boron, or the borax solution. Did you apply borax with a 1.5% hydrogen peroxide to skin? If assuming you are not responding to either of these, and you did respond to sunlight, there's two solutions: One is vitamin D3, 20,000 i.u. that's similar to amount of sun exposure dosage, or vitamin D2, 20,000 i.u. with some magnesium, but without calcium. Calcium the fungus responds to this. The other is get a light suntan through a UV light and see if you respond. If these you don't respond, I have to look along methylation, which is folic acid, B12, B2 and trimethylglycine. If a person is under methylated blood test will show above 10 instead of the usual 6-10 for homocysteine. You can request a homocysteine blood test if you want.
11/15/2011: Elle from Cc, Fl replies: "Is this sufferer from Tinea Versicolor swimming in the ocean? There are some people who say the ocean salt water helps."
11/26/2011: Mark from Honolulu, Hi replies: "Try taking 2 tablespoons of colloidal silver a day for 6 weeks. It has been effective in treating other skin bacterial infections."
12/06/2011: Elle from Cc, Florida replies: "I tried lathering Selsun Blue shampoo on entire body for 15 mins once daily for 2 weeks... No relief. I tried the same with 1% Nizoral shampoo... No relief. I tried coconut oil on entire body.. Skin was softened but still itching like crazy. Then I tested 3% hydrogen peroxide on forearms to just see.... It burned some, but I left it on for a couple minutes as long as I could stand it and then rinsed it off with water. The itching stopped. The dead skin flakes inside the white spots dissappeared. I tried wetting my whole body in the shower leaving some water on my skin and pouring the hydrogen peroxide to upper half of body , wait as long as you can stand the burning (2-3 mins. ) rinse off throughly. Rinse, Rinse, Rinse. Then do the same to lower half of body. The burning may be overwhelming if you do the whole body at once. After this procedure one time, 95% of the itching stopped. I waited 3 days and then did it again. I think I have found a solution. The itching stopped. Use a loofa to get rid of the dead skin flakes. The tinea versicolor fungus eats dead skin and oil. I bathe with Tea Tree Oil skin wash 5% pharmaceutical grade. Wash sheets and towels with borax in hot water. Sleep naked to let skin breathe. Keep skin dry. Cut out sugar, yeast, gluten, alcohol, smoking, as much as possible. Drink lots of water. Praise be to God."
07/17/2012: Anon from NY replies: "Don't use coconut oil on your skin! tinea is a fungus, which feeds primarily on our skins oils. this is why your tinea is spreading so dramatically, you are literally feeding the fungus daily!"
07/18/2012: Lady from San Fracisco, Ca replies: "Coconut oil contains caprylic acid which is a strong antifungal that kills yeast."
08/02/2012: Patrick from Vancouver, Bc replies: "Use versel lotion as directed, though use it for 20days and put on a clean shirt and use a different towel every days. Most importantly use the anti-bacterial cycle on your dryer or high heat on dryer to dry your shirts and towels every day and us clean ones each day. I had it for 10 years. This surprisingly worked for me, I hope it works for you. Patrick (let me know how it goes). The drying thing is the one thing nobody told me about. It seems that the fungus can survive in your clothes and towels if you don't do this."
08/16/2012: Lauren from New York, Ny replies: "hi there! I appear to have tinea versicolor on my chest, back and up my neck.
I've tried ACV, have taken the anti-candida med lufeneron and not experienced any physical die-off symptoms. Is it possible to have ONLY the skin infection?
Mine is the same as the poster who says that it goes away at the sea... I have seen little correlation to diet and an INTENSE anti-fungal protocol (GSE, pau d'arco, oregano oil, raw garlic) and MUCH improvement when I go to the beach (I do swim in the ocean).
I'm going to try listerine (my little brother has it and swears it works) topically, sunbathing during the middle of the day for a bit (even though I am super pale), and baking soda.
Thanks for all these posts."
03/07/2013: Amanda from Deming, Nm replies: "My husband has this and I'm searching for any tips to get rid of it. The ocean posts have me curious. The only thing I can think of is magnesium in salt water. You can recreate this in non-coastal areas with epsom salt baths or magnesium oil."