Last Modified on Feb 26, 2014
Home treatments for tinea versicolor can be effective in a matter of days or might take much longer. The fungus can be very stubborn. If a treatment is working, it’s important to stick with it as the infection will break out again if not completely cured.
What is Tinea (or Pityriasis) Versicolor?
Tinea versicolor is an out-of-control fungal skin infection, also known as pityriasis versicolor. It is not contagious. An acidic bleach produced by the yeast causes a rash with patches that are colored differently than the rest of the skin and do not tan. This skin infection can appear anywhere on the body, but normally appears on the chest, back, neck and arms. It appears on people who have oily skin, sweat frequently or who live in a hot, humid climate. It may be linked to a weak immune system.
Natural Remedies for Tinea Versicolor
Tinea versicolor is normally treated at home by applying an antifungal to the affected areas. Apple cider vinegar is an effective natural cure for many ailments, including tinea. Essential oils with anti-fungal properties are effective home treatments. For many years, grapefruit seed extract has been used to heal many differing infections.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a successful home remedy for many ailments. ACV applied topically to the tinea and also taken as a tonic with baking soda dramatically decreased the rash. Olive oil or aloe vera gel can be applied to soothe the skin between ACV applications. Aloe vera has many healing properties also.
Lavender oil and tea tree oil (diluted with water) are effective home remedies for tinea. These natural remedies have been used for centuries to treat infections. Lavender oil is a powerful anti-fungal that will kill the fungus.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is a natural cure for fungus infections. It is applied to the rash 2-3 times a day. This natural cure also has antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Tinea versicolor can be treated effectively at home. Natural remedies with anti-fungal properties will kill the fungus causing the rash and discomfort. Tinea versicolor may disappear in cool weather only to reappear in the summer, so it is important to continue treatment until the rash is completely gone.
Table of Contents
- QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- Aloe, Tea Tree Oil, Eucalyptus Oil
- Anti-Fungal Powder
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda, Vitamin C
- Baking Soda
- Castor Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Colloidal Silver
- Medicated Shampoo
- Oregano Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Clove Oil
- Over the Counter, Sanitize
- Ted's Remedies
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."Replies
06/25/2013: Cazza from Darwin, Nt replies: "Honey is said to be able to treat Tinea Versicolor, manuka honey which has tea tree oil pollen as a14 day treatment, is too sticky for me though. I have tried everything, including oral ketoconzole, 400mg per day for 10 days. Then 400mg once a month. After 6 months I am just seeing a little improvement. Now also using listerine 2 times a day, soak a cotton swab and then wipe over. Virgin coconut oil has some natural acids and I also use once a day. This does appear to be minimizing the motley look on my neck area. OTC creams were useless, I tried them all over 20+ years:("
[YEA] 02/01/2014: Ray from Hammond , La: "I have tried everything to get rid of Tinea Versicolor, with no success, ive used selsun blue, zinc shampoo, sulphur shampoo and sulphur soap, tea tree oil soap, defense soap, benzyl peroxide acne medication, ivarest, you name it, ive used it and none of it worked. Including a bunch of stuff for dogs and horses lol (you get desperate after a while). This is what ive done and its almost gone now - course its winter time and we'll see if it still helps once it gets warmer. First, I sleep in a tshirt now, I bathe as regular and afterwards, dust the areas with lotramin antifungal powder I found on amazon. Usually everything will help to a small degree when first using it - but then after a week or two it starts getting hold and worse again. This time with the powder, it just keeps getting better and better every day, I have also binged with chocolate and cookies and waaalaaa, still getting rid of it using this powder it did not get worse. Before, a sugar binge would screw up any progress and have me starting all over again but this powder works!! No more putting shampoo or soap on - letting it dry for 30min and then washing it off or leaving it on all day or night. Just powder in the morn and before bed. Hope this helps, I've had this for 3yrs now on my neck, chest, and armpits. My armpits were almost black from it being so bad - now btw - they are almost back to regular skin color. The powder is cheap too - 17 bucks for a 3pk. Note- I'm not even through the first bottle and its almost gone. After spending hundreds on other junk, this is my pick, down here in Southern Louisiana its humid as all hell so I am happy to have found this."
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."
05/20/2013: Spots from Honolulu, Hawaii replies: "I apply the ACV at the beginning of every shower. Then scrub with Dr. B's 18-in-one oil soap. After showering, I apply at least a tablespoon of CO onto my skin. So far, it has been two weeks and the results are good. The tinea versicolor is starting to fade. Hasn't completely disappeared. Patience is key. As well as less sun exposure. Thanks for sharing your solution. Good luck to next readers!!"
09/17/2013: Ceci from Anchorage, Ak replies: "I've had the visual spots for about two months now, went to the doctors and he says I have tinia versicolor. He perscribed a medication for me to apply on the area but decided to treat the three sections of spots with three different items. One section with the prescribed medication, the other with apple cider vinegar, and the third with smoething the health food store recommended which is a neem leaf salve. I have researched a bit on each of these and there is a large positive review on the neem salve. I hope something will work and when I do I will post again. I keep reading people that get this come from a warm, tropical area but I live in ALASKA so I don't think I agree with that. Also, usually folks that get this are young adults but I am way past my 50's. Go figure! Patiently waiting to see what happens."
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] 07/09/2013: Ravencurls from Deerfield Beach, Fl: "About 2 weeks ago I learned that Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is antibacterial and antifungal. I put a few ounces of a very good brand of organic, raw, unfiltered ACV undiluted into a small bottle and added a few drops of lavender oil to improve the fragrance. For about 2 weeks, about 2-3 times a day, I used a cotton disk to swab the affected areas with the ACV/lavender solution. I also kept my back as clean and dry as possible, and changed my sheets more often. The splotches started fading. But if the hot Florida sun made me perspire for a while, the splotches came back in full color again.
Coincidentally, over the last week I had been studying everything I could about castor oil packs and castor oil rubs. I got a bottle of cold-pressed, cold-processed castor oil from Whole Foods. One health practitioner on Youtube recommended doing a castor oil rub anywhere the body seems to be in need of support.He also said in another video that skin-fungal infections stem from gut problems. "As the root to the rose, so the bowel to the skin, " he said.
For the past 3 nights, I've massaged the castor oil all over my back, as well as in the front over my liver-spleen-gut area and slept in cotton pajamas. And each morning I was amazed that the splotches had faded significantly.
By Day 3, the splotches are almost completely gone! There are faint ghosts of a few of them, but I think that with one or two more nights of castor oil treatment, they will be completely gone! I can soon start wearing low-backed dresses and swimsuits again!"Replies
08/20/2013: Ravencurls from Deerfield Beach, Fl replies: "I didn't realize I hadn't completed the story. In exactly one week, I completely cured my Tinea Versicolor with castor oil. I had reported above after my 3 days that the condition was almost completely gone. On the 4th day, following the advice of Dr. Majid Ali on Youtube (about skin fungus, etc. ), I finished the first cycle by applying sesame oil to my back before bed. Then I did another cycle of 3 nights' application of castor oil and 1 of sesame oil. Before the cycle was complete, I could not see a trace of the TV!
With no further treatments, my back remained completely clear for a month. But this week I see small, faint splotches appearing in a small area. I suspect it could be because I had stopped taking my probiotic (seeing if fermented foods would be enough).
Skin problems come from gut problems according to Dr. Ali. With the castor oil I had cured the symptoms. With improved diet, probiotics and fermented foods I had cured the cause. When I am less vigilant about my gut health, especially with the August heat and perspiring, my skin symptoms are starting to return. But I know what to do!
BTW, I don't know whether keeping the body in an alkaline state helps. For a few months before my TV had completely disappeared I had been taking fresh lemon with cayene in warm water every morning 30 min before breakfast, and a "cocktail" of 1Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) in a big wine glass of water 30 min before dinner. Because organic lemons aren't available here now and I ran out of B.... 's ACV, I had slacked off on that habit a week ago. I wonder if that too contributes to TV's return."
[YEA] 02/13/2014: Jennamarie from Florida: "Being from Florida (a quite humid environment) I've personally been dealing on and off with tinea versicolor on my arms for the past 5 years. These appeared on my arms as small, white, circular spots with a dry/bumpy texture, and somewhat itchy. About 3 years ago it became so bad that I was too embarrassed to expose my arms, and eventually made an appointment for the dermatologist (this was after trying the age-old selenium sulfide treatment).
Long story short, the dermatologist diagnosed me with a slight case of keratosis pilaris and prescribed me a topical ointment to try to get rid of it. Unfortunately this treatment didn't work at all, and I eventually just waited it out and it went away.
Since then, I've gotten many cases of what I now now is tinea versicolor, always off and on, and always at the worst times! Just recently I was in the market for a certain type of oil for another reason and began reading about coconut oil and its many benefits. As I read about its anti-fungal, anti-Candida, and anti-bacterial qualities I was thrilled (as I also suffer from occasional bacterial/yeast/candida infections) because I am aware of the fungal nature of tinea versicolor. This discovery also occurred coincidentally during one of my worst tinea v. outbreaks ever.
I decided to purchase some liquid coconut oil and apply it topically on my arms to see if it would live up to its properties/claims, and WOW I'm simply amazed. After only 3 days of use, the spots almost completely vanished (even more so than their normal-state very faint appearance). How the dermatologist missed this one is beyond me, and I'm always thrilled to find a natural remedy for my ailments. Coconut oil for tinea versicolor is a godsend!!!"
[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"
Oregano Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Clove Oil
[YEA] 08/26/2013: Lena from San Diego, Ca: "I cured my tinea versicolor with a body spray that I made from witch hazel, Oregano Oil, Tea Tree Oil, and Clove Oil.
I use 3 oz. of witch hazel, 10 drops of pure Oregano Oil, 10 drops of Tea Tree Oil, and ONE DROP (no more) of Clove Oil.
I sprayed it all over the effected area twice a day, immediately after showering, and let air dry before I put any clothing on.
Itching ceased after 3 days, and the rash started shrinking and looking less angry in about a week. 6 weeks later it was gone and it's been gone now for about a year.
I still apply the spray every night before bed, just to prevent re-occurrence.
I tried just Tea Tree oil, Tea Tree oil and Oregano oil, and just Clove Oil... None of them worked. It was the combination of all three oils in the witch hazel that worked for me."
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."