Last Modified on May 01, 2016
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.
Remedies for Tinea Versicolor
The Popularity of Tinea Versicolor Remedies - Full List
|Aloe, Tea Tree Oil, Eucalyptus Oil||1||2013-03-19|
|Apple Cider Vinegar||1||2010-07-25|
|Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda, Vitamin C||1||2009-12-07|
|Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil||1||2014-12-30|
|Coconut Oil and Patchouli Essential Oil||1||2015-02-22|
|Oregano Oil, Caprylic Acid||1||2016-05-01|
|Oregano Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Clove Oil||3||2013-08-26|
|Over the Counter, Sanitize||1||2012-08-02|
[YEA] 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.
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YEA (1) 100%Posted by Ray (Hammond , La) on 02/01/2014
[YEA] 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.
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BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS (1) 50% BETTER BUT NOT CURED (1) 50%Posted by Lyn (Chicopee, Massachusetts) on 07/25/2010
[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS] 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!
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Fort Valley, Ga
Posted by John (Phoenixville, Pa, Usa) on 12/23/2009
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.
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Phoenixville, Pa, Usa
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YEA (1) 100%Posted by Maggie (Dayton, Oh) on 12/07/2009
[YEA] 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 (1) 100%Posted by L.C.l. (Pa) on 12/30/2014
[YEA] Tinea Versicolor: I decided to try applying coconut oil topically and also to drink a daily dose of ACV 2x a day *2 Tbsp mixed with 8 oz of water*....in a week my TV was totally gone!! The spots were on my neck and back mostly and they were pretty obvious....looked like hives or something and it made me feel very self-conscious. In 4 days, there was a significant difference, the spots had already begun to fade... now a week later, they are impossible to see! I am so glad I didnt have to go to the dermatologist for medication--the natural treatment worked for me.
YEA (1) 100%Posted by Caroler (Kilgore, Texas) on 12/19/2011
[YEA] 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.
Posted by Wydo (Ventura, Ca, United States) on 05/10/2011
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 (5) 83% BETTER BUT NOT CURED (1) 17%Posted by Yogesh Gandhi (India) on 11/22/2015
[YEA] Earlier I was using coconut oil thrice a day and castor oil once a day... It cured me upto 50% in 4 days....
And then over the weekend, I applied castor oil thrice a day and coconut oil once a day....And my progress was upto 90%... I am amazed to see its results... It is NO LESS THAN MAGIC.
At some parts I can't even see the spots.
I applied it only on the affected area (not on the whole body). You may apply it on the whole body but concentrate more on the affected area.
Replied by Yogesh Gandhi
Posted by Brian (Central, Nj) on 07/07/2014
[YEA] My wife has been dealing with Tinea Versicolor for many years and had tried just about every product and home remedy out there. Unfortunately it continued to get worse, particularly during and after her recent pregnancy.
I had been to Earth Clinic previously but always pasted over castor oil and focused on other remedies instead (none of which worked for her). So this time we decided to try castor oil and after 5 straight days of external application, her Tinea Verisocolor is gone. We were shocked to see how effective this stuff was and I can't even see traces of where it was on her body. I highly recommend this for anyone struggling with this condition!
For reference, we use the brand sold at Whole Foods, which appears to be pure, unrefined castor oil for skin care.
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Newcastle Uopn Tyne, UK
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Posted by Ravencurls (Deerfield Beach, Fl) on 07/09/2013
[YEA] 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!
Replied by Ravencurls
Deerfield Beach, Fl
YEA (8) 80% BETTER BUT NOT CURED (1) 10% WARNING! (1) 10%Posted by Talos (North Carolina) on 08/17/2015
[YEA] For a couple years I have had Tinea Versicolor on my chest. It started small and then spread to my stomach and back. About 6 months ago it started spreading down my arms and I began to feel pretty self-conscious.
I had been to your site in the past and found a cure for my daughter's warts (ACV) so I came back looking for something to help with this Tinea Versicolor, but I didn't have much hope.
I read through different remedies and settled on Coconut Oil, as I figured I couldn't go wrong with that. I purchased a bottle of Fractionated Coconut Oil, which is in a liquid form, and began applying it to the affected areas both in the morning and at night.
This is like a miracle. I expected it to take weeks, at best, but within a few days the rash I had been living with for years was virtually gone. Within a week there was no sign it had ever existed. No discolouration, nothing at all.
It's a crime that this isn't a cure that's publicized by medical practitioners. I love your site and greatly appreciate the knowledge you've accumulated and the community you've built. I'm in your debt.
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Posted by Bl (Nz) on 08/10/2015
[YEA] I have been a bit dubious about the remedies on this site but now I'm converted. I have had Tinea versicolor for over 10 years, probably closer to 15. I had done the doctors treatments three times only for it to return in six months. My body was covered, I itched a lot and had flakes of skin left on any dark clothing. I have done wheat free diets etc, nothing worked.
Anyway, I tried the coconut oil. I had a shower every morning and would scrap out the hard coconut oil with my finger nails and smother my body with it every morning. It was winter and cold and the coconut oil was solid but melted when I put it on my body. It did this every day for a week and then started to see the spots fade, after two weeks they were completely gone. I've been doing this about six weeks now and will continue to use coconut oil as a moisturiser as it has "cured" my rash.
I say "cured" in quotation marks as I think if I stopped this treatment long enough, the rash would come back eventually, as it is hard to completely eradicate apparently, but hey, I'll just keep using the coconut oil for skin care as my skin is so nice now!
Replied by Yogesh Gandhi
Posted by Alison (Plymouth, United Kingdom ) on 06/20/2015
[YEA] I have suffered with a skin condition called pityriasis versicolor, which is a common condition that causes small patches of the skin to become scaly and discoloured. I have suffered with this skin complaint for over 20 years. My doctor has provided anti fungal shampoos which only provide a temporary solution, as the rash develops again, especially when I catch the sun or sweat (gym). I have recently read that coconut oil has anti fungal properties amongst many others beneficial properties. I have been using coconut oil as a face and body moisturiser for the passed couple months and the rash has completely disappeared. Usually if I use any oils on my skin the fungal rash would spread and become itchy. I'm shocked that no natural remedies are recommended as a solution for this skin condition. I'm so glad I do not have to apply all the nasty chemicals to my skin anymore and my skin is left soft and moisturised. I use 100% raw organic coconut oil.
Posted by Jennamarie (Florida) on 02/13/2014
[YEA] 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!!!