Treating Tinea Versicolor
Tinea Versicolor is a mouthful to say. It’s also called, Pityriasis Versicolor or Dermatomycosis Furfuracea, which are even harder to pronounce. In certain parts of South Asia, it is referred to as Peter Elam’s Disease. A fungal infection of the skin, Tinea Versicolor occurs, when the naturally-occurring yeast that lives on the skin, grows out of control. This condition, initially, manifests as a rash. In this post, I would like to address the causes, symptoms, and natural treatment options for treating Tinea Versicolor.
Tinea Versicolor Rash
Tinea Versicolor interferes with the pigment in the skin, blocking the release of melanin that, commonly, results in white patches or spots on the skin. Also, characterized by patches of discolored skin, these patches can be lighter or darker than the surrounding skin, and typically, appear on the arms, back, chest, and neck. They can, however, appear anywhere on the body, including the face. The rash may be dry and itchy, and be multi-colored, including patches of red, pink, brown, or tan. In fact, “versicolor” means variation in color.
Most commonly affecting teenagers and young adults, the condition improves during cool weather, and worsens with heat and humidity. The rash may become more apparent after tanning and exposure to the sun. It is not contagious, and skin color is not a risk factor. Tinea Versicolor looks similar to an autoimmune condition called Vitiligo, but is less intense. Tinea interferes with skin pigment, while vitiligo, actually, destroys the skin’s melanocytes, or pigment-producing cells.
Diagnosis And Treatment
One method for diagnosing Tinea is by using an ultraviolet light. Under this light, the affected area will appear yellowish green in color if it is Tinea. A painless skin sample may also be taken, in order to, be viewed under a microscope to determine if it is fungal in nature.
Tinea is treated with antifungals like, fluconazole, and over-the-counter topical products containing zinc, such as, micanozole, clotrimazole, and terbinafine. Selsun blue and Head and Shoulders dandruff shampoos are also used. Treatment is dependent on the location and severity of the area infected.
Although, prescription and over-the-counter medications, may quickly resolve the infection in severe cases, the skin discoloration may take months to clear. Supporting the immune system and microbiome are paramount in preventing reoccurrences. Read more about this below.
Causes of Tinea Versicolor
The most common causes of this conditon are:
- Oily skin
- Excessive sweating
- Hot and humid conditions
- Hormonal changes or imbalances
- Weakened immunity due to cancer or medications that affect immune function, such as, antibiotics and cortisone cream
Prevent this fungal infection by avoiding excessive heat, sweating, and oily skincare products. Reduce sun exposure if you have an active infection, as it may worsen it, and be aware, that a tan will make the Tinea rash more apparent.
Engage in healthy lifestyle strategies to keep your immune system functioning optimally, and your hormonal system balanced. The rash, frequently, appears after a round of antibiotics or conditions where cortisone cream is recommended. Diabetes and pregnancy may bring on the condition, as can nutritional deficiencies, and changes in biochemistry.
The chances of reocurrence are prevalent in those who have previously suffered with the condition. Healing leaky gut and restoring the microbiome are essential to prevent recurrences. This outward condition is really an internal problem, and needs to be dealt with as one.
Tinea Versicolor Natural Treatment
Are there natural treatment options for this condition? Fortunately, there are foods you can eat that will help, as well as, effective topical applications. Eating fermented foods on a regular basis restore the microbiome, and repair gut function. Foods like sauerkraut, kefir, fermented vegetables, raw cheese, Kombucha, and yogurt with live bacteria, all help restore healthy bacterial colonies that are so crucial for optimal immune function, and nutrient digestion and absorption.
Remedies, like oregano and tea tree oil, are potent anti-fungals that can be applied topically to alleviate the infection. To apply, mix three or four drops of your chosen oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil. Gently apply it to the rash, preferrably, before bed so it can work its magic while you sleep.
Terrasil is an anti-fungal containing peppermint and jojoba seed oil that helps to clear the discoloration and uncomfortable itch associated with Tinea. You can read more about Terrasil here.
Here’s a recipe for fermented lemonade that is perfect for summer. You can whip it up in minutes, and it’s full of probiotic-rich bacteria sure to boost your immune system, and prevent infections. This awesome recipe comes from Sarah Pope, the Healthy Home Economist. Visit her site for more helpful tips and tricks. Be sure and follow her if you don’t already. Your family will love this easy, nourishing, refreshing beverage, on a hot summer day.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
– 6-8 freshly squeezed lemons or limes. Please don’t buy store-bought lemon juice. I use this handy citrus squeezer.
– 1/2 cup sucanat
– 1/2 cup liquid whey – you can make this by hanging plain, full-fat yogurt in a nut bag overnight to capture the liquid whey.
– 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 2 quarts filtered water
– In a one-gallon glass jar, mix all ingredients together, and cover with a white dishcloth that hasn’t been beached.
– Cover and leave on the counter for two days. Transfer to fridge.
– The lemony flavor gets better with time, but you can drink it after the two-day fermentation period.
– Use a pinch of stevia to sweeten if it’s the lemonade is too tart for your liking.
Drink away and enjoy, and then make some more….
My Final Thoughts
if you suffer from annoying, embarrassing skin conditions, like Tinea Versicolor, try potent antifungals you, most likely, already have at home. Probiotic-rich foods support the immune system, and can help prevent future recurrences.
Do you suffer from unsightly skin conditions? I would love if you would take the time and share your experience below.