Many people do not realize that our skin is a living ecosystem of bacteria and yeast. When the delicate balance between them is disrupted, an overgrowth of yeast can occur. This overgrowth of yeast is known as tinea versicolor or pitryiasis versicolor. Some doctors may also simply refer to it as a fungal infection, although I think that makes it sound worse than it really is. Since the “fungus” is just a yeast that has been living on your skin already.
Tinea Versicolor Symptoms
Symptoms include a noticeable rash that can occur anywhere on your body. There may also be itching and dryness, but this is more rare and generally the issues are only visual. The rash can last for months, even after curing tinea versicolor. Furthermore, this disease frequently recurs after treatment.
Fortunately, there are natural remedies for tinea versicolor.
Factors that may cause this infection include:
- Warm & humid weather.
- Individuals prone to oily skin.
- Compromised immune function.
- Hormonal imbalance.
This disease is surprisingly common in tropical locations.
Tinea Versicolor Home Treatment
The following remedies will help with the overgrowth:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Castor oil
- Coconut oil
- Baking soda
- Essential oils
- Raw honey
- Epsom salt bath
It is believed that the yeast feed on dead skin cells. As such, exfoliation is a critical step in treatment. You can use a coffee exfoliant or a type of bathing brush to gently remove dead skin cells. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial effects and can be applied directly onto the rash. Take note that ACV is strong and may need to be diluted prior to application.
Castor oil and coconut oil both exhibit antifungal properties and can be applied directly to the rash. Baking soda helps neutralize acid caused by the yeast. You can dissolve baking soda in a bowl of water and dip a washcloth in it to apply. Essential oils are highly antibacterial and antifungal. Some of the most potent ones are tea tree oil, clove oil, oregano oil, and eucalyptus oil. Do not apply essential oils directly to the skin without dilution. Essential oils are extremely potent and will burn if applied directly. I would recommend adding a few drops into your coconut or castor oil and then applying.
Raw honey is another potent antibacterial. While this may be sticky, it’s definitely worthwhile. Apply honey to the infected area and allow it to sit for 20 minutes. Make sure you’re only using “raw” honey.
Epsom salt baths are highly effective for skin infections. Add 3 cups of epsom salt to a hot bath. For maximum effect, also add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. In addition, you can add essential oils to the bath as well. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure to stay hydrated!
Finally, it would be prudent to address any imbalances in your body that could cause this. Consume a healthy diet and ensure you have a strong intestinal flora by consuming probiotic rich foods such as fermented vegetables, kombucha, kefir, and yogurt.