13 Natural Remedies to Tinea Versicolor

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Tinea Versicolor is a fancy name for saying paIn! It doesn’t seem like it’s a well-known skin condition but it definitely affects people. But even this isn’t true because really what it is boils down to this. This is a harmless fungal infection but it can be very annoying. The skin becomes discolored and scaly. It really becomes obvious after exposure to the skin. If it’s scaly it will be itchy for sure. Don’t scratch it though get some relief by trying the numerous skin treatments that are available. The disease is caused by yeast that naturally lives  on the skin. When the yeast grows out of control then Tinea Versicolor is the result. It appears as a rash on the skin.   


A few reasons for Tinea Versicolor:

  • You have Oily Skin
  • You live i a hot climate
  • You sweat a lot
  • You have a weak immune system

Don’t be fooled this rash is no respecter of skin color. It can appear on any skin color. It is most common to appear on teens and young adults. Fortunately, it isn’t contagious. The condition will disappear in cold weather but will pop right back up in warm weather. Some signs of the skin infection:

  • Patches of skin that will be white, pink, red, or brown and the skin patches can be lighter or darker than the skin around them.
  • Skin that doesn’t tan like the rest of the skin
  • Spots that may occur anywhere on the body of mainly appear on the neck, back, chest and arms.

Doctors can diagnose the skin rash by looking at the color of the skin. They can use ultraviolet

light to diagnose this skin problem and if the skin a yellow-green color than it is Tinea Versicolor.     

The doctor may also scrap the skin and look at  the sample under a microscope. On younger children the doctor will usually lift the skin off the infected area with tape. Then put that under the microscope.

Treatments for the Skin Disease

It can be treated with lotions, creams, or medication  taken in pill form. It depends on the size, location and thickness of the disease on the skin. Let’s look at some common treatments below:

1) Aloe Vera to cure tinea versicolor     

Let’s start off with Aloe Vera a well-known plant with Plethora that is used to treat skin conditions across the globe. Aloe Vera contains ingredients such as salicylic acid, sulphur, cinnamic acid, lupeopl, phenol, and urea nitrogen which are all known to be effective in preventing the growth of fungi caused diseases. It’s been scientifically proven that anti-fungal agent 14 kDa, found in aloe vera, may reduce fungi’s ability to spread on the skin surface. It’s known that aloe vera can eliminate fungal growths caused by the Candida family. Tinea Versicolor is a member of the Candida family. Aloe vera gel is taken from the aloe vera plant. Apply 2-3 times a day for the best results. This application can be complemented with drinking aloe vera juice on a daily basis until the condition heals.

2) Yo Yogurt to the Rescue

The health benefits of yogurt are so vast it is wise to consume it daily. Applying yogurt will smoothen the skin and eating it will soothen the stomach. Yogurt is loaded with good bacteria that is very helpful for regulating our digestion and metabolism. His bacteria is present in our bodies and keeps the recurring yeast and fungal growth under control. You just cannot lose treating tinea versicolor with yogurt. Applying yogurt to the skin will neutralize the yeast. After applying the yogurt leave it the the skin for 30 minutes. Then rinse off with mild soap. Eat the yogurt and it will kill the yeast inside the body. The most effective way is to use natural, unflavored fresh yogurt.

3) Whoa Baking Soda

Baking Soda

Baking Soda is worth more than just putting in the refrigerator to keep it fresh smelling. Baking soda is a multitasking wonder for your household. Believe it or not it has the power to nourish, heal and protect the skin. It is also very beneficial in treating skin infections like tinea versicolor. high acidic levels in the body is a thriving environment for tinea versicolor to thrive in. Baking Soda is an antacid that is used in treating upset stomach, indigestion and heartburn (yes heartburn). A big advantage of baking soda is to take it orally. It helps alkalizing the body which balances ph levels. This in turn will lower acidic levels which will not allow yeast to flourish.        

You can use baking soda as an exfoliating scrub in a bath. It is usually harsh on the skin so make sure you rub it in vigorously. Alternating, baking soda with vinegar rubs on alternate days will help heal the damage done to the skin. You can prepare baking soda in a tub. Mix a ½ cup of baking soda with some apple cider vinegar. Then get into the bathtub and relax as you would baking a bath.

4) Neem and neem oil to treat the old Tinea Versicolor

For thousands of years neem has been used in skin care. Neem is an antimicrobial herb which is used to treat skin conditions. Neem oil is derived from the neem tree by crushing the neem seeds. Neem is a powerful anthelmintic compound and offers many other features.

How to use neem to treat tinea versicolor:

  • Apply 2 or 3 drops of neem oil to to the affected area right after your ath. This is a good time to apply the treatment.
  • Boil neem leaves in water until the neem leaves are completely infused in the water and then strain the water. Use the neem water for taking a bath instead of regular water.
  • Grind some neem leaves with water and apply the paste to the affected area and let it rest for a while. Wash off with neem or regular water.

5) Hit the Tinea Versicolor with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is more than just an oil that tastes good for cooking. There are many medicinal uses for coconut oil-coconut fruit, coconut oil and even coconut bark are used to cure many conditions. Coconut oil can cure tinea versicolor if applied to the affected area. The best results will be achieved by using extra pure virgin coconut oil from the store.

6) Garlic the Supposed Wonder Drug      

Garlic will add aroma,nourishment, and taste to your dishes. But there is more more to garlic. It has many health uses and is used widely in folk medicines. One well-known function of garlic is its antifungal properties which can kill the infection. If you suffer from tinea versicolor you would benefit yourself by eating two garlic cloves with warm water and on an empty stomach. Apply garlic oil to the affected spot everyday. Application of garlic oil or juice will kill this fungal infection. The smell of garlic is very strong so you can apply everyday before a bath and then let it dry for a half of an hour then wash it off with mild soap.

7) Whew Vinegar       

Apple  vinegar is a deep cleansing agent. You use a vinegar containing garlic and oregano it can treat this fungus infection effectively. How to apply the vinegar:

  • Dip a washcloth or cotton ball in the vinegar then rub it on the affected areas of the skin.
  • You can also add a half a bowl of vinegar to the bath water.
  • You can also dilute an equal part of water and vinegar and then soak a cotton ball in it. Rub it on the affected area.

8) Apply tea tree oil to tinea versicolor

Native peoples of Australia have known beneficial properties of tea tree oil for thousands of years. Oil is taken from the leaves Melaleuca alternifolia tree, which is native to Southeast Queensland and the Northeast coast New South Wales, Australia.


Traditionally, tree tea oil is used to treat many conditions such cuts, abrasions, burns, insect bites, stings, burns, vaginal infections, boils, recurrent herpes labialis, toothaches, infections of the mouth, and nose and the list goes on. While you are treating tinea versicolor don’t use virgin oil it is too strong. But you can dilute virgin oil with coconut or lavender oil and apply this solution on the areas affected by the skin infection. The application of strong tea tree oil can cause great discomfort such as a deep burning sensation.    

9) Turmeric Powder

How to apply turmeric powder:

You can make a paste out of the turmeric powder by applying water to it. Then applying it to the tinea versicolor affected area. Once it dries on your skin you can wash it off. One complaint of using tumeric powder is that it leaves the skin yellow and a yellow tinge. You can avoid this by applying turmeric-infused water to the affected area. To prepare turmeric wash add 3 or 4 spoons of turmeric powder to water and let it sit for one hour. You can also add couple of  spoons of turmeric powder to milk for effective results.      

 10) Oregano Oil

You can clear up tinea versicolor quite handily with Oregano essential oil. It’s one of the most powerful antifungal oils available. It will fight the root fungi responsible for the condition and fight the symptoms of the rash. Heres how;

  • Prepare a solution of equal parts of oregano essential oil and extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Apply it to the affected areas of the skin with a cotton ball
  • Leave the solution on for 30 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water
  • Follow this routine once daily for a few weeks

11) Try Some Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice seems to be a wonder working treatment for many health applications. Lemon juice can change the pH(acid/alkaline)levels in the body. As we discussed earlier by doing this it lowers the acidic levels in the body which won’t be a breeding ground for tinea versicolor. Lemon has vitamin C and citric Acid making a popular home remedy to treat the tinea infection.  Lemon juice is able to make the fungus die out. Dilute the lemon juice in the proportion 1:2 in water. Apply the solution to the affected tinea areas and leave on until you take  bath the next day. Dilute the lemon juice before applying it to the skin. By diluting the lemon juice this will help prevent the lemon juice from roughening the skin.  

12) What Grapefruit  too  


Extracts from grapefruit seed can do wonders for curing tinea versicolor. It is a natural cure for fungus infections. This natural cure also has antibacterial and antiviral properties because natural remedies with anti-fungal properties will kill the fungus causing the rash and discomfort. Grapefruit seed extract needs to be applied 2-3 times a day to the affected area the infection has vanished.  

13) Come on Honey

Yes, here we have honey once again. It can help cure the tinea versicolor infection. Honey contains monosaccharides, fructose, and glucose, containing 70 to 80% sugar which accounts for the sweet taste. Minerals and water makeup the rest of the composition. Honey is famous for its medicinal abilities because it contains antifungal and antibacterial properties. These properties will get you on the right track for a complete healing.

Applying the Honey

Be sure to buy raw, organic and natural honey from the store. Next, apply a thin layer of honey over the affected skin area. Let it sit on the skin for 1-2 hours before you wash it off with mild soap. Repeat these steps daily until the condition disappears.  

14) Mustard Seeds will Work

Ground mustard seed have very strong anti-fungal properties that are very effective at killing the nastiest case of ringworm. They are not just a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and essential oils but they are very good for many types of skin conditions. Here’s how: Grind up the mustard seed and mix with water to make a thick paste. Then apply the paste to the affected skin area.

Let the paste dry completely then scrape away the excess.

15) Guess what Diet and Hygiene will Prevent Tinea Versicolor

Oh no you thought you were out of the woods but now we are throwing in hygiene and diet into the treatment plan. Exactly what do they have to do with preventing this infection? Keep reading for the answer. Balanced diet and hygiene will go a long way in preventing and curing this annoying skin infection. Those who are exposed to malnutrition because of high fat diets or starvation will tend to develop tinea versicolor skin infections. Malnutrition weakens the immune system making the body more vulnerable to tinea versicolor skin infection.

More tips concerning Diet and Hygiene

  • Drinking water daily will help flush toxins that can damage the immune system
  • Proper nutrition will strengthen the immune system and help the body get rid of fungus. Diet high in C,E,B complex, and A vitamins will give the immune system a healthy boost. Drinking clove tea, kifer, or water mixed with lemon juice or apple cider all help the body get rid of yeast.
  • Bathing daily using a washcloth or sponge will help exfoliate the areas will help remove the flaky dead cells reducing the amount of fungus on the skin. Be sure to wash your clothes, towels, and washcloths in hot water to get rid of any fungi that have attached to these items.
  • Also, when using creams, ointments, and lotions wash and dry the affected areas. Then apply a thin layer of the product once or twice daily for at a least a couple of weeks.
  • Stay away from the sun and artificial sources of ultraviolet light to protect your skin


Tinea Versicolor is a skin infection caused by skin yeast that grows out of control. It leaves nasty looking discolored skin spots on the surface of the skin. These skin infections aren’t life threatening but they are unsightly and they can be very annoying. Also, if the person isn’t careful in taking some type of consistent skin treatment this infection will be a skin disorder that will keep coming back. The treatments we discussed in this article are proven natural remedies that will cure this skin infection. They are cost-effective and they don’t take a lot of time to prepare or apply to the affected areas.

There are several proven skin treatments discussed in this article and you can achieve clear skin and keep it clear if you choose and use one of these treatments consistently. You just need to find the one you are most comfortable using. Be sure you pick the one that will meet your specific need. You may want to think about the preventive measures we talked about as well. Prevention will go a long way in keeping your skin from becoming infected with this very annoying skin infection. Remember, the skin infections are harmless and never life threatening.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.