What is Tinea Versicolor?
Tinea Versicolor, also known as Pityriasis Versicolor is a common yet benign yeast infection that causes discoloration of the skin. The discolored patches can be light or dark in color. The discoloration is usually not permanent in nature and tends to go away after the treatment. This disease is not contagious because the yeast causing Tinea Versicolor normally lives on the skin itself.
The yeast/fungus thrives on warm, moist and oily areas on the skin and feeds on lipids, sebaceous secretions and dead skin cells. As a result, upper arms, underarms, neck, back, chest and the folds of the skin are the most common sites of this type of skin infection. Fortunately, the disease generally does not affect the face.
Basically, Tinea Versicolor causes a rash-like condition on the skin that tends to recur even after the treatment. It prevents the affected skin from tanning due to exposure to sun. As a result, the affected skin remains pale and the rest of the skin tans making the affected area more noticeable.
Even though various antifungal medications are available for curing this disease, still people find the natural home remedies for Tinea Versicolor more appealing on account of their safety and inexpensiveness. Antidandruff shampoos containing selenium sulfide are one of the most popular remdies for the elimination of this disease.
Causes and Symptoms of Tinea Versicolor
Tinea Versicolor is caused by a Malassezia Furfur named yeast. This fungus is normally present on the skin in small numbers and does not cause any harm. But, under certain conditions, the yeast becomes pathogenic and causes this disease. Some factors that lead to the growth of this yeast are excessive heat, sweating, humidity, malnutrition, burns, oily skin, burns, removal adrenal glands, weak immune system etc.
Steroid therapy and intake of oral contraceptives also increase the risk of developing this disease by suppressing the immune system. Besides, conditions like pregnancy, Cushing’s disease and a genetic predisposition may also result in the same.
Individuals with oily skin or the ones residing in areas with high temperatures and humidity are more likely to develop Tinea Versicolor. Adolescents and young adults with active sebaceous glands are more susceptible to this disease.
The disease causes hypo pigmentation or hyper pigmentation, that is, white, pink, red, tan or brown colored scaly patches on the skin. The hypo pigmentation is more prominent in dark skinned individuals. It should be noted that both dark as well as light skinned individuals are equally susceptible to this disease. At times, the rashes may be accompanied by itchiness due to sweating. Tinea Versicolor spots tend to fade by themselves during the cooler and drier seasons.
Natural Home Remedies for Tinea Versicolor
• Take some clarified butter, turmeric powder and sandalwood powder. Mix these ingredients to form a fine paste. Applying this paste on the affected area for half an hour serves as one of the most effective natural home remedies for Tinea Versicolor treatment. For encouraging results, follow this natural remedy on a regular basis.
• Applying unflavored yogurt for about half an hour on a daily basis is another valuable home remedy that helps remove the discolored spots and heal the skin naturally. Consuming yogurt is also beneficial in this regard.
• Garlic with its antifungal properties is one of the most trusted home remedies for Tinea Versicolor. Simply eating a couple of garlic cloves, whether raw or cooked acts as a natural therapy to cure this skin infection.
• Maintaining proper hygiene by bathing regularly goes a long way in avoiding Tinea Versicolor and other skin infections. An important tip in this context would be to wash clothes in hot water to get rid of the fungi from the clothes.
Diet for Tinea Versicolor
The diet to reduce Tinea Versicolor should aim to strengthen the immune system. Vitamin A, vitamin B complex and vitamin C are particularly helpful in this regard. Therefore, a healthy diet consisting of a judicious mixture of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts is highly recommended to deal prevent and cure this condition.
Foods like yogurt, honey, garlic, and citrus fruits are regarded as excellent home remedies for Tinea Versicolor and other fungal infections. The lactic acid present in yogurt is beneficial in preventing the infection from spreading.
Plus, drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep the skin in a healthy condition and avoid diseases. Besides, restrict the consumption of processed and fatty foods and the ones containing excess sugar and white flour.