Tinea Versicolor Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Tinea Versicolor is also called Pityriasis Versicolor and is a chronic, long term fungal skin infection that causes discolored, rough patches of skin on the body and can affect people of all races and ages. These sometimes itchy, patches are circular and can be red, pink, white or brown depending on your skin tone and are usually found on the stomach, chest, back, arms and legs. Tinea Versicolor is not contagious but it is a common and reoccurring topical yeast infection, especially in hot climates and is difficult to get rid of unless it is treated correctly. A dermatologist can diagnose it by a visual exam, scraping a sample of it or using a special light to see the color of the infected skin.

Causes: No one really knows the exact cause of this skin infection when they get it but there are suspected causes such as, a compromised immune system, a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates, too much yeast on the skin surface, oily skin, sweating, hormonal imbalances and hot, humid conditions.

Symptoms: The usual symptoms are scaley, round patches of discolored skin that may or may not itch, depending on the severity of the infection. I have battled Tinea Versicolor for a few years and find it to be very itchy when I get hot, so avoid getting overly warm as much as possible. It has always been on my stomach, chest, arms and legs but it can spread to other areas if left untreated and those spots will not tan when you go into the sun as long as the infection is present.

Treatments: There are the standard treatments of anti fungal creams or pills but prolonged use of these can damage the liver so it is best to treat the yeast on the inside as well. Changing your diet to less carbohydrates, more raw greens and anti fungal foods for life, is a starter.

There are also: probiotic teas, lacto fermented drinks and food or anti fungal foods that help to curb yeast in the body such as, Kombucha, Kifer, raw coconut, and cultured vegetables.

For the skin, there are excellent mud soaps with zinc and sulfur as well as a topical ointment called Saprox, that are very effective at keeping the yeast at bay on the skin surface. Clothing, bedding, towels and washcloths must be washed and changed daily to avoid a reinfection. The discolored patches may take months to return to normal color and have to be exposed to sun to get the color back.

My battle with Tinea Versicolor has been kept under control with the above steps and must be continued to avoid an unwanted visit from the fungal family.

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