Tinea versicolor: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

Tinea versicolor is a fungal infection of the skin that causes tiny white scaly patches on the skin. Tinea versicolor appears on the skin with a well-defined round pattern called tinea versicolor and is caused by a type of fungus (malassezia) that naturally lives on your skin.

These patches may appear lighter or darker than the surrounding skin and usually appear on the wrists and shoulders. When the fungus grows out of control, a skin disease that is characterized by a white rash appears.

Causes of Tinea versicolor and Risk Factors

Tinea versicolor that develops in healthy skin can grow very fast and cause patches that change color on the skin. This condition can be triggered by various environmental and biological factors.

Here are some factors that cause skin tinea versicolor:

  • Oily skin
  • Excessive sweating
  • The weather is hot and humid
  • Sweating a lot
  • Weak immune system
  • Hormonal changes
  • Some types of cancer
  • Malnutrition
  • Using birth control pills
  • Is pregnant
  • Diabetes
  • Using corticosteroid drugs

Because fungus grows naturally on the skin, tinea versicolor is not contagious. This condition can be experienced by people of every race or color, and tends to occur in adolescents and young adults.

Symptoms of Tinea versicolor

The white color due to acid from the yeast that grows causes the area of ​​the skin affected by the skin to change color. White patches that appear can be only one or in groups. The characteristics of tinea versicolor include:

  • Spots are round and white, pink, red, or brown.
  • Spots can be lighter or darker than the surrounding skin.
  • Tend to appear on the neck, chest, back and arms.
  • White patches tend to disappear during cold weather and worse during warm and humid weather.
  • It feels dry, scaly and itchy.

When to see a doctor?

The characteristics of tinea versicolor can be treated independently at home using natural ingredients or drugs that you can get at the pharmacy. But if the treatment is ineffective and gets worse, you should see a doctor to get the right treatment to control the growth of tinea versicolor.


Doctors can diagnose this skin disease by looking at the pattern of rashes on the skin. In addition, the doctor may diagnose in the following ways:

  • The doctor may use ultraviolet light, which will make the affected area show the color of UV rays with a yellow-green neon color. However, if it were not for phlegm, then this UV ray examination would not emit a yellow-green color in the area that was thought to be affected.
  • The doctor will also take a skin sample by scraping the scaly skin by examining it under a microscope.
  • In children, the doctor may take skin cells by first sticking like tape to the skin and then gently pulling it. The attached sample is then immediately glued to the slide for viewing under a microscope.

Natural Treatment of Tinea versicolor

If the characteristics of phlegm that appear are not severe, you can take medication at home, such as the use of the following natural ingredients:

1. Tea Tree Oil

The first way to treat tinea versicolor is to apply tea tree oil to the affected skin. This oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve itching and antifungal properties which eliminate the fungus that causes itching.


  • Mix seven drops of tea tree oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil.
  • Apply this mixture to the affected skin.
  • Leave on for 30 to 60 minutes before rinsing.
  • Do this method 2 to 3 times a day.

2. Garlic

Garlic is a cooking spice that is rich in compounds called allicin. This organosulfur compound is known as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent, which can be used to treat tinea versicolor.


  • Mash the garlic until soft
  • Apply to skin affected by tinea versicolor
  • Leave on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Rinse with water until clean.
  • You can also eat two cloves of garlic every day on an empty stomach.
  • Do this method twice a day.

3. Aloe Vera

This plant has healing properties that can accelerate tinea versicolor disappear. Aloe vera also has powerful anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties to help eradicate tinea versicolor.


  • Use one tablespoon of aloe vera gel and apply it gently to all parts of the skin that is hot.
  • Leave for about 30 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
  • Do this method several times every day to get results.

4. Turmeric

Curcumin is the main ingredient of turmeric, which has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can help overcome tinea versicolor.


  • Mix two teaspoons of turmeric powder with a little water until it becomes a thick paste.
  • Apply this paste to all skin affected by tinea versicolor.
  • Leave on for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Do this three times a day.

5. Coconut Oil

Same with natural ingredients he overcome, this oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce itching. Besides that coconut oil has analgesics and antifungals that help deal with tinea versicolor.


  • Apply coconut oil to the affected skin.
  • Leave on for 30 minutes or overnight before rinsing with water.
  • Do how to treat tinea versicolor about 2 to 3 times a day.

Before using the natural ingredients above that have not proven its effectiveness medically, you should consult with your doctor first.

Other Home Remedies

You can also use antifungal creams that are effective at killing infections. The following tinea versicolor medicines you can get at the pharmacy:

  • Clotrimazole
  • Miconazole
  • Selenium sulfide
  • Terbinafine

Medication for Tinea versicolor

If the method of treating tinea versicolor with natural ingredients is not effective, your doctor may prescribe medications, such as topical creams that can be applied directly to the skin, including ciclopirox and ketoconazole.

Your doctor may also be able to prescribe pills to treat tinea versicolor, including:

  • Fluconazole
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole

It is important for you to follow all instructions on how to use the drug. Failure to use a full or inconsistent amount in use can cause the infection to regrow quickly.

Prevention of Tinea versicolor

There are a few tips you can do to prevent the growth of tinea versicolor in the future:

  • Maintain cleanliness of skin cleanliness
  • Avoid excessive hot weather
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure
  • Avoid excessive sweating
  • Use antifungal lotions and shampoos available at the pharmacy

You can also help prevent tinea versicolor by using skin care during the time that is most susceptible to the growth of tinea versicolor.


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