garlic-gloveTinea versicolor is a common condition that leads to the formation of dry, scaly and discolored patches on the skin. The patches vary from one person to another, and may sometimes be darker or lighter than the rest of the skin.

These patches often develop slowly to form large sections of discolored patches over a period of time. Some of the most common areas affected by this condition include the back, the upper arm region, the trunk and the neck. The condition is sometimes very itchy, but remains harmless for the most part. Many affected persons feel very self-conscious because the condition causes the skin to look unsightly.

There are home treatment options available for the natural treatment of tinea versicolor. To treat this effectively at home, it is important to know the causative agent of this skin condition. The condition, also known as pityriasis versicolor, is the result of a yeast infection known as malassezia. In many cases, the yeast grows normally on the skin.

When the yeast over multiplies, however, it causes the formation of the discolored patches associated with this condition. Some of the risk factors associated with the condition include excessive sweating, hormonal changes, living in a warm environment as well as having an excessive oily skin. Most importantly, the condition is not linked to poor hygiene, and is not contagious. Below are some of the simple home remedies available for tinea versicolor.

1. Aloe Vera:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh aloe vera leaf and cotton wool. 5 drops of lavender oil (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


Aloe vera is one of the most common and effective home remedies for different skin conditions. When used for the treatment of tinea versicolor, the proteins present in aloe vera help eliminate the fungi that causes skin discoloration. This is attributed to the presence of anti-inflammatory properties in the natural gel. Its anti fungal properties also help curb the spread of the fungi, thus reducing the associated symptoms of the condition. Additionally, when applied on the skin, the aloe vera helps heal the damaged skin and speeds up the process of recovery. You may add a few drops of lavender oil to the gel in order to improve the remedy’s efficiency.


  1. Make a sharp cut on the aloe vera leaf in order to extract the gel.
  2. Collect enough gel depending on the extent of the skin condition.
  3. If you opt to use lavender oil, add a few drops at this point and mix well.
  4. Soak the cotton wool in the gel and apply it on the skin.


2. Garlic Cloves:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Fresh garlic cloves, pestle and mortar, clean piece of cloth and warm bath water. Garlic supplements (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


In dealing with fungal skin conditions, one of the best home remedies you can use is fresh garlic cloves. Garlic is a potent anti-fungal, thanks to the presence of an active ingredient known as allicin. When applied topically, the garlic paste/juice destroys the fungal population and helps heal the discolored skin patches. Regular use of this home remedy works perfectly to eliminate the itching and provide much-needed relief from the symptoms of tinea versicolor. In addition to the raw garlic, you may also take supplements available from your local chemist.
NOTE: Consult your doctor if you have high blood pressure and associated conditions to prevent drug-drug interactions.


  1. Peel and chop the garlic cloves before transferring them to the mortar.
  2. Pound the chopped garlic using the pestle until you have a paste-like substance.
  3. You may use this paste in its state, or place the paste in a clean cloth and squeeze to release the juice.
  4. Apply the paste or juice on the skin and allow to dry for a few minutes.
  5. Wind up the experience with a warm bath to wash off the garlic.
  6. Use this remedy daily, alongside garlic supplements.

NB: If you are concerned about the pungent smell of garlic, you can always rub your hands/skin using freshly squeezed lemon juice. This not only eliminates the characteristic smell, it also rejuvenates the skin and allows for quick healing.


3. Tea Tree Oil:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Tea tree oil, carrier oil (such as extra virgin olive/ coconut oil), cotton wool and warm water to rinse.
Difficulty: Easy


Tea tree oil, just like garlic cloves, has potent anti-fungal properties that make it a reliable remedy for the natural treatment of tinea versicolor. The oil not only prevents the spread of the infection, it also provides great relief from the severe itchiness. The advantage of using tea tree oil is that it effectively prevents the recurrence of the infection. Note that when using tea tree oil, you must add a carrier oil to prevent skin irritation. Coconut oil, jojoba and olive oil are excellent options for this.


  1. Mix the 5 drops of tea tree oil with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil (either coconut or olive oil).
  2. Soak the cotton wool in the oil mixture and use it to apply on the affected skin.
  3. Let the oil mixture dry on its own in order to allow the healing properties of the oil set it.
  4. Rinse the skin using warm water and dry well.
  5. Use this remedy thrice daily for best results.


4. Oregano Oil:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Oregano essential oil, extra virgin olive oil, cotton wool and warm water. Oregano oil supplements.
Difficulty: Easy


You can easily treat tinea versicolor using orgenao oil as it is one of the most effective anti-fungal oils available. The oil also destroys the fungi and reduces the itchiness that abounds in this skin condition. In addition to the oil, you may also take oregano supplements to help speed up the healing process.


  1. Mix the oregano essential oil with the olive oil.
  2. Use cotton wool to apply the oil mixture on the affected skin and leave it to dry for about half an hour.
  3. Rinse the oil mixture off after 30 minutes.
  4. Follow this remedy through on a daily basis until the skin patches clear.


5. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil and cinnamon oil (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


Coconut oil is an ideal home remedy for the natural treatment of any type of skin fungal infection. This is what makes it ideal for the treatment of tinea versicolor. In fact, the presence of medium chain fatty acids present in the oil halts the growth of the fungi responsible for this skin condition. Add cinnamon oil to reduce the itchiness and improve the efficiency of the remedy.


  1. Simply apply the extra virgin coconut oil on the skin and let it dry on its own.
  2. Alternatively, mix the coconut oil with the cinnamon oil and apply on the skin patches affected by the fungal infection.


6. Yogurt:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Plain yogurt and warm water.
Difficulty: Easy


Yogurt is a natural remedy for fungal infections such as Tinea Versicolor. The presence of probiotics in the yogurt is responsible for keeping the growth and spread of the fungi in check. This has proven to be a reliable cure, one that also prevents the recurrence of the fungal infection. All you need for this remedy is yogurt (preferably plain/natural) and warm water for rinsing purposes.


  1. Simply slather a generous amount of the yogurt on the affected part of the skin.
  2. Let the yogurt stay on the skin for half an hour or so and then wash off with warm water.


7. Neem Plant:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A handful of neem leaves, 2 cups of water and a strainer. Neem oil and choice carrier oil (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


Neem, also known as Indian Lilac, has long been used for the natural cure of skin fungal infections. The herb’s potent healing properties help manage the growth and spread of the fungi that leads to tinea viscolor. Used on a regular basis, the leaves provide relief from the itchiness as well as enhance speedy recovery. If you cannot get neem leaves, you may use neem oil as a substitute. Remember to add a carrier oil for this option in order to prevent skin irritation.


Using Neem Leaves

  1. Wash the neem leaves well before preparing this remedy.
  2. Place the washed neem leaves in a pan and pour over the water.
  3. Boil the mixture for 10 minutes and then pass through a strainer.
  4. Let the solution cool and then apply to the affected skin.
  5. The other option for the use of neem leaves is to grind them until you get a paste which you can then apply on your skin. Rinse the skin well and pat dry.
  6. Use this remedy twice daily for a couple of weeks until you notice an improvement in your skin condition.

Using Neem Oil

  1. Neem oil has the same benefits as neem leaves, but must be used alongside a carrier oil to prevent skin irritation at the site of application.
  2. Simply mix the neem oil with your preferred carrier oil and apply on the affected skin twice daily until the infection clears and the discolored patches are treated.


8. Apple Cider Vinegar:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup each of apple cider vinegar and warm water (used for dilution) and cotton wool.
Difficulty: Easy


Apple cider vinegar, like tea tree oil, is one of the most versatile home remedies for the natural treatment of tinea viscolor. This is because it has antimicrobial properties which are known to keep the proliferation of fungi in check. this remedy is simple to use, and all you need to do is dilute it as indicated in the directions below.


  1. Mix equal amounts of the Apple cider vinegar with the warm water and soak the cotton ball in it.
  2. Apply the mixture on the affected skin and allow it to dry before rinsing using warm water.
  3. Use this remedy at least once daily for effective treatment.


9. Baking Soda:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Baking soda and warm water (amount varies depending on the extent of skin affected by the infection).
Difficulty: Easy


Baking soda, sometimes referred to as sodium bicarbonate (as this is the only active ingredient present), is recommended for the natural treatment of tinea viscolor. The remedy works because it is an antacid, and tinea viscolor requires an acidic environment to thrive in. By creating a balance in the pH levels and lowering the acidity, baking soda is able to contain the spread of the fungal infection. You need water to create a paste for topical application, preferably used after a shower.


  1. Add some water to the baking soda and stir until you get a paste with the desired consistency.
  2. Apply the paste on the part of the skin ravaged by tinea viscolor.
  3. Leave the paste on for about 10 minutes and then gently scrub the skin. This allows for exfoliation and speeds up the healing process.
  4. Rinse the paste using warm water and use this remedy daily.


In addition to the home remedies listed above, it is important to eat healthy. The simple logic for this is that a weak immune system predisposes you to flares of tinea viscolor. Strengthening the immunity on the other hand, helps the body fight off infection and speeds up the healing process. If you have any concerns around tinea viscolor, book an appointment with a dermatologist to chart the way forward.