Who has heard of Tinea Versicolor? Unfortunately, me. I first remember these ugly little splotches popping up when I was a teenager…most prominent on my back/chest. While mine is not as severe as these photos I found online, and it sometimes goes away for months and/or years, it’s just as annoying!!! For those of you blessed enough not to make Mr. Versicolor’s acquaintance, here’s some info:
Tinea versicolor: Overview
Also called pityriasis versicolor
We all have yeast living on our skin. When the yeast grow out of control, a person can get a skin disease called tinea versicolor.
Your dermatologist may tell you that you have a fungal infection on your skin. Yeast is a type of fungus.
Many people get tinea versicolor. It is one of the most common skin diseases in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. People who live in tropical areas may have tinea versicolor year-round.
Tinea versicolor: Signs and symptoms
The first sign of tinea versicolor is often spots on the skin. The other signs and symptoms are:
- The spots are lighter (sometimes darker) than the surrounding skin. The color of the spots can be white, pink, salmon, red, tan, or brown.
- The spots can appear anywhere on the body.
- Spots can be dry and scaly.
- Skin may itch where the spots appear.
- Spots become more noticeable as the skin tans. The yeast prevents the skin from tanning.
- Spots grow slowly.
- As the yeast grows, the spots can combine and form patches of lighter (or darker) skin.
- The spots may disappear when the temperature drops and return in the spring or summer when the air gets warm and humid.
Fun stuff huh? Did I go to a dermatologist? Nope. I’m a self-diagnoser, and I’m not afraid to admit it because I’m usually correct (90% of the time anyway). Additionally, I’m more confident in my “diagnoses” because it’s been supported by 2 doctors–I went there for random things (an allergist and a GP for a checkup) and they both noticed, commented, and called it by name.
Now to the treatment, man, this crap is hard to get rid of. It acts up more when I’m hot and sweaty which is a lot since I workout quite a bit, and live a pretty active lifestyle in the super hot Midwest. The most common treatment is:
Medicine applied to the skin: There are anti-fungal shampoos, soaps, creams, and lotions that can keep the yeast under control. The active ingredient in these medicines is often selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, or pyrithione zinc.
This has been my go-to. I’ve done Selsuin Blue (yes, the dandruff shampoo, contains selenium sulfide), which consists of letting this shampoo sit on your skin for an allotted amount of time, and then showering it off. The downfall is that this sometimes burns my skin, and has occasionally left a bit of a scar. I’ve even done Monistat 7 (no, it’s not just for hoo-has). All of these treatments are time-consuming and expensive. I’ve done more things than I can even go into on this blog post. Some worked but took 5000 years, some didn’t work at all, and some kept it from getting worse. None of them worked very well. I was tempted to try anti-fungal pills (which I despise taking and putting weird things into my body) but I was getting desperate.
Anti-fungal pills: A dermatologist may prescribe these pills if the tinea versicolor covers a large area of the body, is thick, or often returns after it is treated. These pills are taken for a short time. But anti-fungal pills can cause unwanted side effects. They can interfere with other medicine that you take. A dermatologist will monitor a patient who takes this medicine. Umm…no ma’am!
I was honored with the opportunity to try TVT Sensitive from Elk Haven Herbals complimentary in exchange for my honest review. I had low expectations honestly, but boy did this stuff make my life!
I’m not going to lie, when I first received it and opened it, it scared me! To me, it had a faint bleach smell. Yes, you heard me, bleach! I thought, there’s no way in hell I’m putting that on my skin. Now, let’s keep this in perspective, I have a REALLY sensitive nose. No, it didn’t smell like bleach super bad, like I was getting ready to wash a load of whites…it was just faint. And, the ingredients are ALL NATURAL. But still, I’m a chicken. So I put this stuff up on my shelf and thought, no way! I left it for about 2-3 weeks.
In those weeks, my versicolor roared…rejecting the outside bike rides my husband and I were taking in 90 degree weather. It spread from one little friendly spot on my back, to all over my entire back. No, I didn’t take pics, because I don’t like looking at it nor showing it off. 😦 But trust me, it was bad! I’m blessed enough to where it doesn’t much spread beyond my back and it’s mostly covered, but I do enjoy wearing tank tops etc and it makes me self-conscience for sure. I thought, screw it. What do I have to lose?
I tested it for a day or 2 on a small part of my body. Then I braved up, and put it all over myself every night before bed as the directions instructed. I was diligent, I did not miss a day. A week goes by and it still looks the same. On that second week, I thought I noticed some SLIGHT improvement. Honey, by week 3, I was a fan! There was no disputing that this stuff was killing the ugly fungus, and restoring my skin to normal! After about 5-6 weeks, the versicolor was completely gone!
Needless to say, I am a fan for life! I will ALWAYS have this stuff in my cabinet, and I’m still using it periodically for maintenance. It’s all natural, and I experienced no skin irritation or ugly side effects. The price point isn’t bad (it’s a thin liquid that goes a long way), and truly, for great ,clear skin, isn’t it worth it?
Our Tinea Versicolor Treatment for sensitive skin at Elk Haven Herbals provides the necessary concentration of nitrogenous compounds to eliminate an often incurable tinea infection. By combining the nitrogenous compounds with a base of aloe vera, this product reduces the risk of reaction for those with skin sensitivies. Our eight ounce bottle should last on average two months with daily treatment.
So, do you have Versicolor or know someone that does? What has been your experience? Hi-Five, dap, head-nod and a twirl to Fashionably clear skin!