Tinea Versicolor Diet

A specially modified Tinea Versicolor diet is one of the most common treatments for those suffering from this condition. Yeast is a natural part of human skin, but certain conditions such as profuse sweating or excessive heat can cause the yeast to grow out of control, becoming a rash-causing infection known as Tinea Versicolor.

What is Tinea Versicolor?

Tinea Versicolor is a skin condition caused when yeast already present on the skin overgrows and creates spots of discoloration. These blemishes can appear in colors such as white, pink, red, or brown. They may appear darker or lighter than surrounding skin. Tinea Versicolor spots may appear anywhere on the body but occur most commonly on the arms, back, chest, and neck.

A common cause of Tinea Versicolor is hot weather. Spots may appear during the late spring and summer months and disappear during the fall and winter. People with naturally oily, moist skin are especially prone to Tinea Versicolor Though the condition does not produce any other symptoms or pose particular harm to the sufferer's health, the spots are visually unappealing, causing the sufferer to seek remedy. Treatment typically consists of the use of ointments and shampoos. Physicians may also suggest lifestyle changes, such as modifications to the sufferer's diet.

Typical treatments for Tinea Versicolor sufferers

Tinea Versicolor is often treated through the use of topical agents such as shampoos, creams, and ointments. These products typically contain ingredients such as clotrimazole and zinc. The products are usually available over the counter; however, in some cases, the caregiver may prescribe medication instead. They are applied to the affected area, where the active ingredient combats the infection. The goal is to clear away the fungs and restore the skin to its original appearance.

Lifestyle changes are also recommended. Patients may be advised to avoid unnecessary exposure to sunlight. Those who do have to go out into the sun should use anti-fungal shampoo for at least two days before exposure. Patients should also use a broad spectrum, non-greasy sunscreen with an SPF of 30.

The patient should avoid tight clothing, instead wearing fabrics that allow the skin to breathe.

Typical Diet Modifications for Tinea Versicolor sufferers

Caregivers encourage their patients to limit consumption of foods with high levels of yeast and carbohydrates. Sugar in particular fuel the growth of yeast and exacerbate the development of Tinea Versicolor spots. Caregivers will tell Tinea Versicolor patients to avoid unnecessary use of sugar, such as adding the substance to their coffee or cereal.

Foods that are high in yeast and sugar include:

  • Baked goods
  • Biscuits
  • Bread
  • Bagels
  • Bread rolls
  • Buns
  • Brownies

Casserole (including pasta dishes such as baked ziti, lasagne, macaroni and cheese, macaroni casserole, macaroni pie, and pastitsio)

  • Cookies
  • Crackers

Custard (including bienenstich, Boston creme pie, bougasta, flanby, galaktoboureko, as well as some souflees and sweet potato pies)

  • Pastries
  • Pies
  • Pudding
  • Tarts

Viennoserie (including croissants, brioche buns, and chausson aux pommes)

Fruits and nuts are also to be avoided, as they will accelerate the growth of mold and yeast, which can aggravate Tinea Versicolor.

  • Apples
  • Avocado
  • Apricot
  • Blueberry
  • Blackberry
  • Banana
  • Blackcurrant
  • Champedak
  • Custard apple
  • Cantaloupe
  • Casaba
  • Crenshaw
  • Orange
  • Tree tomato
  • Tangerine
  • Tangelo
  • Tomato
  • Watermelon
  • Xigua
  • Zucchini

Also to be avoided are foods that contain vinegar and barley malt, and milk-based products.

Foods that are recommended for those with Tinea Versicolor include:

Green vegetables (green vegetables contain antioxidants to the body, enabling it to fight fungal infections such as TV. These include:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Artichokes
  • Broccoli
  • Rapini
  • Asparagus
  • Collard greens
  • Celery
  • Leek
  • Kohlrabi
  • Purslane
  • Mustard greens
  • Scallions
  • Zucchini
  • Okra
  • Lettuce
  • Green beans
  • Dandelion greens
  • Fennel
  • Endive
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Argula
  • Bok choy
  • Green bell peppers
  • Beet greens

Uncured meats, including poultry, and seafood are great for TV patients. They do not contain any additives that promote yeast growth. Eggs and beans are suggested for TV sufferers, for similar reasons. Because of their harmless compositions, olive oil and vegetable oil are two products that are OK for use as ingredients by Tinea Versicolor patients.

Also recommended for TV patients are whole grain foods, these are not conducive to the growth of mold and can have other positive health benefits.

  • Whole grain breads
  • Sliced bread
  • Bagels
  • Tortillas
  • English muffins
  • Pita bread
  • Dinner rolls or other buns
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Whole wheat
  • Brown rice
  • Amaranth
  • Corn
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Steel cut oats
  • Rolled oats
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Granola
  • Grape nuts
  • Cheerios
  • Kashi instant hot cereal
  • Shredded Wheat
  • Whole grain side dishes
  • Kasha
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Kasha (whole grain buckwheat)
  • Wheatberries
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Whole grain snacks
  • Popcorn
  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Whole rice crackers
  • Corn chips
  • Granola bars
  • Whole grain flours
  • Whole grain flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Whole rye flour
  • Brown rice flour
  • Millet
  • Spelt flour
  • Buckwheat flour

The patient's doctor may recommend some additional dietary changes, depending on the particular severity of their Tinea Versicolor.

The rationale behind the Tinea Versicolor diet

A Tinea Versicolor diet is seen as part of what experts call "the lifestyle approach" to Tinea Versicolor treatment. This approach to treating this condition sees the patient build habits that promote adequate control, and ultimately prevention, of their condition. The changes include proper hygiene and sanitation practices. Proper laundry techniques are an important tactic in combatting the condition. It is the hope that by eliminating habits that damage skin and promote fungal growth the sufferer can stifle the development of their Tinea Versicolor.

Typical results of a Tinea Versicolor diet

A Tinea Versicolor diet is based upon general knowledge of the interaction between yeasty foods and fungal conditions. However, there are no formal studies of the effects of dietary alterations on Tinea Versicolor. In fact, one website says that dietary alterations have not proven to be effective in the treatment of Tinea Versicolor. However, it is a common belief that avoiding anything that can feed fungal infections will have positive benefits in treating conditions such as Tinea Versicolor.


Use of treatments and lifestyle changes has been known to be effective in the treatment of Tinea Versicolor. However, the most effective treatment can only be determined by the patient's individual caregiver. If a person believes they have Tinea Versicolor, they should consult a medical professional.