tinea versicolor sanitized laundry

Sanitizing Your Laundry.

Washing Your Way To Fewer Outbreaks.

As you may already know, Tinea Versicolor (TV) is a persistent skin fungus that won’t go away without a fight.

I equate TV to the Tasmanian Devil. When it gets wound up, it’s hard to stop. When you think it’s gone, it’s not; it’s only laying in wait, anxious to strike again.

Oftentimes the fungus is attached to your clothing and bedding without you knowing it. The jury is still out on how long it can survive this way, but it seems that the measure is weeks!

With that in mind, it’s important that you understand the need to change your clothes, bath towels and bedding daily, and then effectively laundering them when you’re experiencing an outbreak of TV.

The idea is to disinfect the material or cloth so that the yeast and fungus living on the skin flakes which cling to the cloth, don’t survive to cause a recurrence on your skin.

But simply doing your laundry isn’t enough. You’ve got to sanitize it. There are several ways to do that:

3 Ways To Sanitize Your Laundry:

1. I personally use (and recommend,) ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar in my laundry’s rinse cycle without the fabric softener.

The acetic acid of the white vinegar is a powerful anti-microbial. If you’re concerned about a vinegar smell (I have never experienced this,) you can run an extra rinse cycle to eliminate any residual trace.
NOTE: I never use fabric softener or drier sheets in my laundry as these contain fatty compounds and chemicals I don’t want on my skin.

2. For your white load ONLY, you can add a ½ cup of bleach.

Combine with your regular laundry detergent, but don’t overdo it. Too much bleach breaks down fabric.

I wear white or natural linen clothes whenever possible especially during an outbreak specifically for this ease of laundry benefit.

3. Drying your laundry is best done outside where the natural ozone works as another effective anti-microbial.

But I live in South Florida where hanging laundry outside isn’t always possible due to humidity and unpredictable rains, so I utilize an ozone generator in my laundry room where I hang my laundry to air-dry.

And that’s all there is to it.

I truly encourage you to re-think how you wash your laundry, and recommend you change your clothes, bath towels and particularly your bedding daily.

After all…what’s the point in going through the hassle of treating your skin when you’re letting the fungus live on the things you come into contact with?

The real key to treating Tinea Versicolor, is to avoid recurrence.

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Comments

    • Sky
    • September 27, 2017
    Reply

    Hello,
    So, I’ve just discovered I have this Tinea Versicolor and have been perusing the web for information.
    My doc gave me a topical cream but, I want to add supplements to my diet to reduce chances of recurrence as well as speeding up recovery.
    I have also read your article on laundry sanitizing and another recommending a chlorine filter for my shower.
    I am confused: why is it o.k. for me to sanitize my laundry with Vinegar and Chlorine when elsewhere you say avoid it?
    If I put Vinegar (with it’s natural yeast component) in my laundry and then wear those garments, will my skin not be having contact with yeast particles again?
    And, if I use bleach (i.e. Chlorine) will my skin not have issues with that contact too?

    Please explain.
    Thank you.

    • Hilary
    • July 15, 2017
    Reply

    Hi,

    I’ve been struggling with this for years, it’s gotten worse ever since I brought a cat into the household. My doctor told me that it could be from the cat. Anyways, my question about your 2 step process with the Terrasil is about washing your hair with it. Do you follow up with regular shampoo? I’m a woman and I like to color my hair and I was just wondering about the health of my hair if I replace it with the soap. I’m also allergic to a lot of the stuff they put in shampoo as well.

    Thanks!

      • Tony
      • October 10, 2017
      Reply

      Hi Hilary. Thanks for your question.

      Leave the Terrasil in your hair overnight after you shower…and shampoo in the morning.

    • anon
    • February 21, 2017
    Reply

    Nope–vinegar is a very weak disinfectant at best, and when diluted by water will be even more ineffective. Same with essential oils, like tea tree oil.

    • Jenny
    • May 30, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Tony,

    What is the cause of TV?
    Also, can I possibly pass this by skin contact? Or any other way?

      • Tony
      • July 22, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Jenny. Thanks for contacting me.

      Please read the following articles:
      1. What causes TV?
      2. Is TV contagious?

    • shefrala
    • May 2, 2016
    Reply

    Hello. I just found out that a housemate has this. I’m wondering how safe it is to share a washing machine with him… should I run an empty cycle in between. He has it all over his body… and so far the doctors haven’t been able to give him anything that helps.

      • Tony
      • May 8, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Shefrala. Thanks for contacting me.

      I think the best thing you can do is have your housemate sanitize his laundry when he uses the washing machine.
      See my article: Sanitizing Your Laundry.

      You would be helping him with his problem, while ensuring the community equipment is clean. It is a win-win solution.

      Also, know that Tinea Versicolor is NOT contagious. If you are not predisposed to this skin condition, you will not contract it, through the laundry or any other way.

    • Emily
    • October 3, 2015
    Reply

    Hi,

    I am a huge hot yoga fan which I can’t even imagine giving up. However I believe humidity and excessive sweating is not helping my TV. Any recommendations?

    EA

      • Tony
      • October 3, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Emily. Thanks for contacting me.

      I have taken classes in Bikram Yoga, and I exercise daily.
      Here is what I do…follow my suggestions in the article: 5 Precautions To Take When Exercising.

    • Ninfa Doyle
    • September 21, 2015
    Reply

    I’ve had tv for years, and have tried kojic soap, selsun blue, tinactin, almost all “zole” products, on top of all these I also use fresh lime directly from the tree, tea tree oil and yogurt. I change my clothing everyday and sleep gear at night. I’ve used bleach in my laundry in hot water. However I only change linens once a week. But it is still here! I am now eating mostly fruits and yogurt. What gives? Please help. Thank you.

      • Tony
      • September 22, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Ninfa. Thanks for contacting me.

      I think you just haven’t found what works for you. I know it sounds somewhat nebulous…but Tinea Versicolor (TV) is notorious for that!

      My suggestion remains…keep trying. TV is controllable. It took me years to find a solution that works very well for me. (And I continually try to improve upon it.)

      And also, keep a journal. Take a scientific approach to your treatment and record as much as you can. It is an invaluable tool that helps me determine results from any changes I make (as I tweak and adjust) my treatment.

        • Yadunandan
        • April 23, 2016
        Reply

        Hello,

        I’ve had tinea versicolor for 3 years now. I’m 22. the fungus is all over my back, neck, chest, face, and scalp. I’ve tried ketaconazole, fluconazole, clotrimazole creams and lotions. recently my doc prescribed me itraconazole tablets along with another ketaconazole lotion and shampoo. I’m sick and tired of this tinea shit. It just doesn’t go away. keeps recurring every now and then. now ive turned to natural remedies which includes apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. i dont know how this will turn out. Please help. It’s all over my body and taking over my life 🙁

          • Tony
          • April 27, 2016
          Reply

          Hi Yadunandan…and thanks for contacting me.

          I am sorry to hear of your frustration with the recurring nature of Tinea Versicolor. It must be the hardest to face phenomena in medical history.

          Keep your hopes up, because it is controllable.
          Have you followed my treatment suggestions?
          Have you taken any precautions with your diet and laundry?

          All the above (when working together,) can really give you a powerful remedy against TV.
          And remember, even when it looks like your skin is better…you need to keep up a maintenance regimen to lessen the chances of another breakout.

          Start here: http://www.tinea-versicolor.net/treatment-of-tinea-versicolor/
          And look for my articles on Diet and Laundry.

          I hope this helps.

          • Kathryn K.
          • August 27, 2016
          Reply

          I’ve had TV really bad too in the past…I used to use quite a bit of the prescription ketaconazole 2% cream and leave in on your skin while you’re sleeping, don’t wash it off…then you wake up, wash your body…when all the TV goes away it’s good to use Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo, as it’s anti-fungal and has ketaconazole 2% as well, maybe once a month or so…rub the shampoo, undiluted, all over the areas where you used to get TV and leave on for 5-10 minutes, then wash off…this maintenance part is really important.

      • Alex
      • January 24, 2017
      Reply

      Try natural soaps and cut out the fruits. Eat protein (meat, eggs, fish, nuts), a lot of veggies, and limit your starch intake. Eat preferably only brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, millet. Cook with coconut oil or ghee. Avoid simple sugars.

    • greta
    • April 11, 2015
    Reply

    Hey,
    I am a 24 year old girl. I noticed a small dry patch on my neck 1 month ago. I consulted a dermatologist and was prescribed terbinafine cream along with Itraconazole pills. The pink scaly patch is now white in color. I had two similar spots on my thighs but they have vanished without leaving any white spots. I did my research on Tinea and have read about its recurrence. Is it necessary that the condition would recur inspite of maintaining good personal hygiene? I am from India and its generally warm and humid most of the year. I am worried… The white spot on my neck is an embarrassment.

      • Tony
      • April 11, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Greta. Thanks for contacting me.

      Tinea Versicolor is notorious for re-occurrence. Even if your personal hygiene is meticulous.
      The most effective method to eliminate the chances of repeat breakouts is to continue a routine…daily…even when it appears to be gone from your body.
      The strategy is to establish, and then maintain a hostile environment on your body for the fungus.

        • Kathryn K.
        • August 27, 2016
        Reply

        I agree…I’ve had more than one re-occurrence…TV loves warm, moist skin…even washing with anti-fungal soap with tea tree oil as your main soap would probably help a lot and keeping the skin as dry as possible.

    • Angelo
    • January 22, 2014
    Reply

    Hi,

    Thank you on your advice and great information. I have a question. I had TV about 3 and half years ago. It took about 6 months to clear up. I have many clothes from that time which I have not worn since. Do I still need to sanitize them? Or is the fungus dead? Also, do things such as belts need to be sanitized?

    Thank you and hope your words gets around and everyone be cured soon.

    Angelo

      • Tony
      • January 24, 2014
      Reply

      Hi Angelo. Thanks for contacting me.

      Sanitizing items that come into contact with your skin can only help to improve the situation of creating a hostile environment for Tinea Versicolor. I would say to get a good start, you do consider sanitizing your clothes.

    • Docmiyas
    • November 28, 2013
    Reply

    Hi!
    Thanks for this nice blog! I am a model that has discovered about Tinea Versicolor on her skin very recently! It is sad, very depressing and very embarrassing for me. This horrible fungus is affecting my career, my self-esteem, my outfits and my relationships. I don’t even know if it is possible for me to stay in the modeling industry anymore! Once my skin was my best feature.

    Anyway it looks like you are an expert in the field so I decided to ask all questions I have in mind.

    1) Do you now always (even in the summer,) have an even skin tone after using the 4 steps strategy?
    2) From the interview page of the web, I saw that the 4 steps strategy treatment does not work out for every skin so how long should I stick to this treatment or any other to prove that it is really working?
    3) Working out is a must in my life! I exercise daily for another serious medical condition. So do you think I can cure my skin even if I keep working out in the gym?
    4) My last question, as a model and as a young girl in her early twenty’s, I am very worried about my appearance. So do you know any makeup or anything that can cover the uneven skin tone till I get a healthy skin?

    P.S. I am sorry for this long text and for coming up with many questions. Its because I am feeling helpless and hopeless. I hope you will get back to me soon with your answers. Thank you so much!

      • Tony
      • November 29, 2013
      Reply

      Hi Docmiyas. Thanks for contacting me.

      I sympathize with your story. Here are my answers:

      1. I am very satisfied with the results I achieve for treating my skin…even so…my research and experimenting never stops. Summertime is always a more challenging period. It requires more discipline.

      2. The best way to answer this is for yourself…by keeping a detailed daily log-book. Take notes on what you use on your skin and the quantity. This goes for everything you apply to your skin like make-up, etc. Include photos of your problem areas. Now you have a more scientific approach to measuring your progress.

      3. I whole-heartedly believe Tinea Versicolor is manageable. I find that chances of success is compounded in your favor when you approach this condition on many sides by including precautions in your diet and laundry routine. (Add these as entries in your log-book.)

      4. A regular contributor to the website, Marsha G. of Florida recommends a product made by Norvell called Halt. Here is a link to this article: http://www.tinea-versicolor.net/tinea-versicolor-reader-recommendation/

    • selam
    • November 26, 2013
    Reply

    Its me again! I’ve read both the posts you recommended.The thing is I am from Ethiopia. Here it’s impossible to find all the products that are mentioned on the posts except for the sunscreen. So are there other alternatives that I can use? p.s. I really appreciate you for taking your time to share ideas and help others. Thanks!

      • Tony
      • November 29, 2013
      Reply

      Hi Selam. Thank you for your kind comments.

      Here is a link to get products outside the USA: http://www.tinea-versicolor.net/products-for-tinea-versicolor/

      Shipping internationally can be expensive but you can generally make the experience more cost-effective if you order one year’s supply.

    • selam
    • November 21, 2013
    Reply

    Hi.
    I am 23. I am suffering from TV for more than a year. I went to a doctor 2 months ago. He ordered a cream, shampoo and some pills but I didn’t get my healthy skin back. It is frustrating me. What makes it worse is I am an athlete and I sweat excessively everyday. So should I quit my career as an athlete to have healthy skin? I am very confused! I can’t wear the outfits that I want because of my uneven skin. Please email me what I should do to treat it while I do my sweaty workouts. Please help! Thanks! p.s. Is it possible for the fungus to spread to my legs?

      • Tony
      • November 22, 2013
      Reply

      Hi Selam. Thanks for contacting me.

      You do not have to quit your career as an athlete just because of Tinea Versicolor (TV). You should however be more vigilant with your routine and precautions to treat your skin.

      Please see the following posts:

      Treatment of Tinea Versicolor.
      Tinea Versicolor: 5 Precautions to take when exercising.

    • Alisha
    • September 3, 2013
    Reply

    I have had TV for years (about 5-6) and my derm gave me anti-fungals which got rid of it and I am still doing what I can to keep it at bay. My questions is, what can I do about the spots? I’m African-American and most of these spots are hyper, so they are dark. Many have faded, but about 2 dozen still exist on my hands, torso and lower legs…I look like a leopard when I wear a 2 piece. Is there anything I can do to lighten these spots?

    I was a pretty girl, and now I only feel pretty if I’m covered from neck to ankle. Is there any type of skin treatment that I could do? Like a chemical peel or a laser or something? I hate to think that I have to spend the rest of my life with these round, dark marks.

      • Tony
      • September 4, 2013
      Reply

      Hi Alisha. thanks for contacting me.

      I don’t get many people reporting hyper-pigmentation because of Tinea Versicolor…most people have lighter spots (hypo-pigmentation,) due to their melanin production being compromised. But I have heard of one case that used an all-natural ingredient lotion to lighten the offending areas. Although I have not tried it personally, I think this would be a good start. I have no experience with “chemical peels and laser”.

      This person (also African-American,) used a product called Meladerm successfully to restore his uniform skin tone. He highlights the benefit of gentle natural ingredients and warns against side-effects of alternatives hydroquinone or steroids.

      I would add to avoid direct exposure to the sun and use an oil free sunscreen whenever you are exposed.
      Please report back with your experience and observations.

    • Chris
    • July 25, 2013
    Reply

    Not required as it’s not contagious via contact therefore why would it matter what you clean your clothes in? If you’re a normal person and keep up with necessary things such as laundry and linens then this has no relevance whatsoever. It’s a combination of poor immune system and oily skin. P.Zinc soap, diet, exercise and keeping yourself clean is the key to managing TV. It’s impossible to cure completely as it survives on everybody; what manages it is your immune system.

      • Tony
      • July 28, 2013
      Reply

      Hi Chris. Thanks for your comment.

      All of what you mention is correct…but a little clarification is necessary.

      The aim of sanitizing your laundry is not in reference to contagiousness (which you correctly state it is NOT,)…but to avoid “feeding” our body fungus with compounding organisms. Even after a regular hot-wash, micro-organisms survive on dead skin cells and cloth that has been in contact with us. We add to the problem when we wear the same garment again, and use the towel, and lay in bed.

      Most people spend a great deal of energy managing their Tinea Versicolor with soaps and creams, and I agree this is a very effective start. I simply wish to point out that there is more that can be done to intensify our defense…like laundry, diet and daily routine.

    • Kristy w
    • June 9, 2013
    Reply

    No not yet:/ I just got my Noble Soap in the mail Friday!

    • Kristy w
    • June 4, 2013
    Reply

    From knees to toes I have huge white patches! I am tanned and so it’s so awful!
    All I have done is use selsun and spray tenactin! It’s goin on 4 months:(( will I ever be a pretty tan color?
    What about shaving?? Does my razor hold the fungus too??!

      • Tony
      • June 8, 2013
      Reply

      Hi Kristy…and thanks for contacting me.

      Have you had a Dermatologist verify that what you have is Tinea Versicolor? If so then try my strategy which has helped many people.

      Good point about your razor…and since it is bound to accumulate skin cells, the answer is yes it does harbor the fungus. An dip in a sanitizing solution such as alcohol would take care of this.

    • Chantelle
    • April 23, 2013
    Reply

    I have had TV for about 2 years now. I ignored it at first, thinking that it was just dry skin but it started to look worse and spread. I took keto pills and it worked temporarily and I don’t want to take them for a prolonged amount of time. Soooo, after some research I have decided to try your regimen.
    Do you have any suggestions to what type of body wash or soap to use once I’ve switched to using the Noble Formula only once a week? Do you also think that loofahs carry/hold onto fungus? Should I stop using one?
    Thanks for your insight!

      • Chantelle
      • April 23, 2013
      Reply

      Also, do you know if products with a lot of essential oils can make it worse? thanks

        • Tony
        • April 24, 2013
        Reply

        Hi Chantelle…good question about soap.

        I find Noble Formula Soap suitable to use daily…I just use less. Many people in this community have reported the same. I just don’t like the ingredients in most other soaps (especially once I’ve gone through the work of controlling my Tinea Versicolor,) to be undoing all the good! This brings me to “products with essential oils”…generally these will feed your body fungus and potentially make your condition worse. Try 100% pure (extra virgin) coconut oil…see my blog post Tinea Versicolor and Moisturizing Your Skin.

        As for loofahs…these can be a serious breeding ground for many types of organisms. Just think of all the skin cells trapped in the fibers left hanging in a damp environment! I use a natural sponge (unbleached,) and regularly sanitize it in with my laundry.

    • Lola
    • December 17, 2012
    Reply

    Hi. I’m suffering from from TV for more than two years now.but since it has been only small spots I didn’t bother to go for treatment . But now it is covering my back and torso.i used ketoconazole 2% cream for three weeks , three months ago.since the spots didn’t disappear I used ketokonozale 2% pills for ten days. But the problem is the spots are still here , unchanged . I now it will take time for the rash to disappear.but I don’t know if the treatment has worked or not . Should I go to my doc and get checked if the fungus is still living in my body ? And maximum how many months will it take for the spots to disappear ? I’m thinking of getting married in March. Will my husband get infected by my fungus through sex ? 🙁 anxious

      • Tony
      • December 17, 2012
      Reply

      Hi Lola.

      Only a dermatologist can tell you the extent and state of the fungus on your body by conducting a simple skin scraping and passing a Wood’s-lamp over you. They are also expert at guiding the restoration of your natural skin tone. I suggest making an appointment with a dermatologist to make yourself look and feel good for your wedding day. (Congratulations.)

      As for infecting your husband, Tinea Versicolor is NOT contagious. Your dermatologist can elaborate on this.

        • Peace Tulip.
        • January 8, 2017
        Reply

        I use a black light to detect its location, it makes it fluorescence green.

    • Heather
    • December 3, 2012
    Reply

    As this yeast occurs naturally on everyone, and is not contagious – it’s nothing to do with laundry and everything to do with your body and the way it’s reacting to this overproduction of yeast. Laundry is the least of your defense strengths.

      • Tony
      • December 3, 2012
      Reply

      Hi Heather…and thanks for your comment.

      You’re very right about the yeast occurring naturally on everybody’s skin, and being non-contagious. My advice about laundry is aimed at limiting conditions that promote repeated outbreaks by not feeding the fungus on dirt, dead skin cells and sweat that gets transferred to anything that contacts your skin. Ultimately this works to make your treatment for Tinea Versicolor far more effective.

    • Marcus
    • November 1, 2012
    Reply

    Thanks for the laundry strategy. Will start to adopt the tips you have down. I might also add that bamboo fabrics are known to be anti-bacterial/anti-fungal, so it might be good to look into towels/sheets etc that are made out of bamboo fabrics.
    Will also adopt spraying disinfectant on my sheets everyday, because daily washing/changing would be a pain (and a waste of water!!).
    I’m hoping to nip this by the bud and trap it so that it only stays on my back (and goes away) and doesn’t happen anywhere else, cos that would totally suck.

      • Tony
      • November 2, 2012
      Reply

      I think attitude is the strongest arsenal…and you certainly have the right measure Marcus. Be pro-active and consistent, and please report back to let us know what has worked for you.

    • Mya
    • September 30, 2012
    Reply

    I need help!!!!!!!!! Ive had this TV fr over 4 months and nothing is working. Ive been prescribed Keta pills..the nizoral shampoo. ve tried the tea tree oil and the selsum blue and nothing is working. Its covering my chest..arms and shoulders and now Im starting to get depressed about it. I truly dont know what to do. I feel like a person from the unknown because I see people staring at me…PLEASE CAN SOMEON HELP ME!!!!!
    YOU CAN EMAIL ME OR CALL ME OR WHATEVER..I NEED HELP!

      • Tony
      • October 1, 2012
      Reply

      Hi Mya…and thanks for contacting me.

      You haven’t tried pyrithione zinc in Noble Formula Soap…I strongly recommend you read and follow my 4 step strategy on the treatment of Tinea Versicolor page.

      Remember TV is tenacious…so never let your guard down.

      Please check back with me soon to let me know how you make out.

      • Peace Tulip.
      • January 8, 2017
      Reply

      I saw a YouTube video for a soap called Defense soap. It is used along with Tea tree oil. It contains Eucalytus oil and tea tree oil.

    • Antonia
    • July 14, 2012
    Reply

    hello I also use Lysol in my wash and it has help a lot. For me its hard to change my sheets everyday so I spray Lysol on them everyday during my 2 week healing process then just change my sheets every three days. I have also notice that coconut oil for moisture of my skin works great for me.

      • Tony
      • July 14, 2012
      Reply

      Hi Antonia.
      That’s a good tip…thank you for sharing with us.
      Washing laundry so regularly is laborious, but it is very effective in the fight over Tinea Versicolor.

    • Crystal
    • November 28, 2011
    Reply

    Reading your blogs has just taught me so many things. I’ve been struggling with TV for years, and dermatologists don’t seem to have this much advice or this many solutions. I am going to do my best to try and everything you are saying, and hopefully get this awful skin problem under control. Thank you so much for your blogs, I’ve never found anything better on the internet!

      • Tony
      • November 28, 2011
      Reply

      Hi Crystal.
      Thank you for your kind comments.
      We support you in your fight to control Tinea Versicolor…and restore your skin to natural health.
      Please “check in” regularly and let us know what works for you.

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