What Can I Put in My Laundry to Kill Tinea Versicolor?

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Tinea versicolor is a fungal yeast infection that develops in the pores of the skin, most commonly in the upper body, causing the affected areas to turn a different color than your normal skin tone. On fair to light color skin the splotches can appear as a lighter patch of your natural skin tone up to a pink tone. On medium to darker skin tones, the patches of skin affected appear as very light to very dark splotches. If you spend time in the sun, the splotches of skin are more noticeable so sunbathing will only exacerbate the skin condition.

Disinfecting Your Laundry

  • When you have a fungal yeast infection such as tineau versicolor, you should disinfect all clothing coming into contact with the infected area to keep it under control once it has been diagnosed and treatment has started. Recurring outbreaks of this fungal infection can come from the fungi that are on clothing worn during the outbreak. Washing clothing in very hot water is recommended to keep the fungus from returning but it is not possible to use the hot water cycle for all laundry. Since this type of infection generally attacks the upper body, having your sweaters or shirts dry cleaned is the best way to insure all of the infection is killed. For your whites, add a half cup of bleach with your regular laundry detergent to your wash cycle. Fill the washer with water before adding soiled clothing and run an extra rinse cycle to insure that laundry is rinsed thoroughly. It is more difficult to treat your colored fabrics and fabrics that cannot be washed in hot water. For these fabrics, add a cup of apple cider vinegar to the wash cycle with your regular detergent. The acidity in the vinegar will kill the fungi but you should give the wash an extra rinse to remove the vinegar smell from the fabric. Dry clothing on the hottest cycle possible as the heat will kill the yeast, but use caution, because the heat may make the clothing shrink. If possible, hang your clothing outdoors in the sun to dry.
    Try grapefruit seed extract, which you can buy at herb shops; it is a natural disinfectant. Grapefruit seed extract is safe for all colors and temperatures and is used by hospitals to disinfect their laundry. Add 1/2 cup to your wash water with your regular detergent to kill any lingering yeast.

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