Haole rot. You’ve probably heard this phrase on your Hawaiian vacation and thought it was a charming native greeting. Well… it’s not charming and it’s not a greeting! It is clinically known as Tinea Versicolor and it is actually a fungal growth of yeast that occurs naturally on the skin. A type of acidic bleach from this type of yeast causes areas of skin to be a different color than the skin around them. These areas can look spotty or patchy. You know you have Tinea Versicolor when you have patches on your skin that may be white, pink, red, or brown and can be lighter or darker than the skin around them. These areas do not tan the way the rest of your skin does. They may occur anywhere on your body but are most commonly seen on your neck, chest, back, and arms. The spots may disappear during cool weather and get worse during warm and humid weather. So don’t be surprised if you notice a Tinea breakout in the summer months. They may be dry and scaly and may also itch or be irritated. A doctor will typically prescribe an antifungal wash or cream or depending on the severity of the case an antibiotic.
In my experience with Tinea Versicolor, and I’ve had a lot of it. I could lessen the symptoms with exfoliation and moisturization. I would get breakouts of it on my arms and chest so I would drybrush the area until it started flaking and then exfoliate it in the shower with a castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s lavender soap, I like lavender because it has some antibacterial properties and it smells lovely. And then I would thoroughly moisturize with Sweet Bee Magic, the honey in it is incredibly anti-microbial and has anti-fungal properties that worked great to soothe my skin and slowly kill the Tinea fungus. In some cases this alone could lessen the symptoms enough to not visit the doctor and in others I would use a prescription skin wash. It all depends on your skin and the severity of your breakout.
I wish you all healthy glowing skin this summer!