Haole Rot Prevention

Haole rot. A colloquial phrase originating in Hawaii refers to a skin condition which is well known by the surfing or waterman community. Less known to athletes outside those circles, haole rot actually refers to Tinea Versicolor, an overgrowth of yeast that occur naturally on the skin.  Surfers and other Athletes are especially prone to developing a full-blown infection due to the increased likelihood of being in hot, humid and sweaty environments where this type of fungal infection thrives. Overgrowth is typically treated with anti fungal wash or cream, but can be very persistent and difficult to completely eradicate. So what is the best treatment option for you? Keep reading learn more about Haole Rot and various treatment options. 

What is Haole Rot?

Haole rot also known as Tenea Versicolor is a common skin fungal infection caused by an excessive growth of a yeast called Pityrosporon orbiculare which can cause areas of color on the skin to be different than they are naturally. This is because the yeast contains a type of acidic bleach. 

Causes of Haole rot:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Oily skin
  • Poor nutrition
  • Pregnancy
  • diabetes
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Birth control pills
  • Steroids
  • Sweating
  • Hot humid conditions

Symptoms include:

  • Patches of white, pink, red or brown on the skin which are lighter or darker than the skin around them most commonly seen on the neck, chest, back and arms but may also appear on the face.
  • Spots that may disappear during cool weather and get worse when it is warm and humid.
  • Patches which are dry and scaly or itchy and irritated.

How can I prevent Haole rot?

  • Avoid excess heat and sweating if possible
  • Avoid Lanolin containing moisturizing soaps or moisturizing sunscreens
  • Reduce or eliminate sugary carbohydrates from your diet
  • Avoid sharing clothing, bedding, equipment and towels
  • Wash clothing, bedding, and when possible other personal items separately in hot water
  • Always use fresh clothing, underwear, towels and bedding 
  • Avoid contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Haole rot


It is important to note that if you suspect you may have a case of Haole rot you should go see your doctor or a dermatologist who can test the area for an accurate diagnosis. Antifungal washes or cream can be prescribed and in severe cases, antibiotics. Typically it can take one to four weeks to inhibit the growth of the fungus. However, there are other options. Some more effective than others and they can be broken down into two categories: natural passive anti-microbial ingredients and natural active supplements. We naturally favor the active approach or in this case the pro-active approach.

The topical application of lactic acid producing probiotics, like those found in our products, can help support the bodies natural defense against pathogenic overgrowth.  Tinea Versicolor naturally occurs on healthy skin and only becomes an issue when the microbial balance is disrupted and overgrowth is allowed to occur. We recommend athletes who are susceptible to microbial imbalance as the result of the conditions listed above bath regularly with the topical probiotic hair & body wash  In addition, an application of our Probiotic Sweat Reset immediately after activity can help keep your skin in optimal condition by allowing the probiotic to go to work right away. Keeping the biome in balance can help eliminate the need medications and help prevent relapse so you can spend more time surfing, training and having fun in the sun!

Check out this review from a customer who was able to clear up his Haole Rot!

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