What is Fungal Acne? - Dream Health

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Friday, 1 April 2022

What is Fungal Acne?

Fungal Acne

What is Fungal Acne?

Fungal acne is a skin condition known as pityrosporum folliculitis. It is a type of folliculitis that infects your hair follicle. The acne looks like pimples which you may confuse with acne.

Folliculitis: It can inflame and infect your hair, due to which you may experience pustules on the skin. Folliculitis can appear anywhere you have hair. Sometimes, people find this acne, but treating them does not get better results. It indicates that it is not acne instead of a fungal infection in the hair follicle.

The pityrosporum folliculitis is caused by the Malassezia species. Teenagers get affected for having extra oil production in the skin. Usually, these occur on the shoulders, back, and neck. Due to sweating, we know it as a yeast infection.

Reasons for Fungal Acne:

If your skin is damp, it may be damaged. It can happen while you exercise for a long period or stay in a hot, humid area.

Any type of irritation causes inflammation. It allows germs to enter into the area and causes infection thereafter. Sweating, Exercise, Tight clothing, Tight equipment, Skin rubbing on skin, etc., are a few reasons. Men and boys have the skin issue more than women.

We have given here some conditions due to which it can happen.

Trapped moisture: If you wear sweaty workout clothes for a long time, it can encourage yeast growth. Make sure that you wash your workout clothes and wear them. Otherwise, it can expose the skin to fungi grown in the clothes.

Medication: Taking antibiotics allows your body to decrease the bacteria on the skin. As a result, the chance of the overgrowth of a fungus will increase.

Suppressed immune system: You may have fungal acne if you have a compromised immune system.

Diet changes: You should know that fungi feed on carbohydrates. Therefore, you need to balance your diet by limiting sweet intakes and carb-rich foods.

Wearing tight clothes: If you wear nonbreathable clothes daily, it can make extra sweat and moisture.

Warm, moist environments: If you live in hot climates where sweating is normal, you can experience fungal acne more frequently.

Symptoms of Fungal Acne:

The symptoms of pityrosporum folliculitis are:

  • Very itchy skin 
  • Irritated hair follicles 
  • Clusters of small red bumps 
  • Spots on forehead, chin, chest, back, neck, arms, and the sides of the face 
People with pityrosporum folliculitis can have other fungal infections such as seborrheic dermatitis and tinea versicolor.


Go to a dermatologist if you think that you are experiencing its symptoms. They are experts in diagnosing and treating conditions.

A dermatologist will ask you what you experience like —

  • If there is something that you have used to treat 
  • How long the breakout is running symptoms, you're experiencing. 
  • Sometimes, they can perform a painless skin scraping and test it under a microscope to check if there is any yeast causing the fungal acne. 
  • They can take a skin sample or biopsy. It is an easy process done in an office. They send the sample to a lab to test and confirm the fungal acne diagnosis. 

Treatment for Fungal Acne:

If you misdiagnose them, it can last for a long time. You can use antifungal pills or a cream to treat the yeast infection. Antibiotics are not going to help you. Your doctor may ask you to do self-care and hygiene practices to help the skin.

If you are willing to treat the fungal infection, make sure that you have to restore the balance between yeast and bacteria on the skin. Multiple treatment options can help to do this.

Shower more regularly:

Are you working out regularly, or do you have a job causing you to sweat? Then, you have to shower and change clothes after coming from work or the gym. It helps to wash away additional yeast growing in warm and moist environments.

Wear looser clothes:

Wearing tight clothes frequently can encourage yeast growth due to having friction and low airflow. Having loose, breathable fabrics helps to get proper circulation. Thus, it becomes useful for balanced bacterial and fungal growth.

Try a body wash:

In this case, you can use Dandruff shampoos made with pyrithione zinc or selenium sulfide. It is an off-label use of shampoos. You should wash your skin multiple times a week using dandruff shampoos while having a breakout.

However, if you want, you may use it about once a week or regularly to maintain a healthy balance of yeast and bacteria on the skin. Keep the shampoo sit for some minutes on the skin, and then wash your skin for best results.

Use over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal treatments:

Different OTC antifungal creams and ointments are available, like medications for athlete's foot and jock itch. You need to use products with ketoconazole, butenafine, or clotrimazole cream. Try prescribed oral antifungal medicine:

Appoint a dermatologist if home remedies are not useful and can not remove the breakout. The dermatologist may prescribe you medicines like itraconazole or fluconazole to target your hair follicles. You need to go to your doctor right away if you have a rash with a fever and feel unwell.

Fungal Acne - Prevention:

You may not prevent the breakout completely, but following these things help you to reduce the chances of a return infection.

  • You need to use a dandruff shampoo daily. Washing your skin helps you to maintain a healthy balance of yeast. As soon as the breakout is gone, you may decide how often you should use the shampoo as a body wash. 
  • Wear breathable fabrics to prevent the breakout. These allow for airflow enabling you to cut down on warm, moist environments. Change clothes if necessary to treat fungal acne. 
  • Take a shower always after sweating. It helps you to remain active and fresh after a workout or sweaty day at work. 
  • Eat a balanced diet like you should eat fruits, vegetables, and proteins.


Fungal acne is an infection in hair follicles caused due to an overgrowth of yeast. Doing anti-acne treatments doesn't work hence generally. You must identify the infection properly to treat it. Know how you should identify the specific type of skin infection to prevent future breakouts.

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