Fungal Acne, What Are The Causes And Effective Treatment

Fungal acne, is it acne or not acne? Do you have a red itchy pimple on your forehead especially on your hairline, on your jawline.

Or around the neck near the ear, your chest, your back, and even on your scalp. Isn’t it fungal acne.

Fungal acne has been a buzzing word now for a couple of years. It is contagious, something that looks like acne but it is not.

In this post you will learn;

  1. What exactly is fungal acne?
  2. How can we differentiate fungal acne from other acne?
  3. How can you spot fungal acne?
  4. What are the causes of fungal acne?
  5. How you’re supposed to treat this acne?

1. What exactly is fungal acne?

Fungal ance is a rush on the skin caused by yeast, that where the fungal part of the term comes from.

The actual name of this particular yeast is called Malassezia folliculitis or pityrosporum folliculitis.

The rush looks like small red bumps, is it very similar to some forms of acne but in fact, it is not actually acne at all.

These bumps actually form overgrowth of a yeast that causes the hair follicles to become inflamed resulting in bumps.

Because it is a yeast, yeast tends to spread, and with this in mind, it is possible that fungal acne is passed on to others according to Dr. Lily Talakoub.

Also read: How to Remove Blackheads at Home Instantly and Permanently

2. How can we differentiate fungal acne from other acne?

Well, fungal acne is not acne at all, it is really an infection of the hair follicle.

Inflammatory acne tends to affect the face and is usually due to increased oil production, follicular blockage, or hormonal changes.

Other differences include intense itching and placement.

On the other hand, fungal acne frequently appears as uniform papules and pustules on the chest, hairline, jawline, and back.

3. How can you spot this acne?

Fungal acne can be difficult to diagnose because it often looks like your ordinary acne.

Do you have fungal acne? tell if any of these sounds like you, do you have lots of small similar appearing bumps.

It looks like small white dots that are around the size of a pinpoint, or more precisely one millimeter in circumference says some dermatologists.

If you have pimples that do not go away, whatever you do and itch you, you might be dealing with fungal acne.

They will usually be on the chest, shoulders, and back and will appear in clusters.

4. What are the causes of fungal acne?

Because it is not actually acne it needs to be treated differently.

Do you have acne that has been treated with oral antibiotics if so this can increase your risk of developing fungal acne,

This is because the antibiotics do a really good job of killing the acne-causing bacteria on the skin which makes more room for yeast to overgrow and take over unchecked no more crowding up they just grow rapidly.

Do you have super oily skin, yeast loves oil and it is a great environment for them to grow like wild? So this is much more commonly seen in those with very oily skin types.

Do you have stubborn acne that just won’t totally clear up despite being on good treatment and being consistent if so it is possible that you have a component of fungal acne as well.

Do you sweat a lot?  if you work out a lot, work outside or if you leave in a hot humid environment these are all set up for developing this acne according to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City.

And it is more common in patients who are immune-compromised meaning they have a suppressed immune system therefore they are more likely to develop the infection.

So patients taking certain medications that lower the immune system or organ transplants patients for example or hospitalized patients are more likely to have this condition.

5. How you’re supposed to treat fungal acne?

Many people might actually have this, they have a component of both common acne and fungal but it is just all getting along together and diagnosed as just acne and treated as just acne.

Therefore not completely clearing up and leaving you very frustrated. So it is better to ask your doctor about it if you have acne not clearing up.

Because it is yeast, treatment needs to be anti-fungal to be effective here. There are plenty of products that are antifungal and can really help with pityrosporum folliculitis.


These shampoo works so well because it is the same yeast that causes these conditions.


These ance products can also work well, this is because they are antibacterial as well as antifungal.

Also, the great thing about sulfur is that it is oil reducing, so it really does wonders for patients with oily skin and remembers yeast love oily environment.

So by cutting down on the oil on the skin we will get rid of it like wild.

These are very affordable and effective on the skin options, use them as a cleanser.


Salicyclic acid is another great treatment acne which is also great for treating this acne because it gets into oily glands and helps uncut those pores and kill the yeast in that area.

It also clears away dead skin cells so that medication can penetrate more effectively and do a better job clearing up the skin.

Also read: Skin Tag Removal: Top Simple and Effective Home Remedies

Final thoughts

Not all fungal acne will clear up with these treatments, some may have a particularly stubborn form and needs prescription medication.

These might be either antifungal pills or shampoos or cream that have a higher percent antifungal medication in them so it is better to seek advice from your dermatologist.

Getting rid of fungal acne once doesn’t mean it is gone forever unfortunately many people will actually have relaxes depending on lifestyle.

So keep your medication in hand and also talk to your dermatologist about the routine of your skin.

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