Fungal acne-like condition is an infection of the hair follicle scientifically which is known as pityrosporum folliculitis or Malassezia folliculitis. No matter what one might call it, inflammation and itchy, acne-like eruptions in just hair follicles are caused by excess yeast called Malassezia which is in the same biological classification as fungi, Shereen Idriss, is a cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology.
Unlike some other true acne, fungal acne can be contagious in close encounters, which is a board-certified dermatologist and Skincare Center. As the yeast is well involved, the infection might tend to spread.
What Does Fungal Acne Look Like?
The key to treating conditions like fungal acne is identifying it first. Fungal acne-like condition is described as monomorphic red papules and pustules, which also means all the bumps might appear similar to each other. One might also experience some bumps that shall have a bit of yellowish pus, but typically one shall not experience whiteheads or blackheads that might get with bacterial acne-like conditions.
The uniformity of the bumps might differentiate fungal acne from bacterial acne which one might be familiar with. Traditional acne shall tend to appear with various bumps like papules, pustules, cystic breakouts, and nodules and might also appear with comedones that are the blackheads and whiteheads. The bumps in pityrosporum folliculitis might also be well associated with itching that is not typical of traditional acne. Note: While fungal acne may itch, it shall not be painful (like deep, cystic acne). If you are further experiencing pain, you must consult a board-certified dermatologist as soon as possible.
How To Get Rid Of Fungal Acne
Here is the good news: when you are dealing with fungal acne-like conditions, it is completely treatable. The different types of treatments for this condition include a topical cream or gel, a shampoo (that can also be used as a body wash, or a pill. What treatment one might need shall all depend on the severity of the breakouts that is why it is best to seek out help from a professional first. They might prescribe medication or advice to get something over-the-counter.
These particular treatments are different from the familiar acne medications that one might have used or seen before. The treatment of fungal acne typically includes topical or oral antifungal medications, which are as opposed to traditional acne-fighting ingredients like retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid.
Symptoms Of Fungal Acne
Some of the common signs and symptoms of fungal acne are mentioned below:
- Itching (which is in almost 80% of people)
- Bumps, papules, pimples, and pustules of similar shape and size (which is 1–2 mm)
- Worsening acne in hot weather
- Breakouts more on the chest, shoulders, and back than on the face
- Other concurrent Malassezia-related skin conditions, including seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff
- Lack of improvement or worsening with some traditional acne therapy can help
How Is Fungal Acne Diagnosed?
How do you know that one might have it if there is so much confusion which is left between diagnosing fungal acne and run-of-the-mill acne? Healthcare providers might also use a combination of methods to diagnose fungal acne, like things mentioned below:
- Physical exam: The provider might be all able to diagnose fungal acne by observing some typical appearance, which might include papules and pustules of the same size and shape, and breakouts which are all present more on the shoulders, chest, and back than on the face
- Skin scraping: Scraping the papules and pustules, which might be about staining the cells with a specific chemical, and examining them right under the microscope might all help the dermatologist or healthcare provider further visualize the Malassezia yeast
- Skin biopsy: More invasive than a scraping, your healthcare provider shall also remove a small piece of skin and examine it right under a microscope to look for the Malassezia yeast
- Treatment response: Improvement post-treatment with antifungal medication which is a good indication that one might be about acne which was fungal and not simply common acne vulgaris.
How To Prevent Fungal Acne
While there is no true way of preventing fungal acne from occurring, there are also some lifestyle changes one might make to minimize the chances of developing it. While keeping the skin dry and clean, for example, one can help. Try using an antiperspirant (which can further use them on underarms and also on hands and one might feet if necessary) that shall further block the pores from releasing sweat. Wear super easy breathable clothing (which is to opt for loose-fitting clothes which are made up of cotton, linen, or a moisture-wicking fabric) and do not wear any tight-fitting materials and synthetic fibers (which might be nylon, rayon, or silk). Another tip? Avoid consuming spicy foods.
When the system might process hot foods, your internal body temperature raises, which shall all lead to sweating more. Same with caffeine it means one shall be quite wise to skip the morning cup of coffee in case you are well worried about sweating. In case you might be work outing, take those sweaty clothes off right away when you have done no matter how tempting it might be to keep going with the day. It might further be quite well helpful for using a salicylic acid cleanser in the shower which shall be in addition to a dandruff shampoo to remove excess dirt and oil from the skin.
How Can You Prevent It?
Unfortunately, one cannot just prevent fungal acne from happening. Keeping the skin dry and clean during workouts and taking off those sweaty clothes right when you are all done shall help. Keeping a salicylic acid cleanser in the shower or towelettes formulated with the exfoliating ingredient in the bag shall help in minimizing the risk of developing fungal acne.