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All About Fungal Acne

Apr 18, 2023 By Madison Evans

Do you frequently break out and they don't seem to go away no matter how much skincare you use? You might have fungus-related acne. Malassezia, a yeast-like fungus, is the source of fungal acne, a skin disorder that is becoming more widely recognised. It can create red, scaly lumps on the chest, back, face, or even scalp. But there is hope; fungal acne can be managed with the right care.

This article will discuss all things related to fungal acne—from what causes it to the various treatments available. Get ready to understand your skin better and learn everything there is to know about managing this pesky problem once and for all.

Fungal Acne and How Can You Identify It

Fungal acne is an inflammatory skin condition caused by a yeast-like fungus, Malassezia. This acne often appears as red, scaly bumps on the chest, back, face, or scalp. Fungal acne typically looks like regular acne but is quite different—it can be difficult to differentiate between the two without the help of a dermatologist.

To determine if your breakouts are due to fungal acne, look out for common symptoms: itching and burning sensation in the affected area; scaling around the pimples; white heads instead of blackheads; and small bundles of bumps that resemble rashes. These symptoms may help you identify fungal acne from other types of acne.

Types of Fungal Acne

The three most common types of fungal acne are:

1. Pityrosporum Folliculitis: Malassezia folliculitis is caused by an overabundance of the yeast-like fungus Malassezia on the skin. It often appears as clusters of red, itchy bumps on the back and chest.

2. Tinea Versicolor: Caused by a type of yeast called Malassezia furfur, tinea versicolor appears as white patches or spots on the skin that can be pink, grayish-brown, or tan in color.

3. Seborrheic Dermatitis: A form of inflammation that causes flaky scales to appear on certain parts of the body, usually around the eyes, nose, upper chest, and back.

Causes Fungal Acne

Fungal acne is primarily caused by naturally occurring fungi known as Malassezia. This type of fungus lives on the skin and feeds off of oils and other lipids secreted from the sebaceous glands, which can lead to an overgrowth that causes inflammation and breakouts.

Other factors contributing to fungal acne include poor hygiene, tight clothing, hot and humid environments, certain medications such as antibiotics, hormone imbalances, and stress levels.

Symptoms to Look Out For

Although bacterial acne and ordinary acne may resemble one another, you can tell the difference between the two by looking for certain symptoms and indicators. On the chest, back, face, or scalp, fungus acne frequently manifests as red, scaly pimples. These bumps may have a white head, but they generally don't hurt or itch as much as typical acne does. These zits also frequently have a burning and uncomfortable sensation.

Moreover, fungal acne is more likely to appear in clusters or bundles of small bumps that resemble rashes rather than individual lesions like with regular acne. This breakout can also be accompanied by scaling and flaking around the affected area. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is best to visit a dermatologist to get an accurate diagnosis.

Treatment Options for Fungal Acne

The good news is that fungal acne can be managed with proper treatment. The first step is identifying the underlying cause and making any necessary lifestyle changes. This may include taking preventative measures such as showering or changing clothes regularly, avoiding tight clothing or clothing made from synthetic materials, and staying away from hot and humid environments.

Once the underlying cause has been identified, your dermatologist can prescribe a treatment plan tailored to your needs. This could involve medications such as antifungal creams, lotions, or even oral antibiotics. In some cases, light-based treatments like laser therapy may also be recommended for stubborn flare-ups.

It is also important to develop a skincare routine with products specifically designed for fungal acne-prone skin; look for products labeled “non-comedogenic,” which means they won’t clog your pores. Using products with active ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can help reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process.

It is important to remember that fungal acne can be managed but not completely cured; it is a chronic condition that requires regular monitoring and treatment to keep flare-ups under control. However, you can enjoy clear skin with the right lifestyle choices and treatment plans.

Home Remedies That Could Help With Fungal Acne

Although many medications and treatments are available for fungal acne, some people may prefer to use more natural remedies. Home remedies like apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil can help reduce inflammation and balance the skin’s pH. In addition, aloe vera gel has antifungal properties that could help keep breakouts at bay.

It is also important to maintain a healthy diet—eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help support your skin health from within. Drinking lots of water helps keep your skin hydrated, which could reduce dryness and irritation associated with fungal acne.

It is essential to practice good hygiene—washing your face twice a day and regularly changing clothes and towels to prevent the spread of bacteria. Finally, getting enough sleep every night is essential for overall health and can help keep skin looking healthy and blemish-free.

Following these simple tips can help you manage fungal acne breakouts. However, if you are still experiencing persistent symptoms, it is best to talk to a dermatologist who can provide tailored advice for your needs. You can finally enjoy clear skin with the right treatment plan.

Medicines For Fungal Acne

In lifestyle changes, there are a variety of medications that can be used to treat fungal acne. Topical antifungal creams and lotions, such as clotrimazole or miconazole, help reduce inflammation and prevent the spread of infection. Prescription oral antibiotics may also be prescribed depending on the breakout severity; these antibiotics target bacteria and fungi to reduce symptoms quickly.

Light-based treatments like laser therapy can also help tackle stubborn breakouts. Laser treatments target the fungus directly while leaving surrounding skin tissue unaffected; this method has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve overall skin health with minimal risks or side effects.


What color is fungal acne?

Fungal acne can be present in various colors, from pink to red, purple, or brown. It typically appears as small bumps on the skin that may also be itchy and inflamed.

How many days does fungal acne last?

Fungal acne can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the severity. With proper treatment and lifestyle changes, however, it is possible to reduce the duration of a breakout.

Is yogurt good for fungal acne?

Yogurt is a natural source of probiotics and can help promote healthy bacteria in your digestive system. When applied topically to the skin, it may also help reduce inflammation associated with fungal acne. However, it's best to consult a dermatologist before using yogurt to treat fungal acne.


Understanding fungal acne and how best to handle it is key to eliminating it from your life. Taking proactive steps such as showering after exercise, washing hair every other day, and avoiding tight clothing can help reduce the risk of fungal acne reoccurring. Ensuring your skin is clean daily and refraining from touching or popping fungal acne will likely reduce inflammation and the number of flare-ups. Treatment options are available in the form of anti-fungal products, which can be applied directly to the affected area.

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