Usually, when we think of acne, we think of bacteria induced inflammations. However, acne can also be caused by fungal infection. As a result, they are left with persistent red bumps that do not go away no matter what they try. In our bodies, we all have fungus on our skin as part of a skin’s natural composition, but when it goes out of control, it can cause a yeast infection. The fungus which causes the acne-like bumps (Pityrosporum folliculitis) is called Malassezia. Acne caused by fungus infection appears as small red bumps or closed comedones that are usually on the t-zone.
OTHER SKIN CONDITIONS
There are many other skin conditions related to Malassezia besides the acne-like bumps on the skin. They include eczema, dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and Psoriasis.This type of acne will not respond to traditional medications for bacteria acne such as topical antibiotics, and benzoyl peroxide. It is actually advised against to take any kind of antibiotics because both bacteria and fungi exist together, although not in the same area, to utilize the same resources from our body. If there are not enough bacteria to compete with the fungi, the fungi will outgrow the bacteria, causing a yeast infection. If you suspect that you might be suffering from fungal acne, it is important to get it checked out by a dermatologist to confirm it.
WHAT TO DO?
Since the fungal infection appears similar to bacterial acne, there are many people with a fungal infection that develop acne-like bumps who falsely diagnose themselves with bacterial acne and are using medications that do not treat their fungal acne at all. Therefore, it is important to visit a professional in order to get tested for it and get the proper treatments.If you realize that you do have fungal acne, it is important to avoid creating a moist environment on your skin as fungus thrives in moist environments. You can still apply hydration on your skin, but avoid occlusives. It is also important to avoid products with ferments as it may trigger the growth of more yeast. The last thing to avoid is products with long fatty acid chains such as oils, since Malassezia feeds on them, especially in areas on your face where you are the oiliest with the most sebum production.
Some things that you can apply on to your skin to help with the fungal acne are aloe vera, clay masks, diluted tea tree oil, diluted apple cider vinegar, Sulphur, tretinoin, zinc oxide, zinc pyrithiome, 1% clotrimazole, salicylic oil and antifungal shampoos containing ketoconazole. Try using these products to treat your fungal acne and see if it gradually diminishes. Remember to always patch test these products on a small area of your skin so you know will know if any ingredients are irritating your skin before you put it all over your face. Otherwise, you may be making your skin worse without even realizing it and although you have treated your fungal infection, now you would have a new problem dealing with breaking out from an ingredient your skin is allergic to. If your skin does not react to anti-fungal treatments at all, that means that your acne is not caused by fungal infection and should consult your dermatologist on what may be causing it.
I’ve recently self-diagnosed myself with fungal acne as I have never had small red closed comedones all over my forehead despite not having many changes in skin care, diet, and lifestyle. I began searching on the internet for causes and came about fungal acne. Then I started using over the counter anti-fungal products to see if they made a difference and my bumpy skin returned to normal after only a few days. I am still continuing with the ketoconazole shampoo and the occasional clotrimazole cream to try to completely eradicate the fungal infection before I return to my normal skincare routine.