Fungal acne is also known as malassezia folliculities or pityrosporum. When the yeast in the hair follicles overgrows, it causes itching, irritation and breakouts on the skin surface. With acne, fungal acne can also occur simultaneously. It can be mistaken with acne or can flare as a result of acne treatment. 


The Sebaceous gland present in the skin sometimes produce oil known as sebum. Sometimes, the excess oil produce by these glands clogged the hair follicles and pores of our skin as well as yeast and bacteria that are naturally found on your skin. Bacteria can lead to traditional acne blemishes whereas yeast can cause an inflammation of the hair follicles or folliculities. It is not an indicator of poor skin hygiene, nor contagious or infectious. 


Due to its discomfort and cosmic concerns, it can be quite distressing. The treatment of fungal acne is different from other types of acne. Normally it can be controlled and prevented.


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Symptoms of Fungal Acne

1. Location:  Normally fungal acne often occurs on the backs, arms and chest. Sometimes it may also be seen on the face.


2. Size:  Fungal acne caused pus-filled bumps that are nearly of same size. 


3.  Clusters:  It normally appears with clusters of whiteheads. 


4.  Itching:  This type of acne causes itchiness.

Causes of Fungal Acne


It’s not good to sit around in
clingy clothes ( yoga pants, ahem ) when you get sweat after doing exercises as
this can easily affects your skin from fungal acne. So it’s better to take
shower as soon as you finish your exercise. 

Contact With Others

As yeast is known for spreading, so fungal acne may be contagious. If someone has fungal acne and you have had bodily contact with that person, you may get affected by fungal acne.

Heat and Humidity

Fungal acne mainly affected the hot regions. This is because the yeast that causes fungal acne thrives in moist environments with excessive sweat and heat.

Overuse of Antibiotics

The use of oral antibiotics/ and or topical antibiotics for a longer period, the normal skin flora is wiped out. As a result yeast flourishes, causing fungal acne and inflammation.

Wearing Tight Clothes

Wearing of tight clothes regularly can create excessive moisture and sweat since these are non breathable. As a result, it may foster a skin environment ripe for yeast growth.

Trapped Moisture

Yeast growth can occur when you are wearing sweaty workout clothes for a longer period. If you are wearing the sweaty clothes without washing them may result in fungal acne that have grown in the clothes.

Suppressed Immune System

Fungal acne can also occur if people compromise with immune system.

Diet Changes

Yeast and fungi are feeding on carbohydrates, so balancing your intake of carb-rich food sweets can results in slow growth of fungal acne.

Treatments for Fungal Acne

1. Use the Right Kind of Body Wash

Using right kind of body wash is a
simple remedy to treat fungal acne. If you don’t know how to control or treat
fungal acne and prevent it from coming back,  then switch on to some anti
dandruff shampoo to shower it frequently. But be aware of the fact that the
shampoo contains selenium sulphide or pyrithione zinc for it to be effective
and showing real results. 

2. Shower Regularly

Take shower immediately as soon as
after completing workout to treat fungal infections. Bacteria can easily grow
on sweaty skin, so it’s very important to change your workout clothes and take
shower once you are done. Avoid wearing used sweaty clothes twice before
washing them. The warm and moist environment created in sweaty workout clothes
can trigger the yeast and cause fungal acne. 

3. Wear Breathable Clothes

Always wear loose clothes and breathable fabrics during summer season, specially if you live in hot and humid place. Tight clothing restricted the airflow and friction which can results in the growth of yeast. This in turn enter the follicles, multiply and cause inflammation and irritation.

4. Oral Antifungal Medicine

Oral antifungal medicine is another course of treatment which your doctor could possibly prescribe. These oral medicines are specially formulated with floconazole or itraconazole. This target the bodies hair follicles to properly heal the infection inside.

5. Exfoliate Excess Dirt and Oil

We know that exfoliating can get rid of dead skin cells, but how does this fare with those prone to fungal acne? Turns out dead skin cells, excess dirt, and oil might all contribute to the increase yeast growth. Use a body exfoliator regularly especially after post workout to lessen the chance of getting fungal acne.

6. Use An Oil-free Moisturizer

The last thing to get rid of fungal acne is to exacerbate it with what it loves most i. e., oil. When you treat it with strong topical, your skin results in dryness and irritation. To avoid both irritation and dryness, moisturizer is required. Switch to oil-free to try to keep the fungal acne at bay.

7. Make Body Wipes a Gym Bag Staple

After a workout session, a body wipe down is both refreshing and helpful in fending off breakouts. To grow a habitual routine of wiping away sweat and oil, until you can get to a shower, keep a stash of body wipes in your gym bag.

8. Use an Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

An active ingredient called zinc pyrithione is antifungal and is present in anti-dandruff shampoo. These shampoos plays an active role as a cleanser for the fungal acne affected area (whether face or body). According to Zeichner, ” Apply, let it sit, and lather it up while you sing the alphabet before rinsing it off”. To exert its effect, the shampoo needs enough contact time on the skin.

How to Prevent Fungal Acne

Fungal acne can be prevented by avoiding the growth of yeast. Wear breathable fabrics specially while going out as yeast needs hot and humid conditions to thrive. Take shower and dry off immediately after finishing your exercise. Yeast also loves feeding off of carbohydrates, so avoid excess sugar from your diet to prevent overgrowth. Use anti-dandruff shampoo to wash the affected area in the shower may help to prevent the growth of yeast.


After a brief physical exam, your dermatologist will be able to diagnose fungal acne. They will look for uniform,  pinhead-sized red pustules on the upper chest, back and on the hair follicles. Bumps caused by yeast are typically of the same size and whiteheads are generally not seen with fungal acne. 

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