Fungal acne is a common skin condition that isn’t too hard to treat. It happens when hair follicles become infected with a fungus called Malassezia yeast. Fungal acne causes clusters of small, itchy, red bumps (papules) on the skin. Sometimes these bumps can become larger and possibly turn into whiteheads or small pockets of white or yellow pus (pustules).  DCSI has helped many patients to treat their acne and to understand the differences between fungal and regular acne. Below we will discuss how to treat fungal acne. You might know that acne commonly happens when the hair follicles are blacked with bacteria, oil, or dead skin. While fungal acne is the infection in the hair follicles, the main difference between this and regular acne is that fungal acne can be itchy, while regular acne isn't. 

Treating Fungal Acne

The first step to treating fungal acne is understanding who might get it and what can cause it. Anyone can get fungal acne, though it's most common in adolescents and young adult males with oily skin where yeast thrives. Yeast can grow quickly on hot, damp, or sweaty skin. People who live in a hot, humid climate are also more likely to get fungal acne. The condition can also occur in people who:
  • Have a weak immune system
  • Are prone to fungal infections
  • Sweat excessively
  • Are taking antibiotics
  • Use many oil-based moisturizers and sunscreens
 Under these circumstances, fungal acne happens when the follicles are damaged due to the following:
  • The skin is rubbed against too much
  • The skin is left hot and damp
  • Shaving, plucking, or even waxing hair
  • The skin being touched or rubbed frequently
  • The use of a hot tub or whirlpool
  • Wearing tight clothes
Fungal acne is often treated with either topical or oral antifungal medications. Two of the most effective oral antifungal medications are Fluconazole and Itraconazole. Topical options include creams and shampoos. Some of these can be bought over the counter, such as Selsun Blue shampoo or Lotrimin cream, or a healthcare provider can prescribe stronger types. Topical treatments are often the first way of treatment before deciding if oral medication is needed. Topical options can include the following active ingredients:
  • Econazole
  • Ketoconazole
  • Selenium sulfide shampoo (also used as a dandruff treatment and prevention)

Side Effects of Antifungal Acne Treatment

When going over your options with your doctor, it is important to ask and understand the possible side effects of the medications, which can include:
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Liver damage

Fungal Acne Prevention

There are many ways to reduce the chances of getting fungal acne that is both simple and preventative:
  • Showering and changing out of tight clothes immediately following a workout
  • Being careful when shaving, plucking, and/or waxing
  • Only using well-kept and clean hot tubs
  • Washing and drying bathing suits in between each use
  • Wearing loose clothing, especially in hot or humid weather or when exercising
  • Using dandruff shampoos a few times a week, especially if you are having a breakout
  • Eating a balanced diet

Contact DCSI Today! 

If there are any further questions about fungal acne treatment and prevention, you can make an appointment here or contact us today. Our offices are happy to help and figure out solutions to any skin conditions you might be experiencing.