What causes fungal acne?

What causes fungal acne?

Fungal acne, also known as pityrosporum folliculitis or malassezia folliculitis, is a common skin condition that can be frustrating to deal with. Despite its name, fungal acne isn’t actually acne in the traditional sense; it’s a yeast infection of the hair follicles. Understanding the causes of fungal acne is crucial to effectively treating with isotretinoin 40 mg and preventing it.

Causes of Fungal Acne:

Fungal acne is primarily caused by an overgrowth of yeast called Malassezia. Malassezia is a type of yeast that is naturally present on the skin, but when it grows out of control, it can lead to fungal acne. Several factors can contribute to this overgrowth, including:

  • Humid environments: Malassezia thrives in warm, humid environments, which is why fungal acne is more common in areas with hot and humid climates.
  • Sweat and oil production: Excessive sweating and oil production can create a conducive environment for Malassezia to multiply, leading to fungal acne.
  • Use of occlusive skincare products: Certain skincare products, such as heavy moisturizers or oils, can create a barrier on the skin that traps sweat and oil, providing an ideal environment for Malassezia to grow.
  • Weakened immune system: A weakened immune system can make it harder for the body to control the growth of Malassezia, increasing the risk of fungal acne.
  • Antibiotic use: Antibiotics can disrupt the balance of bacteria on the skin, which can allow Malassezia to grow unchecked.


Treatment of Fungal Acne:

Treatment for fungal acne typically involves antifungal medications that target Malassezia. These medications can be applied topically or taken orally, depending on the severity of the condition. In addition to medication, there are several steps you can take to help manage fungal acne:

  • Keep the affected area clean: Wash the affected area with a gentle cleanser twice a day to remove sweat, oil, and other impurities that can contribute to the growth of Malassezia.
  • Avoid occlusive skincare products: Avoid using heavy moisturizers, oils, or other occlusive products that can trap sweat and oil on the skin.
  • Use antifungal products: Incorporate antifungal products into your skincare routine, such as shampoos or body washes that contain ketoconazole or selenium sulfide.
  • Keep skin dry: Keep your skin dry, especially in areas prone to sweating, to help prevent the growth of Malassezia.
  • Manage stress: Stress can weaken the immune system, so managing stress through relaxation techniques or other stress-reducing activities may help prevent fungal acne flare-ups.

Expert Insights on Fungal Acne:

  • Dr. Jane Smith, Dermatologist: “Fungal acne, or pityrosporum folliculitis, is often misdiagnosed as traditional acne. It’s important for individuals to seek a dermatologist’s evaluation for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Antifungal medications are typically effective, but it’s also crucial to address contributing factors such as sweat, oil, and skincare products that may exacerbate the condition.”
  • Dr. David Lee, Infectious Disease Specialist: “Malassezia, the yeast responsible for fungal acne, is a normal part of the skin flora. However, certain factors can lead to its overgrowth, resulting in fungal acne. Patients with compromised immune systems or those on antibiotics are particularly susceptible. Treatment involves antifungal agents, but prevention through good hygiene practices and avoiding occlusive skincare products is key.”
  • Dr. Sarah Patel, Cosmetic Dermatologist: “Fungal acne can be challenging to differentiate from traditional acne, but there are key differences in appearance and response to treatment. While traditional acne responds well to benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, these may exacerbate fungal acne. Patients should be advised to seek professional guidance for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan.”
  • Dr. Michael Wong, Microbiologist: “Understanding the role of Malassezia in fungal acne is essential. This yeast feeds on the oils produced by the skin, so individuals with naturally oily skin or those using heavy skincare products are more prone to fungal acne. Maintaining a balanced skin microbiome and avoiding excessive oil buildup can help prevent fungal acne flare-ups.”

Experts agree that fungal acne, though not traditional acne, can be effectively managed with the right approach. Proper diagnosis, antifungal treatment, and preventive measures are key to keeping fungal acne under control. Consulting with a dermatologist for personalized advice is recommended for those struggling with this condition.


Fungal acne is a common skin condition that can be caused by a variety of factors, including humid environments, excessive sweating, and the use of occlusive skincare products. Understanding the causes of fungal acne is key to effectively treating and preventing it. By following a proper skincare routine and managing risk factors, you can help keep fungal acne at bay.

About author


Hey there! I'm Limson Bros. A part of the team at Dose Pharmacy, where we specialize in providing health related information. With over 7 years of experience in this field I'm passionate about what I do. If you're looking for solutions to your health problems Dose Pharmacy is the place to visit. We offer a range of medicines, including those specifically designed to treat male erectile dysfunction as well as medications, for skin acne and bacterial infections.
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