What Is Fungal Acne

Updated Nov,2020
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Fungal acne isn't really acne. It's called malassezia folliculitis, and is actually a buildup of yeast in your pores, causing a reaction that looks like acne. Though it causes itching and minor irritation, it's typically treatable through a course of medical treatment and home remedies. 

Let's set the record straight—fungal acne isn't a thing

The first thing to know about 'fungal acne' is that's it's not really acne. It's actually called malassezia folliculitis or pityrosporum folliculitis. So what is it? It's a buildup of yeast in your pores that leads to a reaction that just looks like acne.

So, how do I know if I have it or just regular acne?

Yes, it looks a lot like acne. But some key differences can help you distinguish MF from regular acne. 

  • Is it itchy? Or maybe it even burns? If it causes a rash-like sensation, it's MF. (The presence of itching is typically a tell-tale sign of MF.)
  • Perhaps you tried your regular acne cream, and it didn't do the trick? This is because the chemicals in acne medication aren't anti-fungal. 
  • Do you have dandruff, eczema, psoriasis? The presence of other fungi can be indicative of MF. 
  • Finally, MF is actually pretty rare on your face. It's more likely to appear on your back, shoulders, and chest. 

What triggers 'fungal acne'?

There are a few things that can lead to MF. These include: 

  • Excessive sweating. MF is dependant on a heavy sweat environment. Anything from clothing, location, or frequent workouts can cause fungal acne. 
  • The use of antibiotics or immunosuppressants can contribute to a breakout. 
  • HIV/AIDS and other conditions that compromise the immune system. 

Careful, unlike regular acne, it can be contagious

Yeast, like other fungi, can spread from person-to-person through contact. It's best to practice proper hygiene, and perhaps avoid touching and interacting with others if you're experiencing an outbreak. Likewise, be cautious around others with MF. 

Is it treatable?

Don't worry, it's very treatable. But this isn't like your regular acne. There are a few critical differences in treatment. 


The use of over-the-counter or even prescription anti-fungals may be necessary to treat your MF. While some people have luck using dandruff shampoo or other anti-fungal creams, it's best to contact your doctor if your condition is severe or long-lasting. 


Clearing your pores of yeast, dead skin cells, and bacteria can be a simple and effective way to manage your fungal acne. However, before choosing your exfoliator, you should do proper research or even talk to your doctor. 

Choose your clothes wisely

Avoid over-sweating by wearing breathable clothing with natural fabric. It's also important to remove your workout clothes immediately and shower after excessive sweating. 

If you do have regular acne, here's the best ways to treat!

While acne breakouts and pimples are inevitable at some point in your life, it's not something you have to live with forever. There's a wide range of treatment options that have shown to combat those pesky red bumps for good.

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Typically a main ingredient in many acne facial cleansers and lotions, benzoyl peroxide goes into your pores to lift and remove excess oil, dirt and debris (acne-causing agents).
  • Glycolic Acid: An alpha-hydroxy acid, this ingredient exfoliates dead skin cells and removes surface impurities. This stops your pores from clogging; preventing future breakouts.
  • Retinoids: Arguably the most effective acne treatment, retinoids expertly diminish sebum (excess oil), dirt, bacteria, and any other acne-causing agents on your skin's surface to prevent future breakouts. This powerful drug has also been proven to stop acne scars from forming, leaving behind only smooth, radiant skin.

Treat your acne fast! Get a prescription retinoid, today!

We understand how annoying and bothersome acne breakouts can be. Whether it's picture day at school, or you've got a job interview, acne is not a welcome friend. Fortunately, it's a treatable condition. Our licensed physicians make it easy and more comfortable to have a discussion about your skin and the best treatment options available for you.

Talk to one of our reputable online physicians to get your prescription Retinoid, today!

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