The 411 On Fungal Acne.. Spoiler Alert: It’s Not Even Acne!

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Roughly 70% of my skincare routine consultations involve talking about acne. My message is always the same- “There are 100 causes and 100 treatments”, and fungal acne is no exception to the rule. If you have used everything on the market for this form of acne, there’s a good chance it’s fungal. One more thing- it’s not even acne. Follow me.

What Is Fungal Acne Pityrosporum Folliculitis?

Pityrosporum folliculitis is what happens when yeast gets into the hair follicles and makes little yeast babies. It creates an acne-like eruption, which is where the confusion comes into play, and why it is commonly called ‘fungal acne’. Typically, the acne-like eruptions are found on the chest, t-zone portion of the face and back area and are typically uniform in size and are about the size of a pinhead.


A 25-year-old man with pityrosporum folliculitis and electron micrograph of his skin, showing Malassezia spores


Your chances of getting fungal acne pityrosporum folliculitis are increased if:

  • You live in a humid climate
  • You use coconut oil on your skin (it LOVES to feed on coconut oil)
  • You have an oily skin type (sebum is a whole snack)
  • You are stressed out
  • You have diabetes
  • You take birth control, broad-spectrum antibiotics or oral steroids.

Pityrosporum Folliculitis Symptoms

If you have tried every acne medication on the market and nothing works, you totally (probably) have Pityrosporum folliculitis. Pityrosporum folliculitis is also very itchy, which is not common with acne.

How To Treat Pityrosporum Folliculitis

Imma keep it real with you chief, you need to see a doctor. Topical treatments *can* be effective, but nothing works like anti-fungal drugs. This way, all the yeast is killed without a doubt.

I do empathize with peeps that can’t afford the doctor’s visit or the medication, so let’s talk about at home treatments. There is a wide range of at home treatments, like Stridex Pads (the only BHA product that has the right pH to effectively exfoliate), tea tree oil, products that contain sulfur and urea.

Avoid coconut oil like the plague and switch to gentler products that do not contain coconut oil and other substances that feed Pityrosporum folliculitis (they, like me, love fat #oink).

Let’s talk about Pityrosporum folliculitis! Tell me about your experience with this annoying fungal infection.

Need a skincare routine to compliment your pityrosporum folliculitis treatment? Book me!



More about Aprill

Aprill Coleman is an award-winning beauty, lifestyle and wellness blogger and freelance writer based in Jackson, Mississippi.

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