The Definitive Guide to Fungal Acne Treatment

by | Sep 11, 2020

Many people say that they have been suffering from acne on the chest, back, and shoulders for many years, but they cannot be cured. You should seriously consider whether you have fungal acne.

In many cases, it is easy for people to mistake fungal acne for “acne” or “bacterial folliculitis”. Then the treatment direction is wrong, and of course, it cannot be cured.

What Is Fungal Acne?

Most of the acne on people’s face is acne vulgaris. Acne vulgaris is divided into inflammatory acne and non-inflammatory acne. Most of the acne on our back is fungal acne. About 90% of people’s back acne are fungal acne, and 10% of people are acne vulgaris.

90% fungal acne on the back and 10% acne vulgaris.
Some acne vulgaris in the back

Acne vulgaris

Fungal acne is folliculitis caused by fungi, which is often caused by the pathogenic bacteria of Malassezia furfur or Malassezia globosa, and occurs in areas with abundant sebaceous glands.

The chest suffers from severe fungal acne. Fungal acne spreads across the chest and neck. These acne are the size of a rice grain and manifest in the form of pustules and nodules.

Very severe fungal acne

Malassezia is a normal parasitic bacterium on the surface of human skin.

However, under the influence of certain factors (such as long-term use of glucocorticoids, broad-spectrum antibiotics, hyperhidrosis, and greasy skin), Malassezia began to multiply, causing an imbalance of the skin surface flora and causing the skin to become inflamed. It is called fungal folliculitis.

Excessive Malassezia on the face can also cause seborrheic dermatitis.

What Causes Fungal Acne?

Under normal circumstances, the number of bacteria and fungi on our skin is relatively balanced. If for some reason, the number of a certain flora increases sharply, it will cause a series of skin problems.

1. Surroundings. Malassezia likes a warm and humid environment.

If you wear particularly tight clothes in the summer, the skin is in a hot and humid environment, and the clothes will rub against the skin, and fungal folliculitis may occur.

In winter, if you are in a heated room, your clothes are too tight, or even too thick thermal underwear, it may also cause fungal acne.

Wearing sweat-filled clothes for a long time after fitness can also cause fungal acne.

2. Skin probiotics are reduced.

Abuse of antibiotics will kill bacteria, especially beneficial bacteria (such as Lactobacillus), but antibiotics cannot kill fungi, making the number of fungi on the skin surface relatively large, leading to fungal acne.

Long-term use of glucocorticoids will also kill beneficial bacteria on the surface of the skin.

Certain preservatives in cosmetics and skin care products will also kill the beneficial bacteria on the skin surface.

3. Reduced sweat secretion.  Less secretion of antimicrobial peptides in sweat can not inhibit the growth of fungi.

4. The skin barrier is impaired. Damage to the skin barrier makes it easier for fungi to invade the skin and cause inflammation.

5. Improper diet. Like to eat sweets, refined carbohydrates (bread, cake), high-fat foods will also indirectly promote the growth of Malassezia.

Fungal Acne Treatment

To treat fungal acne, we can go directly to the dermatology department of the hospital and ask a professional dermatologist to prescribe the corresponding medicine for you.

If you are reluctant to go to the hospital and suffer from mild fungal folliculitis, you can try to treat fungal folliculitis first. Because most people’s back acne is caused by fungal folliculitis. Even if it is not fungal acne, the method of treating fungal folliculitis has a certain effect on bacterial folliculitis and acne.

But if it is moderate and severe fungal acne, please go to the hospital to find a dermatologist for a prescription.

1. Mild fungal folliculitis

A woman pointed her index finger to her back. Her back was suffering from mild fungal acne.

For mild folliculitis, we only need to pay attention to daily cleaning work to inhibit the growth of fungi.

  • Take a shower frequently, change sheets, sheets, and pillowcases to give yourself a clean and comfortable body.
  • You can also use ketoconazole lotion instead of shower gel to take a bath. Use it once a day, leave it on the skin surface for 5 minutes, and then rinse it off with water. Ketoconazole lotion has a good inhibitory effect on fungi, and it has a good therapeutic effect on back acne (note: Ketoconazole lotion should not be used on damaged skin)
  • Use shower gel with lower cleaning power to clean your back, or sulfur soap. Sulfur soap will cause certain damage to the skin barrier, so the frequency of use of sulfur soap should be as low as possible.
Ketoconazole lotion is used to treat mild fungal acne. Ketoconazole lotion can kill fungus on the back.

2. Moderate fungal folliculitis

A woman hugs her back, and her back has many fungal acne.

For the treatment of moderate fungal folliculitis, the mild folliculitis treatment method described above should still be used. Pay attention to washing and hygiene.

Besides, you can also apply some anti-fungal drugs appropriately. E.g: Ketoconazole cream, miconazole nitrate cream, bifonazole cream, econazole cream.

Just choose one of these ointments and use them.

The main ointments for the treatment of moderate fungal acne, including ketoconazole cream, miconazole nitrate cream, bifonazole cream, econazole cream.

3. Severe fungal folliculitis

The chest suffered from a very severe case of fungal acne. The fungal acne was all over the chest and neck and some of the acne developed into nodules, cysts, and flesh patches.

Severe fungal folliculitis is not only an infection of fungal bacteria but also often accompanied by abnormal keratosis of hair follicles.

At this time you must go to a dermatologist to prescribe oral medicine.

At this time, acne will not only appear single or densely, but also form purple-red nodules. These acne felt like a large piece of meat.

If the acne on your back has been severe to this level, at this time, in addition to the above treatment, you need to take some antifungal drugs, such as ketoconazole tablets, itraconazole tablets, and fluconazole tablets. These drugs have some side effects, such as damage to the liver. Before taking the medicine, go to the hospital for a liver function test.

The main oral medicines used to treat severe fungal acne include ketoconazole tablets, itraconazole tablets, and fluconazole tablets.

How To Prevent Fungal Acne?

Avoid using shower gels with strong cleansing power to prevent damage to the body’s skin barrier and prevent inflammation from getting worse.

Use some body lotions with anti-inflammatory ingredients to repair the skin barrier and suppress inflammation.

It is not recommended to use vegetable fats other than jojoba oil. Squalene and fatty acid ester skin care products are also not recommended.

Keep the living environment ventilated daily.

Avoid wearing tight clothing.

Change and wash your clothes frequently after sweating.

Change pillowcase sheets and towels frequently.

Exercise more to enhance body resistance.

Supplement B vitamins and eat less high-sugar and high-fat foods.

Can Tea Tree Oil Get Rid of Fungal acne?

On the table is a bottle of tea tree essential oil, chess and a bottle of wheat

Tea tree essential oil contains about 50% of monoterpene alcohols, of which terpineol accounts for about 45%, and a small amount of thujone alcohol, which has a very powerful bactericidal ability, including bacteria and fungi.

5% concentration of tea tree essential oil can kill 90% of fungi, which is very suitable for acne caused by the imbalance of facial flora.

Tea tree essential oil has an excellent effect on antibacterial folliculitis and fungal folliculitis.

How to use:

Apply moisturizing cream to the face, then dip a cotton swab into the mixture and apply it directly to the acne.