Did you know that there is no such thing as Fungal Acne, the proper term is called Pityrosporum Malassezia Folliculitis – oh and btw, it’s not acne, it’s actually a build up of yeast. Then why is it called fungal acne? That is the forever mystery and one of the dangers on the spread of misinformation online. It’s obviously easier to remember than it’s original name, and thanks to TikTok and Hyram among others, the virility spread ever so fast that there is no turning back.
So what is Pityrosporum Malassezia Folliculitis?
A build up of yeast present in the follicles of the hair, and thrives on the sweat produced by our skin. They usually appear as red bumps and pustules on the chest, upper arms, and back – very rarely on the face (typically on men) – and very often mistaken as acne – also why it’s so important to pay a visit to a Dermatologist to get treated properly and timely. It’s one of those things that even if you haven’t experienced it yet, it is wise to be informed about it. Thay way you’re also prepared and not surprised by uninvited skin conditions.
So why the confusion between actual bacterial acne and Pityrosporum Malassezia Folliculitis? Because it’s red and even contain pus, they can also look like small whiteheads, but the main distinguishing factor is how Pityrosporum Malassezia Folliculitis makes you itch.
What causes Pityrosporum Malassezia Folliculitis?
What people need to understand is that even the yeast that causes Pityrosporum Malassezia Folliculitis is present in our body. It is also common among adolescents (posssibly) due to the increase in sebum production in the sebaceous glands during puberty.
Some other triggers are:
- Excessive sweating, yeast thrives on sweat.
- Tight unbreathable clothing or sweating under our garments and not showering to wash off the sweat
- The use of antibiotics (topical or oral) and immunosuppressants
How to treat Pityrosporum Malassezia Folliculitis?
Getting proper medical attention by a Dermatologist for one, and they are likely to prescribe oral antibiotics. The drug can penetrate deep into the follicle and stop the yeast from growing further. And sometimes oral meds can be prescribed along with topical ointments.
There are over-the-counter (OTC) treatments that include anti-fungal shampoos that contain what is basically sulphur. And this is probably where Hyram’s among other’s viral TikTok videos come at play with the term “fungal acne” – in their videos they say Nizoral shampoo can treat “fungal acne”.
Fungal Acne- How to Get Rid of It ✨ pic.twitter.com/cswP4TwAa2
— Hyram (@skincarebyhyram) June 26, 2020
While this is true, shampoos like; Selsun Blue or Nizoral that contain active ingredients of selenium sulfide, pyrithione zinc, sulphor, etc., which is an anti-fungal medication used in dandruff prevention shampoos because it lowers levels of yeast and subsequently reduces inflammation that causes the flakes.
So a similar methodology applies to Pityrosporum Malassezia Folliculitis, since there are high levels of fungus that promote inflammation in the follicles, leading to bumps and pus that are mistaken as acne.
Ultimately, the biggest mistake you can make is self-diagnosing when dealing with Pityrosporum Malassezia Folliculitis and mistaking it and treating it like regular acne. Therefore using conventional acne products, especially antibiotics, won’t help and may even worsen the symptoms.
When it comes to Pityrosporum Malassezia Folliculitis, it’s best to see a Dermatologist sooner rather than later.