Are you dealing with a smattering of pimples on your body or face and no matter how much acne management products you use, they just won’t budge? If yes, then you might be dealing with fungal acne, which is one of the most stubborn kinds of acne out there. It may cause excessive irritation and inflammation. Although it is not easy to deal with fungal acne, this blog discusses what it is and how you can better deal with this type of acne.
What is fungal acne?
Pityrosporum folliculitis, the scientific name for fungal acne, is an infection in your hair follicles. Fungal acne can be the result of an overgrowth of yeast within the hair follicles. Our skin produces an oil called sebum, and when it is overly produced our pores and hair follicles get clogged with oil as well as yeast and bacteria. They commonly appear as small pimples, often along with irritation and itching. This type of acne is also often associated with whiteheads and blackheads.
It is essential to understand what fungal acne is, because sometimes it’s often confused for acne vulgaris, but as they are two different types of acne they won’t go away if you’re using the same treatment for both. Instead you can make the fungal acne worse by adopting the same treatment, instead of dealing with it in a more appropriate way.
How to know if you have fungal acne?
Because fungal acne looks similar to acne vulgaris or bacterial acne, it might be difficult to know what you’re dealing with. Here’s a few ways you can differentiate between fungal acne and bacterial acne.
- Fungal acne often shows up on the arms, chest and back whereas bacterial acne mostly shows up on the face.
- Furthermore, fungal acne can cause itching while bacterial acne rarely does.
- Fungal acne tends to be nearly the same size while bacterial acne causes pimples of varying sizes.
What causes it?
Fungal acne is different from other types of acne, and isn’t necessarily caused by oil and sebum production. Although they are a big part of adding to the bacteria that will eventually cause fungal acne.
Yeast is always present in our skin and our body is able to balance the yeast but sometimes when due to certain reasons there is an overproduction of yeast, maybe because of the natural balance being upset, that’s when the infection of hair follicles develops and acne-like symptoms show up.
There are certain ways which can cause a yeast overproduction and cause its natural balance to become upset:
- When you go to the gym and you sweat, you are likely to get fungal acne. Wearing sweaty clothes for too long will encourage yeast production. And for this it is very important to wash your clothes thoroughly as rewearing them may expose your skin to the fungi that has already grown in your clothes.
- Wearing tight clothes does not allow your skin to breathe, which causes extra sweating and hence allows yeast to grow rapidly.
- Antibiotics help you solve many health issues but can wreak havoc on your skin. They make an unstable skin environment and allow the fungi to thrive.
- Using comedogenic skincare products such as sunscreen and lotion may clog your pores and trap the sebum. Such products can increase the risk of fungal acne.
- Moreover, during hormonal changes in your body, the skin produces extra sebum which can also lead to development of fungal acne.
How to treat fungal acne?
As said above, treating fungal acne could be difficult if you haven’t identified it yet but once you fully understand what it is, it’s not hard to treat it. You can manage its symptoms by following the below mentioned treatments.
Use an oil free moisturizer
Oily skincare products can lead to fungal acne as they clog the pores and trap the sebum, allowing the fungus to breed, worsening your acne. Using an oil free gel or water based moisturizer will help your skin deal better with the problem of fungal acne.
We all know that exfoliating can slough away dead skin cells. It turns out that dead skin cells, excess dirt, and oil might all contribute to yeast production. By exfoliating you can get rid of all this. Make sure to exfoliate your body twice a week specially post workout to lessen the chance of getting fungal acne.
Use tea tree oil
Touted for its antiseptic and antifungal properties, tea tree oil is an effective treatment for fungal acne. Before incorporating the oil in your skincare routine, do a patch test by applying the oil mixture to a small area of your skin to check for any allergic reactions. The Leovard Elixir, contains tea tree oil extract, along with several other extremely hydrating ingredients such as green tea and aloe vera, making it an effective treatment for fungal acne.
The fact that fungal acne is not easily distinguishable from other forms of acne makes it difficult to deal with, making it seem like it’s stubborn and just won’t go away. Once you are able to identify it, appropriate steps can be taken to better deal with it, and in turn, clearer skin can be achieved.