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What is Fungal Acne, and How Is It Different From Acne?

From unsightly whiteheads, greasy blackheads, to painful cystic lumps, skin blemishes can be the bane of your existence, especially if you don’t have a fail-proof way of eliminating them. 

Not only is acne something we expect to only deal with in our teens, acne that occurs in adulthood can be substantially more frustrating and difficult to get rid of. Whereas teenage acne is almost always related to hormonal changes, adult onset acne can be caused by a myriad of reasons ranging from hormones to dietary changes, and even lifestyle habits. 

When you’re looking for a solution to an acne problem, you first need to know the type of acne you have before deciding what acne medication or treatment is right for you. If you attempt to treat fungal acne with the same methods you use to treat bacterial acne, you’ll only wind up frustrated...and still covered with bumps. 

The experts here at Rael offer all natural remedies for both fungal and non-fungal acne. Whether you’re dealing with a pre-period breakout, or a rash of itchy whiteheads on your forehead, you’ve got options. 

Our natural, holistic skin-care products are great for calming down irritated skin and helping you get your natural mojo back quickly. 

Let’s discuss acne, what it is, and how fungal acne differs from other types of acne. We’ll also consider what could be causing your fungal acne, and what you can do about it. 

WHAT IS ACNE?

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when the hair follicles on the skin become clogged with excess facial oil (also called sebum) and dead skin cells. While you may suspect those bumps are filled with dirt and makeup you forgot to wash off, those are just myths. 

Acne is characterized by the development of clogged pores on the skin. There are six different types of clogged pores:

  • Whiteheads. This is a closed clogged pore that erupts on the skin and has a white, pus filled head that is visible. 

  • Blackheads. These are open clogged pores that look like small black dots on the skin. 

  • Papules. Papules are smaller, red bumps also known as pimples, that can be painful and may or may not ever turn into whiteheads

  • Pustules. These are essentially the same as whiteheads

  • Nodules. These are hard, painful lumps under the skin. Typically they aren’t even red, they’ll just be swollen and tender to the touch.

  • Cystic lesions. These are pus filled lumps under the skin. These are extremely painful and characteristic of cystic acne. These almost always require a visit to the dermatologist for treatment. 

Acne can affect you at literally any age. Even babies can get a mild form of hormonal acne as they start to develop. Acne can occur throughout teenage years and follow you into adulthood. Some people who’ve never had acne may begin to experience it as they age. 

Acne can be caused by many factors. At the root of the problem is excess oil production and a buildup of dead skin cells, but skimping on moisturizer and exfoliating like crazy won’t fix the problem. 

The reasons for excess oil production and oily skin can be from hormonal changes, dietary imbalances, certain medication use, bacteria, and even stress. Figuring out what triggers your acne is the key to treating it and getting rid of it once and for all. 

If your acne doesn’t seem to fit the regular acne “mold,” you could be dealing with a skin condition that is entirely different. Fungal acne is different from other types of acne, and regular acne treatments won’t work to resolve it. 

WHAT IS FUNGAL ACNE?

Fungal acne” is more of a social media influencer buzz term than an actual medical condition. Although fungal acne looks like acne, it’s not the same. What we know as fungal acne is really pityrosporum folliculitis, which is also known as malassezia folliculitis.

So, what are these two hard-to-pronounce conditions? Simply put, they refer to a yeast infection on your skin.

Your skin is covered with yeast, but sometimes you can experience an overgrowth of a particular type of yeast called malassezia. When malassezia overgrows on your skin, it infects your hair follicles, leading to folliculitis, which simply means an infection of the hair follicle

This is why fungal acne doesn’t respond to common, over-the-counter, (and even some prescription) acne treatments; the cause of the acne isn’t the same as regular acne. In fact, if you’ve been struggling with a rash of acne bumps that just seem to never disappear, you could be suffering from fungal acne. Once you know how to take care of it, you can get rid of it fairly easily. 

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE FUNGAL ACNE?

Fungal acne appears and acts differently than regular acne. One of the biggest differences with fungal acne is that it almost always feels itchy, almost like a rash. 

There are also some common  hallmarks of fungal acne that set it apart from regular acne:

  • Small whiteheads. Fungal acne usually presents as small whiteheads, often no larger than the head of a pin. 

  • Itchiness. Unlike regular acne, fungal acne is generally accompanied by itchiness and general feelings of irritation. 

  • Patches. Whereas regular acne may produce sporadic bumps all over your face, fungal acne can appear in patches. It can even look like a small rash. 

  • Location. Although regular acne can hang out on your back and chest, fungal acne is more prevalent on these areas of your body, and on larger areas of your face like your forehead and cheeks. 

WHAT’S CAUSING MY FUNGAL ACNE?

So why are you getting a yeast infection on your face? There can be a few reasons. Yeast grows in moist, warm environments. 

You can create the perfect habitat for yeast to grow by:

  • Not showering after a workout. Even if you don’t think you sweat much, without rinsing off, the perspiration on your face, back and chest can keep your skin just wet enough for yeast to grow. 

  • Wearing wet gym clothes too long. Change your clothes as soon as you finish your workout. Leaving them on creates a moist environment for yeast. 

  • Dietary changes. Some carbohydrates, like sugar, feed yeast. If you regularly eat a lot of added sugar, you could be setting yourself up for fungal acne breakouts

  • Compromised immune system. This is a rare cause, but if you suffer from an autoimmune disorder, it may be more likely for you to experience fungal acne

HOW DO YOU GET RID OF FUNGAL ACNE?

The best way to get rid of fungal acne is to make some lifestyle changes. Think in terms of not feeding or promoting the overgrowth of yeast

  • Change out of wet clothing immediately when done with your activities.
     
  • Wash your face and/or shower when you’re done working out

  • Eat a balanced diet and limit your sugar and refined carbohydrates. 

  • Use an all-natural dandruff shampoo and body wash that contains selenium or zinc to wash areas that normally develop fungal acne.

In addition to lifestyle changes, there are some other solutions you can try to deal with fungal acne naturally and holistically. 

WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR FUNGAL ACNE?

You don’t have to suffer if you have fungal acne. There is no need to simply hope it will go away on its own. In contrast, there are natural antifungal treatments with holistic ingredients that can help you deal with fungal acne without exposing yourself to harsh chemicals such as ketoconazole or salicylic acid which are often prescribed.

Rael recommends using tea tree oil on the affected area for your fungal acne. Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties that can help alleviate the symptoms of fungal acne, and soothe itchy, irritated skin. 

Product to try: Rael Tea Tree Sheet Masks. These masks are infused with tea tree oil, chamomile, and cica extract to help combat fungal acne and soothe irritated skin. 

Another great way to deal with fungal acne is by spot-treating the patches of fungal acne that appear. You can spot-treat by using a hydrocolloid patch that will effectively lift pus and oil from the infected pores and work to heal the skin. 

Product to try: Rael Spot Control Cover. These spot control covers are large enough to cover the small patches of fungal acne as they appear, allowing you to protect them from environmental stressors while the hydrocolloid works to draw out pus and oil from the bumps.

You should also make sure you’re taking care of your skin with natural skin care products that keep your skin clean and properly hydrated without the use of harsh chemicals or toxins. Rael offers an all natural, toxin-free skincare line to add to your skincare routine that can help keep you looking healthy, radiant, and comfortable. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Fungal acne isn’t the same as regular acne, and it shouldn’t be treated the same. You can recognize fungal acne by how it appears and feels, and you can get relief by trying natural, holistic solutions like tea tree oil and hydrocolloid patches as opposed to harsher chemicals from antifungal creams that can be found in the world of dermatology. Lifestyle changes will also help you keep fungal acne from cropping up as frequently. 

You can get relief from fungal acne naturally, and Rael can help you love the skin you’re in.


Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/symptoms-causes/syc-20368047

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360273/

https://www.cureus.com/articles/26367-malassezia-pityrosporum-folliculitis-incognito-malessezia-associated-folliculitis-masked-by-topical-corticosteroid-therapy

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