What is fungal acne?
Fungal acne is a skin problem caused by a fungal infection in the hair follicles that is affected by the sebum glands in the skin. Even sometimes the trait similiar to common acne. But it’s actually very different. Have you ever experienced acne on the body that is difficult to get rid of even though you have undergone good skin care? If you have, there is a possibility that you have fungal acne, aka acne problems due to a fungal infection.
The sebaceous glands in the skin produce an oil called sebum. When produced in excess, the pores and hair follicles can become clogged with oil, bacteria, and skin fungus. Bacteria can cause acne, while fungi can trigger inflammation of the hair follicles. This is what distinguishes fungal acne from regular acne.
This type of acne is not a sign of poor skin hygiene, but this condition is a skin infection and can be contagious. Therefore, the treatment of this skin condition will be different from other types of acne and can be prevented or controlled.
Signs and Symptoms
Fungal acne is known by other names malassezia furfur (pityrosporum), folliculitis, or fungal acne because it looks similar to acne. Symptoms include:
- pus filled lump,
- the size of the lump is similar to a regular pimple,
- swelling and redness,
- appears on the arms, chest, back, to the face,
- hair follicle irritation,
- itching, and
- stinging sensation in the pimple area.
- Compared to other types of acne, This type of acne is not accompanied by comedones, pustules, or cysts that trigger pain.
If you experience one or more of the symptoms listed, consult a doctor or dermatologist immediately. The reason is, trying treatment without direction from a doctor actually risks exacerbating existing conditions. Especially if symptoms you had is fungal acne on face, because the chance is spread is not little.
Causes of fungal acne
As the name implies, this acne is caused by a fungal infection, more precisely called Malassezia furfur which is a type of fungus on the skin. While they usually don’t cause problems, they can trigger infection and irritation under certain conditions. Experts don’t know what the exact cause is, but it is known that mold can thrive under certain conditions. Here are some things that can trigger the development of fungi that can infect the skin to become fungal acne.
1. Humid environment
One of the factors that can make the fungus that causes this type of acne develop is a humid environment. Mold can multiply quickly in hot and sweaty places. It’s no wonder that people who live in environments with hot and humid climates are more at risk of developing this acne type. The development of mold can also be triggered by wearing tight sports clothing and sweating for a long time.
2. Use of certain drugs
In addition to a humid environment, the use of certain medications can trigger the growth of this acne type Usage of that oral antibiotics used to treat regular acne can sometimes make fungal acne worse? This may be because antibiotics reduce the good bacteria on the skin that should regulate the number of fungi on the skin. This decrease in good bacteria makes the development of fungi much faster.
Similar to antibiotics, oral steroids such as prednisone can actually accelerate the development of fungal acne. This is because these oral medications weaken the immune response, so the body may not be able to properly control fungal growth.
3. Certain health conditions
Any disease that can lower your immune system, such as HIV infection, puts you at greater risk for fungal acne. The mechanism of this disease is similar to the steroid drug prednisone which causes the body to be unable to control the fungus. If you have an autoimmune disease that is accompanied by red and itchy bumps, consult your doctor.
4. Diet Style
Not much different from acne in general, the food you eat can actually affect the growth of skin fungus. Most mushrooms eat carbohydrates. This means that a high-carbohydrate diet, especially sugary foods, may speed up mold development.
Fungal Acne vs Closed Comedones
This acne type very different with closed comedones. Even the trait fungal acne on face or body with closed comedones and appearance slightly same. But this two has very different cause, moreover the treatment.
Closed comedones, also known as whiteheads, are small, white bumps that form when a hair follicle becomes clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Unlike pimples, which are red and inflamed, closed comedones are small and usually not painful. While they may be mistaken for fungal acne, closed comedones are caused by a buildup of oil and dead skin cells, not a fungus.
In closed comedones hair follice completely blocked by oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, but not because fungi infection.
The main difference fungal acne vs closed comedones
The main difference between fungal acne and closed comedones is their cause. Fungal acne is caused by a fungus, while closed comedones are caused by a buildup of oil and dead skin cells. To tell the difference, it is helpful to look at the type of bumps that are present on the skin. Fungal acne typically appears as small, red, and itchy bumps, while closed comedones are small and white.
If you didn’t sure if you get Fungal Acne vs Closed Comedones, please consult to doctor. Doctor will give you the best fungal acne treatment so your acne don’t become worse.
Diagnosis & Fungal acne treatment
If you suspect that the skin infection you are experiencing is part of the symptoms of fungal acne, immediately consult a dermatologist or dermatologist. Before doctor starting fungal acne treatment, the doctor will try to diagnosed it is fungal acne or other regular acne. Because the treatment of regular acne with this acne is very different. This is done by asking about the conditions experienced, such as how long the acne appears until the treatment is carried out. In some cases, you may need to undergo additional tests to confirm the diagnosis. For example, the doctor will take a skin sample for testing. You need to tell doctor too about skincare you are using, especially if you had fungal acne on face.
Given that the causes of this acne type are different from acne in general, the fungal acne treatment options will also be different. Here are a series of ways to treat this acne type that are usually recommended by doctors.
Treatment of fungal acne orally is usually the most effective option, especially for treating early symptoms. Generally, doctors will prescribe oral antifungal drugs according to the severity of the symptoms, The length of treatment will depend on how widespread and severe the skin problem is and how the body responds to the medication given. If the drug is successful in controlling the itching, the doctor will help you stop dependence on antifungal drugs slowly. This generally takes months.
In addition to taking medication, another way to fungal acne treatment is to use topical medications. The drugs are directly applied to the problematic skin aims to prevent the reappearance of fungal acne. This treatment usually comes in various forms according to the needs and advice of the doctor, but doesn’t worry this fungal acne treatment at can done at home, the treatment such as anti-dandruff shampoo with sulfur content, antifungal cream, or ointment. For fungal acne on face, the ointment type is very effective.
How to prevent fungal acne
Parts of the body that have fungal acne can gradually recover as long as they get the right fungal acne treatment. Unfortunately, this condition cannot go away completely because it can reoccur due to changes in seasons and lifestyles. For that, these various ways can be done to reduce the risk.
- Keeps skin dry and clean during and after exercise.
- Use antifungal bath soap at least once a week.
- Replace your regular shampoo regularly with an antifungal shampoo.
- Use products that contain petrolatum, salicylic or glycolic acid.
- Get in the habit of bathing two or three times a day on hot and humid days.
- Do not use tight clothing, especially synthetic materials.
- Immediately remove sweaty clothes and wash immediately.
- Avoid products containing benzoyl peroxide that aim to treat dry skin.
- Consult your dermatologist about your skincare choice, this will prevent the chance fungal acne on face.
If you have further questions, please discuss with a dermatologist or dermatologist to understand the right solution.