Acne is a common skin condition that affects many people, but not all breakouts are created equal. While some may look similar, there are different types of acne, each with its own causes, symptoms, and treatments. In this article, we will explore the differences between two specific types of acne: fungal acne vs closed comedones.
What is Fungal Acne?
Fungal acne, also known as pityrosporum folliculitis, is a type of acne caused by a yeast-like fungus that naturally occurs on the skin. Unlike traditional acne, which is caused by bacteria and oil build-up, fungal acne is triggered by an overgrowth of this fungus. Symptoms of fungal acne include red, itchy bumps that are often grouped together in clusters. These bumps can be confused with traditional acne, but they are often more inflamed and don’t respond well to traditional acne treatments.
What are Closed Comedones?
Closed comedones, also known as whiteheads, are small, raised bumps that develop when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Unlike open comedones, which develop into blackheads, closed comedones are covered by a thin layer of skin, preventing the trapped oil and debris from oxidizing and turning black. Closed comedones are often smaller and less noticeable than other types of acne, but they can still contribute to an overall breakout.
How to Tell the Difference
So, how can you tell the difference between fungal acne and closed comedones? While both types of acne may look similar on the surface, there are some key differences to look for.
One of the most significant differences is the location of the breakouts. Fungal acne typically develops on areas of the body that are moist and covered, such as the chest, back, and upper arms. Closed comedones, on the other hand, are more likely to occur on the face, particularly around the nose, mouth, and chin.
Another way to tell the difference is the response to treatment. Fungal acne often does not respond well to traditional acne treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. In fact, these treatments can sometimes make fungal acne worse. Closed comedones, on the other hand, can often be treated effectively with these products.
Treatment Options For Fungal Acne
Treatment options for fungal acne and closed comedones differ based on the cause and severity of the breakouts. For fungal acne, a combination of topical and oral antifungal treatments is often recommended. Over-the-counter antifungal creams, such as clotrimazole, can be effective in treating mild cases. More severe cases may require prescription antifungal medication, such as terbinafine or itraconazole.
Treatment Options For closed comedones
For closed comedones, a combination of exfoliating agents, such as salicylic acid, and pore-clearing ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide, can be effective in unclogging the pores and preventing new breakouts. Over-the-counter products, such as cleansers and spot treatments, can be a good starting point, but more severe cases may require a prescription from a dermatologist.
In conclusion, fungal acne and closed comedones are two different types of acne with different causes, symptoms, and treatments. Understanding the differences between the two can help you get the right treatment for your skin and achieve clearer, healthier skin. If you’re unsure about the type of acne you have, it’s always a good idea to consult your dermatologist beforehand. This to make sure your condition not become severe.