Get Rid of Fungal Acne – Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Fungal acne is a term used to describe the appearance of whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples on the skin that infections from yeast or fungi have caused. It’s not just a teenage crisis anymore, Fungal acne is on the rise, and it could be happening to you right now without even knowing, or so you might think.

What Is Fungal Acne?

Fungal acne also called pityriasis rosea, is a relatively common skin condition caused by a fungus. It appears as clusters of small red bumps with little black dots in the middle and surrounding area. The worst cases can get inflamed and may cause discomfort like any other pimple or zit does. Many people mistake the symptoms of fungal acne for some other skin conditions, especially on the face. Therefore, it is essential to diagnose this particular condition as soon as its signs and symptoms are noticed.

Fungal acne may be more likely to appear during or after taking an antibiotic course for an infection somewhere else in the body. The use of oral steroids can also trigger this condition.

Who Gets Fungal Acne?

Anyone can get fungal acne, but men and women are affected differently. Men tend to develop more severe skin rashes than women, especially during their teenage years. The estimated occurrence rate for people in the United States between six and 60 is about 3.7 percent.

What Causes Fungal Acne?

Fungal acne is mainly caused by a fungus called Malassezia folliculitis (Pityrosporum ovale). A few other types of fungi can also cause this condition. It usually causes only temporary symptoms, but it may lead to severe medical conditions such as fungal infection in the bloodstream or infection inside bones when left untreated for some time.

More time spent inside also means that people often wear their clothes long after being contaminated by fungi which then transfers onto the skin when we sweat or sometimes touch another part of our body where it has already been left behind.

What Does Fungal Acne Look Like?

Fungal acne usually appears on the chest, upper arms, and back in men; in women, it is seen more frequently on the buttocks and thighs. The affected areas have clusters of small red bumps with tiny black dots in the middle, surrounded by inflamed skin. These patches may itch or burn at times. A non-itchy rash on the back, chest, or arms can also be caused by fungal acne.

The bumps of fungal acne are so tiny that they look like the rest of the skin’s oil glands and pores. Sometimes these black dots under the skin get so inflamed that it appears as if there is a bunch of blackheads growing out from the affected region.

Fungal acne typically appears on the chest, upper back, face, and neck. It can also occur in other body parts such as arms, hands, and lower legs. Even if appropriately treated, the worst cases may not get cured due to the fungal infection spreading more profound into the skin tissues.

In a rare case, fungal acne may appear as:

Pustules: These are clusters of pimples filled with pus. Pimples usually go away after some time, but pustules will still be there until they get drained.

Crusts: The affected skin has thick, hardened layers. Scratching them off will provide temporary relief from itching or burning sensations, but the appearance will remain.

X-shaped patches: These occur mainly on the chest and back. They get better after taking antifungal medication for a couple of days. However, they may come back again if you stop using the medicine or your immune system fails to respond appropriately.

How Do You Know if You Have Fungal Acne?

It may be fungal acne if you notice that your skin looks red, itchy, or scaly with clusters of small bumps and black dots (blackheads). It usually appears in patches, which are more visible after taking a hot shower or bath. If the symptoms worsen, contact a dermatologist immediately for further diagnosis.

Fungal acne is challenging to diagnose, especially for individuals with no prior knowledge. The skin condition may be confused with other infections and skin disorders, such as:

  1. Seborrheic dermatitis (a chronic form of facial dandruff).
  2. Dermatophytosis (eczema or ringworm infection).

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common chronic skin condition in men and women with oily skin. It causes dry, thickened, and itchy skin on the face or body areas. Although this disorder may persist for months or years, there are available treatments to control the symptoms of such cases.

Dermatophytosis (ringworm) is a fungal infection that usually affects the scalp and other skin areas. One of the most common fungi that cause ringworm is called  Trichophyton rubrum. However, in rare cases with no skin inflammation or itching, dermatophytosis may be mistaken for acne or eczema. A dermatologist will help you decide the right course of action in these cases.

acne vs fungal acne

Risk Factors for Getting Fungal Acne

The most common causes of fungal acne include the Recent use of antibiotic therapies. This increases a person’s susceptibility to skin infection by fungus due to killing off beneficial bacteria that generally live on the ski—exposure to excessive sweating or humidity. Wearing heavy clothes that hold the heat and moisture against the skin may also increase your risk of getting fungal acne. This is particularly common in men who wear tight undergarments, such as briefs and boxers, instead of loose-fitting ones like boxer shorts.


The most common signs and symptoms associated with fungal acne include:

  1. Bumps that look like blackheads or whiteheads.
  2. Redness (e.g., pomegranate redness) of the affected area.
  3. Itching, burning, and stinging sensations in the affected areas.
  4. Dry skin patches with a rough texture.
  5. Headache is a common symptom of fungal acne on the face and neck.

Fungal Acne Vs. Bacterial Acne

Fungal acne is a type of acne caused by a dermatophyte infection. The most common cause of fungal acne is the Trichophyton rubrum fungus. Fungal acne can be challenging to diagnose and is sometimes mistaken for other skin disorders such as seborrhea. Antifungal medications are often used in conjunction with antibiotic creams to treat the condition, but it still may take time to clear up completely.

The best way to know that you have fungal acne is by having a skin biopsy done on the affected area by a dermatologist. This procedure uses a tiny instrument called a punch or blade to cut out a small portion of your skin and examine it under a microscope.

Bacterial acne is caused by the growth and proliferation of bacteria in clogged hair follicles. This leads to blackheads or whiteheads on your skin when it begins to grow beneath the surface, breaking through into pores that cause swelling and inflammation. These breakouts can be challenging to get rid of because they are deep within the pore, but fortunately, there are ways we might treat them, so their effects diminish over time!

Bacteria don’t just give you bad breath; sometimes, it also causes stubborn zits! Bacterial acne is an unfortunate side effect for many people mainly due to hormones, contraceptives used during menstruation cycles, dieting habits like eating processed foods high in sugar content, and environmental factors.

It’s usually easy to identify since bacterial acne has pus mixed in with infected material. Antibiotic pills are often prescribed for bacterial acne, but it usually takes longer to subside than other types of acne.

How to Get Rid of Fungal Acne?

The first step in treating fungal acne is to get rid of the infection. The primary method used is oral medications, generally taken for four to eight weeks, depending on your case. If the condition does not respond to oral treatments, a dermatologist may recommend topical medications, which may be used in conjunction with oral pills. Suppose the fungal acne is severe or widespread. In that case, your dermatologist will probably prescribe an antifungal drug called Fluconazole (Diflucan) since this medication has fewer side effects compared to other antifungal medications.

Fungal acne treatment may include:

  • Antibiotic creams and oral pills that contain erythromycin or clindamycin. These antibiotics are generally effective in treating fungal infections. However, a dermatologist may prescribe antifungal ointments such as terbinafine or ketoconazole to treat the condition instead.
  • Reduce your intake of dairy products, sugar, and refined carbohydrates since these items can prevent the body from absorbing essential nutrients. This helps keep skin moisturized and hydrated, so that skin cells are less likely to turn into fungus and contribute to fungal acne.
  • Drink plenty of water every day. This helps keep your body hydrated and lessens the chances of fungal acne.
  • Keep your skin clean and dry at all times, especially after sweating. However, it is essential to avoid using harsh soaps or scrubs; these can irritate the infected skin and worsen the symptoms.
  • Use white tea bags (preferably without added fragrances or flavors) to help relieve skin inflammation. White tea contains high levels of polyphenols, which have antifungal and antibacterial properties helpful in treating fungal acne.

How to Treat Fungal Acne?

If you develop pustules, crusting, redness (pomegranate redness), or scaling as a result of fungal acne, then you may try the following treatments to alleviate your symptoms:

Use a soft toothbrush to scrub affected areas several times a day gently. This helps remove dead skin cells and makes it easier for new skin cells to grow. Apply moisturizing creams and lotions on top of medicated ointments to help prevent any further irritation.

The Trichophyton rubrum fungus most likely causes fungal acne, but other types of fungi can also cause this skin condition. Always see a dermatologist if you suspect that you may have fungal acne.

Proper treatment will help clear up your symptoms and reduce the chances of having a relapse or spreading the infection to other people.

How Can You Treat Fungal Acne at Home?

If your case of fungal acne isn’t too bad, you may be able to clear up your symptoms by using natural treatments. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to make sure that you are clean.

Bathe twice a day using lukewarm water and gentle, non-fragranced soap to help keep your skin as clean as possible. Avoid scrubbing or applying too much pressure because this will only irritate the affected area further. After showering, dry your skin with a soft towel instead of rubbing or scratching it. Moisturize your skin as needed, especially if you have dry skin. You can also apply pure aloe vera gel to the affected area to help speed up the healing process.

Next, clean your home by wiping down doorknobs and other surfaces with a mild bleach solution. Pay special attention to where you store your makeup, hairbrushes, or other beauty products. Also, try using a spray bottle filled with diluted bleach and water; this will help prevent unwanted microorganisms from growing.

If possible, peel off any bandages on your skin before taking a shower since fungal acne usually forms underneath them. Your doctor may recommend using a povidone-iodine dressing or covering your wounds with an antiseptic gel before changing your bandages, but the choice is up to you.

Using natural treatments can be effective for some people, but it’s best to see a dermatologist if your symptoms persist for more than two weeks.

Cure fungal acne permanently with the followings:

  1. Add a few drops of pure lavender oil to your bath water or apply it directly to the affected areas on the face, neck, back, and chest for immediate relief from itching, pain, and burning sensation.
  2. You can also apply bentonite or fuller earth’s clay masks to the affected areas two times a week when you don’t have any skin flare-ups or rashes to eliminate fungal infections permanently. This will also help maintain healthy skin by preventing other conditions and repairing your damaged skin cells.
  3. Follow these simple tips to treat fungal acne effectively without any side effects and enjoy radiant-looking skin for years!

Can You Pop Fungal Acne?

There is no right or wrong way to treat fungal acne. However, it would help if you kept in mind that popping your pimples will not clear up the infection faster and cause scarring. Not only that, but it could potentially spread the disease to other parts of your body as well. If you decide to pop a pimple regardless, make sure to sterilize the area first. You can do this by applying rubbing alcohol to your skin or washing it with soap and water. After using a medicated cream, wait about 15 minutes before popping the pimple.

How to Prevent Fungal Acne?

Everyone can’t avoid contracting fungal acne because some people are more prone to this skin problem than others. However, there are several things that you can do to lower your chances of developing fungal acne:

  1. Wear protective clothing if needed. This protects you from the sun and helps to keep sweat away from your skin, and lessens the chances of a fungal infection.
  2. Gently wash your face using lukewarm water in the morning and night before bed. Wash your hands, if possible, after touching public surfaces, so don’t rub microorganisms on your face.
  3. Eating unprocessed foods will help keep your body healthy and strengthen your immune system. Take supplements if necessary to make up for any nutritional deficiencies, especially vitamin B12, since it plays a vital role in producing white blood cells that fight infections.
  4. Drink plenty of water every day because this helps keep your body hydrated and lessens the chances of fungal acne.
  5. Keeping your skin clean is essential for preventing fungal acne, but it is critical to avoid harsh soaps or scrubs; these can irritate the affected skin and worsen symptoms. Regularly showering with lukewarm water once a day is usually enough to keep your skin clean as long as you thoroughly wipe away sweat and microorganisms.

What Types of Fungal Acne Are There?

There are two main types of fungal acne to be aware of: invasive and inflammatory. Invasive fungal acne is more severe than its counterpart because it can cause damage to the dermis by forming spots that look like boils and even cause nodules. Inflammatory fungal acne is the milder version of this skin condition, but it can lead to scarring if left untreated.

Although there are natural treatments for fungal acne that you can try on your own, some cases may require prescription medications or even surgery. Be aware of the different types of fungal acne to know when to seek help from a dermatologist.

Fungal Acne On Face

Blackheads and whiteheads are the most common types of acne. Around 10% to 20% of adolescents suffer from severe cases. They are either unable to go outside due to their skin appearance or experience distress because people make fun of them at school. Most young girls worry about how their new pimples might ruin their good relationship chances. So, if you are looking forward to beautiful skin free from fungal acne problems, you must follow the below-mentioned guidelines.

Proper cleansing and moisturizing of your skin will help in reducing acne symptoms and scars. So, wash your face twice or thrice a day using a mild cleanser and warm water. If you wear makeup, cleanse your face every night before bed.

Avoid using oily cosmetics like foundation and powder on your face. Prevent touching your facial skin with unwashed hands or touching your hair and scalp too often. Also, handle the affected areas gently as they are very sensitive and prone to infections.

Use a soft towel to pat your skin dry after washing it. Rubbing will aggravate the symptoms instead.

Wash your hair every day with mild shampoo or commercial head lice treatment containing pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide topical solution if you have excessive dandruff.

Use a mild soap to wash your face. If the symptoms persist, then talk to your dermatologist for help.

Fungal acne on the back of hands and arms

If you notice that some areas of your skin are always dry, then moisturize twice or thrice a day with petroleum jelly or any other lotion which contains zinc. This will help your skin to retain its natural moisture and elasticity.

If you have fungal acne on the nose, apply a cleanser containing benzoyl peroxide moisturizer or any other medicated moisturizer twice a day if the symptoms persist for more than two weeks. Cover it with a bandage or gauze.

Fungal acne on the neck is a common problem caused by fungal infections.

Being overweight can increase the risks of getting fungal acne on the body, so losing weight if you are obese will help to get rid of this problem to a large extent. Try applying pure aloe vera gel or other unmedicated lotion to the affected areas for temporary relief.

Keep your bathroom clean by keeping it disinfected regularly with a bleach solution. You can use anti-bacterial soap for cleaning your arms and legs every day, but make sure that you dry them properly before going to bed. Also, don’t wear tight clothes such as socks or tights against your skin if you have fungal acne on your feet.

Avoid bar soaps and strongly scented lotions or creams as they irritate the affected area. Don’t rub your face roughly when washing it; instead, use soft strokes as this will help provide relief from severe itching and prevent micro-cracks on your skin.

Fungal acne usually affects only certain parts of the body, so if you have this problem, try not to touch those areas as often as possible. Also, use a soft towel when drying the affected area after taking a bath or shower. Use mild shampoo and conditioner to wash your hair daily to eliminate dandruff and dryness.

Fungal acne is a common skin problem that occurs mainly in teenagers and young adults. If you observe any unusual spots or bumps appearing on your face, neck, back, hands, or legs, try to seek immediate medical help from an experienced dermatologist.

Does Antifungal Cream Help Acne?

Over counter, antifungal creams and sprays can help rid fungal acne on the face, shoulders, chest, back, and arms. It is believed that applying antifungal cream twice a day will help treat this type of skin infection within four to eight weeks. But before using any topical or oral medications for fungal acne on the face, you need to consult with your doctor first.

Everything we think or say about our skin significantly affects its condition. It is essential to have a positive and healthy attitude to keep your skin looking young and radiant for years!

If the affected areas of your skin are very itchy or painful, then you can try a few different antifungal medications such as topical ketoconazole, butenafine, and ciclopirox cream. In addition to this, azoles antifungals, a group of agents used to treat fungal infections, may also be suggested by your dermatologist.

Bottom line: Try natural home remedies to cure fungal acne and get rid of it permanently. But if you don’t see any improvement within a week, talk to your doctor for further evaluation and help.

The main reason potent antifungal cream works in the treatment of fungal acne is that they are usually effective in reducing the redness, swelling, and inflammation of the affected area, which helps relieve itching.

Also, read about other topical therapies for acne treatment:  Salicylic acid vs. glycolic acid in skincare products.

The most common fungi that cause infections on human skin are Candida albicans (causes oral thrush), Alternaria (found in upper respiratory tract infections and causes black circles under eyes), and tinea versicolor. They can all affect the skin but are treatable if caught early. For more information, I suggest visiting your local dermatologist or general practitioner.

If you have any fungal infection, it is essential to determine the exact cause of your problem before using any medication to treat fungal acne. So I suggest you talk to your dermatologist or general practitioner about this issue and seek immediate medical treatment. I hope you will eliminate fungal acne symptoms by choosing from the suggestions mentioned above as effectively as possible!

Nizoral for Fungal Acne

How Does Nizoral Cream Work for Fungal Acne?

As an antifungal agent used to treat fungal infections, Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo is also commonly used in treating seborrheic dermatitis (inflammation on the skin that causes scaling and flaking) as dandruff.

According to recent studies, Nizoral shampoo is also effective in treating acne vulgaris (acne that affects the face and neck) by reducing inflammation in affected areas of the skin. Is this product safe?

Is Nizoral Cream Safe?

Yes, Nizoral shampoo is considered safe for regular use as it does not contain any toxic or harmful chemicals. The main ingredient of this anti-dandruff shampoo is ketoconazole, approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating fungal infections.

How to Use Nizoral for Fungal Acne?

Like other 2% ketoconazole shampoos, you need to apply Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo on the affected areas of your skin twice daily and leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing it off. If you strictly follow this schedule, I am sure you will see noticeable results within a week or two.

To get rid of fungal acne with Nizoral antifungal shampoo, you need to choose the correct dosage of this product for your skin type and use it in combination with other medications and home remedies. Moreover, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult with your dermatologist before using Nizoral shampoo to treat fungal acne on the face.

It would help if you didn’t stop using this antifungal shampoo suddenly, as it may worsen the condition. So talk with your dermatologist when you decide to discontinue treatment or when you want to switch to another anti-dandruff shampoo.

Also, you mustn’t use any other topical or oral medications containing ketoconazole while using Nizoral shampoo to treat fungal infections. It will help if you inform your doctor about all the medicines you take before starting a new therapy.

However, in case of any fungal infection, avoid sharing your shampoo with other people, as using their Nizoral shampoo when you have a fungal problem can lead to cross-contamination. Avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Avoid all skin contact with these substances.

Bottom line: If great results are not achieved after several weeks of using Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo, consult your skincare specialist for further evaluation and help.

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