Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra answers a viewer's question about fungal acne. She shares this is a common concern she has been getting asked about recently. Fungal acne is very similar in appearance to garden-variety acne but the difference is it's due to a fungal or yeast organism called pityrosporum. The Doctors share side-by-side photos of both types of acne to illustrate their differences.
Pityrosporum is actually a natural flora that lives on the skin and it's a normal part of the microbiome. Dr. Batra says the belief is when the counts get a little higher, usually in oily areas of your face or in moist, humid, and sweaty environments, your skin will have an eruption of little spots that are all very similar in size and shape, unlike typical acne. The spots may be itchy and if you look closely you can see they are around hair follicles. It is called pityrosporum folliculitis.
Dr. Batra says you can try over-the-counter products like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide but often, typical acne medications are going to irritate it or make the acne worse! If they do not work, speak to a dermatologist so that they can prescribe an antifungal or anti-yeast agent either orally or topically to clear up the issue.