Your Cart

Discounted Addons

Clarifying Mask (Special Offer)
Clarifying Mask (Special Offer)
$13.98 $27.95

🔥PRIME DAY SALE! Add an extra 10% savings + Free US Shipping over $50: Code: PRIME🔥

Need help choosing the right kit?

Our Skin Profile Quiz can help recommend a kit that best addresses your skin’s unique concerns


Want to order by phone or have questions about our products?

Our skincare experts are here to help 7am-3pm PT Monday - Friday



Sign into your account to track & manage orders or update your account info below.


Facial Cleanser

Ultimate clean, no over-drying

Clearing Tonic

Instant skin rebalancing

Acne Treatment Serum

All-day Protection

Clear Pore Serum

All night pore clearing

Derm-X Cloth

Skin renewing exfoliation

Moisture Complex

Weightless oil-free moisture

Microderm Scrub

Instantly Smoother Skin

Clarifying Mask

Deep down skin detox

Probiotic Complex

Clearer skin from the inside


What Is Fungal Acne? (Causes, Treatments, and More)

Not all acne is created equal. One form of acne that has puzzled many is fungal acne, scientifically called pityrosporum folliculitis or malassezia folliculitis. So, what is fungal acne, and how does it differ from traditional acne?

We explore this lesser-known skin condition and discover its causes, symptoms, and treatment options. Continue reading for healthy, smooth skin.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Fungal acne is caused by yeast overgrowth and often gets misdiagnosed due to its similarity to regular acne.
  • Treatment strategies for fungal acne differ from those for bacterial acne and usually involve antifungal medications.
  • Accurate diagnosis and understanding of the nuances between fungal and bacterial acne are crucial for effective treatment.
  • Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive range of products that can help manage both bacterial and fungal acne.

Close up of face with fungal acne

What Is Fungal Acne?

Understanding the Basics

Fungal acne isn't acne in the traditional sense, even though it shares many similarities with acne vulgaris (common acne). It is caused by an overgrowth of yeast, specifically a type known as malassezia, which naturally resides on the skin. This overgrowth leads to irritation, red bumps, and other symptoms that resemble regular acne.

How Is Fungal Acne Different From Regular Acne?

The key differences lie in the causative factors and the appearance of the breakout:

  • Regular Acne: Caused by blocked pores, bacterial infections, and overproduction of sebum.
  • Fungal Acne: Caused by an overgrowth of yeast within the hair follicles.

Pityrosporum folliculitis, or fungal acne, is often confused with regular acne because of the similar appearance of the bumps. However, the treatment for each condition is entirely different, requiring different treatment options.

Symptoms of Fungal Acne

Identifiable Features

Fungal acne often appears as uniform, itchy, small bumps. These bumps are usually clustered together and may resemble whiteheads. Unlike blackheads or pustules common in acne vulgaris, fungal acne bumps generally do not contain pus.

Where Can It Occur?

Fungal acne can occur anywhere on the body but is most commonly found on the chest, back, and arms. These are areas where yeast thrives due to sweat and moisture.

Person with back acne

What Makes Fungal Acne Worse?

Several factors can exacerbate the condition:

  • High humidity and heat.
  • Wearing tight or non-breathable clothing.
  • Using oily body wash or skincare products.

What Causes Fungal Acne?

Overgrowth of Yeast

The primary reason for fungal acne is the overgrowth of yeast within the hair follicles. Malassezia yeast is generally present on our skin, but issues arise when there is an imbalance, causing fungal acne.

External Factors

  • Diet: High sugar and carb intake can contribute to yeast growth.

Man getting junk foods from refrigerator

  • Antibiotic Use: Can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria on your skin.
  • Hormonal Changes: Can increase sebaceous activity, promoting yeast growth.

Diagnosing Fungal Acne

Clinical Diagnosis

To properly treat fungal acne, a correct diagnosis is crucial. Fungal acne may be identified through skin scraping tests that examine the presence of Malassezia yeast.

Visual Identification

Because fungal acne is often treated differently from normal acne, it is important to note the visual differences. Fungal acne often appears as small, red bumps, usually clustered together, unlike traditional acne, which may have a more varied presentation.

Treatment Options for Fungal Acne

Topical Treatments

  • Anti-acne Creams: Applying creams or medications containing antifungal agents can help.

Exposed Skin Care Body Kit

  • Dandruff Shampoo: A shampoo with antifungal properties like selenium sulfide can be used as a body wash.

Oral Treatments

  • Oral Antifungal Medication: Medications like fluconazole can be prescribed for severe cases.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Opt for breathable clothing.
  • Avoid high-sugar diets to prevent yeast overgrowth.

Preventing Fungal Acne

Personal Hygiene

  • Regularly wash your clothes, especially workout gear.
  • Opt for skincare products labeled "oil-free" or "non-comedogenic."

Environmental Factors

If you live in a hot and humid climate, consider using a dehumidifier to control the moisture level in your living spaces.

Woman using a dehumidifier

Diet and Nutrition

Limit the intake of foods high in sugar and carbohydrates, as yeast thrives on these substances.

Myths and Misconceptions About Fungal Acne

Fungal Acne Spreads Like Bacterial Acne

While bacterial acne can be spread by picking at it and then touching other parts of your face, fungal acne is less likely to spread in this manner.

Fungal Infections Are Caused By Poor Hygiene

This is a common misconception. Fungal acne is caused by an overgrowth of yeast, which can happen to anyone, regardless of their hygiene habits.

How Exposed Skin Care Can Help in Managing Acne and Fungal Acne

Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive solution for managing various forms of acne, including the acne-like symptoms of fungal infections.

Exposed Skin Care Ultimate Kit

Here's why choosing Exposed Skin Care products is beneficial:

  • Customized Acne Treatment: With a range of products that target specific problems, you can build a regimen that addresses your unique skin type and condition.
  • Diagnosing and Treating Fungal Acne: If you've had fungal acne diagnosed, Exposed Skin Care can help by providing products that effectively manage both acne and fungal acne.
  • Combats Yeast Infections and Overgrowth: The carefully curated ingredients can help address the overgrowth of yeast on your skin, often the root cause of fungal acne.
  • Prevention and Maintenance: Our products can aid in preventing the spread of the infection and help you maintain a clear complexion.

Dealing with fungal acne can be as tricky as treating papules, nodules, or uniform bumps commonly seen in regular acne. Exposed Skin Care offers a practical and effective approach to managing fungal acne's various causes and treatments.


Navigating the world of acne can be challenging, especially when different types, like regular acne and fungal acne, come into play. Understanding the unique characteristics, causes, and treatments for each can significantly affect how effectively they are managed.

Fungal acne, known as pityrosporum folliculitis, is often misidentified but can be successfully treated when diagnosed correctly. The overgrowth of a yeast called malassezia is generally the culprit, affecting the skin and hair follicles.

Unlike bacterial acne, which can spread when you touch the infected area and then another part of your skin, fungal acne often remains localized. This is essential to consider when treating the condition, as the spread of the infection can be managed differently.

Exposed Skin Care offers a range of products that cater to the different needs of those battling acne without focusing solely on the common bacterial forms. Their offerings include elements that can aid in treating infections caused by fungus and yeast.

In conclusion, while the reasons for fungal acne can be varied and complex, understanding its intricacies allows for better treatment strategies. Incorporating specialized products, like those from Exposed Skin Care, into your routine can be a practical approach to tackling this skin condition effectively.


What is fungal acne?

Fungal acne is a skin condition caused by an overgrowth of yeast, specifically malassezia, within the hair follicles.

How is fungal acne different from regular acne?

Fungal acne often appears as uniform, itchy bumps, usually localized in one area. Regular acne varies in size and type and is caused by bacteria.

What are the main causes of fungal acne?

Overgrowth of yeast, often triggered by factors like hot, humid climates or certain medications, can lead to fungal acne.

How can fungal acne be treated?

Antifungal creams, shampoos, and oral medications are common treatments. Topical treatments with antifungal properties can also be effective.

Is it easy to diagnose fungal acne?

Diagnosing fungal acne can be challenging due to its similarities with regular acne. Skin scraping tests can confirm the presence of yeast.

Can Exposed Skin Care products be used to manage fungal acne?

Yes, Exposed Skin Care offers products that can help manage bacterial and fungal acne.