How To Get Rid of My Fungal Acne (Malassezia Folliculitis)


How To Get Rid of My Fungal Acne (Malassezia Folliculitis)

Often fungal acne gets mistaken for acne vulgaris such as blackheads, whiteheads, comedones, and cyst. It is important to recognize that fungal acne is not really acne. It’s a term given by mainstream media to make it easier for people to identify with. Fungal acne is actually a type of folliculitis which is an inflammation of the hair follicles. Hence the names malassezia folliculitis or pityrosperun folliculitis. It is caused by an overgrowth of yeast/fungus on the skin leading to an infection to the hair follicles causing small monomorphic, pruritic papules and pustules to develop.


Typically, with a healthy immune system and gut flora, your body will be able to balance the yeast, bacteria and fungi that is naturally present on the skin. But when this natural balance is disturbed, overgrowth can occur leading to itchy spots.

There are many factors that can disrupt the balance of bacteria and fungi that lead to the development of fungal acne. These include:

1. Over production of sebum
The yeast is primarily found in the funnel of the sebaceous glands, as it thrives on the lipid composition of sebum. Research suggests that people with higher triglycerides and cholesterol levels on their skin surface plays a larger role more susceptible to Malassezia overgrowth.

2. Antibiotics, oral contraceptive, oral steroids
Medications such as antibiotics, birth control pills, prednisone or inhaled corticosteroids that disturb the natural balance of microorganisms in your body can increase your risk of yeast overgrowth by killing the good bacteria which normally keeps the yeast in check.

3. Weak or suppressed immune system
An immune system that’s been compromised leads to a slower immune response to foreign malassezia invaders allowing it to proliferate, and leading to skin disorders.

4. Diet high in sugars and refined carbohydrates
Fungi and yeast feed on carbohydrates and thrive on such sugars as glucose, fructose, mannose, maltose, and sucrose. So, eating lots of sweets and carbohydrate-rich foods can trigger an overgrowth of yeast.

5. Sweating
Yeast thrives in damp and moist conditions. Fungal acne can often develop in sweaty or damp areas that don’t get much airflow and usually appear as itchy pimply spots on the chest, back and arms.

6. Humidity
Fungal acne are more likely to take hold in environments which are high in humidity where Malassezia can thrive.

Often fungal acne gets misdiagnosed as regular acne vulgaris and incorrect treatments are given leading to disappointing results. Antibiotics kills bacteria and will not work against fungal yeast. When deciding treatment regimens, it’s important to identify the triggers and symptoms. The most common and easiest way to distinguish between the two is that fungal acne carries with it an intense itch whereas acne caused by P acnes bacteria isn’t itchy but painful when inflamed

In up to 30% of cases, acne vulgaris and fungal acne may coexist together and it will be necessary to combine both anti-bacterial and antifungal treatments at the same time. However, the use of antibiotics could be counterproductive and should be avoided as it can disrupt the normal gut flora leading to an even nastier bout of yeast overgrowth.

Physicians typically treat Malassezia folliculitis by prescribing oral or topical antifungal medications. The most effective treatments involve a combination oral and topical antifungal medications, such as: Fluconazole, traconazole, or ketoconazole

The oral medications can target the yeast that is located deep within the hair follicle of the of the sebaceous glands whilst the topical antifungals can target and eliminate the yeast on the surface layers of the skin.

Anti-fungal cleansers with piroctone olamine is also proven to be very effective in combating fungal related skin conditions and can be incorporated with your topical skin care regime. (Apteka Anti-fungal Cleanser)

In cases where your skin is not responding to the anti-fungal treatments, there could be the possibility of an anti-fungal resistant strain that is not phased by conventional medications.
Malassezia has a built-in defensive mechanism to protect itself from anti-fungal agents by forming biofilms to act as a shield protection around their bodies. This biofilm can make your antifungal agents less effective, and in some cases lead to anti-fungal resistant yeast that would make it much harder to treat. Therefore, weakening the biofilm is also a crucial part of the yeast elimination process.

Weakening the biofilm is an important first step. Apple Cider vinegar, Selenium sulfide, colloidal silver are effective remedies to assist with breaking down the Malassezia biofilm. Once the protective biofilm is weakened or eliminated, we can put our antifungal agents to work and destroy the fungal skin infections.

There are many natural remedies that can help manage the overgrowth of yeast and fungal conditions. Here are some effective natural anti-fungal remedies to consider:

Sea Salt
Sea salt is proven to have strong antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it ideal for treating fungal acne and killing the Malassezia yeast.

However, for it to be an effective remedy, the level of salt concentration must be high. By mixing high levels of salt with just tiny bit of water and applying the salt water as a mask on the face and body for 5 – 20 minutes, pathogens go through an osmosis state having water sucked out of them. When moisture conditions are so dry on the skin where salt concentrations are beyond tolerable limits, the osmoregulatory processes are overloaded and death occurs to the pathogen.

N.B High salt concentrations must be used for this remedy to work.

Tea Tree Oil
The antifungal effect of tea tree oil on fungi is well documented. Studies have shown the mechanism of antifungal action using tea tree oil. It alters the permeability of C. albicans cells. The essential oils inhibited the growth of M. pachyderatis in a range from 0.5% to 1.0% concentrations. Compared to our results, tea tree oil inhibited the growth of M. pashudermatis only at higher concentration (30%). while the lower one was not sufficient.

Garlic contains an organosulfur compound known as ajoene, which is a powerful antifungal agent proven to eliminate fungi. When garlic is crushed, allicin and alliinase are mixed to create ajoene. This compound is extremely potent in inhibiting the growth of yeast by disrupting the cell walls of yeast cells, preventing them from proper function.

Grapefruit seed extract
Grapefruit seed extract is a highly effective antifungal agent against a variety of yeasts and molds by directly attacking the cell membrane and breaking it apart within 15 minutes of contact with the pathogen. The American Research Institute also reports that grapefruit seed extract can kill over 800 bacterial and viral strains and 100 strains of fungi.

Sunlight and UV rays
It is found that exposure to UV light (254 m) for 45 min was effective in deactivation of yeast like fungi and bacteria. Exposure time and surface conditions are important in the success of killing unwanted microorganisms.

Malasezzia is just one of the many thousands of organism species residing in the skin. Human skin is the residence of a huge population of microorganisms which includes over 1000 species of bacteria and over 80 types of fungi, and viruses. These form an ecosystem of skin microflora or microbiome that influence your skin in many ways.

By keeping a healthy microbiome, you will

– have a stronger better working immune system
- create a healthy skin barrier to protect from infections,
- reduce skin flare ups, rashes and inflammations
- assist and speed up wound healing
- eliminate fungal acne!!

The first and most important step to improving gut and skin microflora is to start with a balanced diet which consist of lots of plant-based foods or indigestible carbs and fibers that allows the good bacteria in your gut to thrive. Stay away from foods rich in sugars and refined carbs such as white bread, pastries, white flour, deserts and sweets that the bad organisms feed on.

Along with a balanced diet, it is important to incorporate a good weekly exercise regime that makes your heart ‘pump’ and your skin sweat. A good workout which includes cardio and weight training help to boost your immune system and improve gut flora. Sweat is an important fortifying prebiotic component for healthy skin microbiome.

Lastly it is important to have a good skincare regime that consist of products that encourage the growth of good organisms and minimize on using harsh stripping chemical products that harm the good bacteria and remove the natural oils and moisture from the skin needed for strong protective barrier. Use skin care and face mask like a sake mask or creams with live cultures that will introduce and add new enzymes, prebiotic, probiotic, and postbiotic back to your skin.

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