top of page

Fungal Acne: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: 3 days ago

Acne is a common concern for many people, especially teenagers and young adults. But did you know that not all acne is created equal? One type of acne that is often misunderstood is fungal acne, also known as Malassezia Folliculitis. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of fungal acne and practical advice for managing it.


A close up of a woman with facial acne touching her face

Understanding Fungal Acne

Fungal acne, scientifically known as Malassezia folliculitis, is an acneiform condition

(skin conditions that resemble acne vulgaris) that is often misdiagnosed as acne vulgaris. It results from an overgrowth of the Malassezia yeast present in the normal cutaneous flora, secondary to occlusion of the follicle or disturbance of normal cutaneous flora.

Causes of Fungal Acne

Fungal acne is common in people living in hot, humid climates, particularly those affected by excessive sweating. Other predisposing factors include topical or oral antibiotic use, particularly tetracyclines, oral corticosteroid use, and immunosuppression.

A bottom-up picture of the sun in the sky with a rainbow around it

Misconceptions about Fungal Acne

Fungal acne is often misdiagnosed as acne vulgaris, but the two conditions require different treatments. Antibiotic treatment, which is often used for acne vulgaris, may alter cutaneous flora and exacerbate fungal acne. The two conditions can be differentiated by the lack of response to oral and topical antibiotics, absence of comedones, and the often itchy nature of the lesions.

A woman with facial acne touching the left side of her face

Practical Advice for Managing Fungal Acne

Managing fungal acne requires a different approach than managing typical acne. Antifungal treatments are the most effective treatment and result in rapid improvement. It's important to observe what triggers flares, such as hot, humid weather, increased sweating, or occlusive clothing and topical products.

Schedule a consultation today and start your acne recovery journey today.

An illustration of an anti-microbial sign


Understanding the difference between fungal acne and other types of acne can help you manage your skin condition effectively. By recognizing the signs of fungal acne and seeking appropriate treatment, you can take control of your skin health.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.

This blog post was medically reviewed by Dr Summer Zhang.


1. Richard M. Rubenstein, MD; Sarah A. Malerich. (2014). Malassezia (Pityrosporum) Folliculitis. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol.


bottom of page