Fungal Acne Vs Closed Comedones: Differences And Proper Treatment

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

Whenever you look at yourself in the mirror, you may think that the little lumps or bumps on your skin are normal pimples, but do you know what kind of acne they are? Why are they occurring, and how are they going to be reduced? Although all acne looks the same, but there are a lot of differences between causes and types. First, you need to find out the difference between fungal acne vs closed comedones.

But before that, you must know, what kind of acne you actually have. Acnes on your skin may be fungal acne or closed comedones. And there are a lot of different kinds of acne as well.

Thus, you should have no confusion about acne in your skin and after knowing the information about it, then you should get the proper treatment. We tried to provide accurate information on fungal acne and closed comedones in the article.

Fungal acne is also referred to as pityrosporum folliculitis. You may be surprised to know that fungal acne is not acne. It is one of many kinds of folliculitis. Fungal acne is a skin condition where bacteria accumulate in the hair follicles on the skin.

Fungal acne or pityrosporum folliculitis, also known as malassezia folliculitis. Yeast, bacteria and other fungi are part of our skin. And this yeast, bacteria are responsible for fungal acne. 

What are closed comedones and comedonal acne?

Before you know about closed comedones, you must first know what comedones are.

Comedones are certain types of small bumps, usually occur on the forehead and cheeks. A lesion or bump is called comedo.

Now that you know about fungal acne, Now you need to know about closed comedones. And then find out the difference between fungal acne vs closed comedones.

Comedones are mainly of two types, open comedones (blackheads), and closed comedones (whiteheads).

When oil or sebum accumulates on the surface under the skin, it clogs the pores and creates small bumps, they are called closed comedones. Oils or dirt do not come into contact with air, Follicles remain blocked.

The differences between the symptoms of fungal acne and comedonal acne.

There is a big difference between the symptoms of fungal acne and comedonal acne, since both are acne, many people consider them as typical acne. But many times you can understand what kind of your acne is by looking at its symptoms.

Symptoms of fungal acne

There are a lot of people who confuse their acne with what type of acne they have, and often for that confusion they have misdiagnosed their acne. And due to this wrong treatment, fungal acne gets worse.

So as of now, if you keep these few symptoms in mind, you can easily identify whether your acne is fungal or not

  • The fungal acne are pus filled bumps.
  • These acnes tend to be pretty much the same size.
  • It makes the effected area red.
  • It causes swelling of the surrounding skin.
  • Fungal acne occurs on chest, neck, back and arms.
  • This acne also occurs on the face.
  • Often appears in clusters of small whiteheads of red bumps.
  • Make hair follicles irritated.
  • This often causes itchiness.
  • Fungal acne does not respond to any medication.

symptoms of closed comedones or comedonal acne

Since closed comedones or comedones do not look like typical pimples, or are not inflamed, So a lot of people with closed comedones don’t consider their acne as closed comedones, Because they are not pus-filled, nor do they tend to swell. Instead, they develop in smaller size and non-inflamed closed or open bumps.

  • Closed comedones don’t have uniform look to them.
  • They are quite close the color of your skin tone
  • Non itchy.
  • Most of them look like whiteheads.
  • Closed comedons are not filled with pus.
  • Clogs or plugs exist under your skin and not coming through.
  • Mostly occurs on the jaw line, chin, and forehead and also can develop on neck, shoulder, chest or back.
  • It may have mild symptoms at first as you may have noticed a few odd bumps. It could be severe, sometimes and over a large area of your skin.

There is a difference between the causes of fungal acne and comedonal acne

Fungal acne is a small red bump that usually occurs on the forehead, cheeks, and sometimes on the chest and back. on the other hand, comedonal acne results in blackheads and whiteheads. If the comedonal acne is severe, it can turn into inflammatory acne.

(Learn more about why you have acne and what kind of acne you have)

Causes of fungal acne

Fungal acne may occur anytime during the year. However, for most people, fungal acne is more frequent during the summer.

Fungal acne occurs when yeast or malassezia grows in the hair follicles and leads to breakouts, itching and irritation on the surface of the skin. Have you ever wondered why in the hair follicles fungus grow and provoke fungal acne?    There are a lot of factors behind that, but our lifestyle is responsible for that as well.

Causes of fungal acne or pityrosporum folliculitis can include :-

  • People whose skin is greasy most of the time are more likely to have fungal infection.
  • Always wear tight clothes.
  • Fungal acne can cause if sweaty exercise clothes are worn for too long and sweaty exercise gears are not washed and reworn.
  • Wearing restrictive cloths.
  • Sweating inside clothes and not washing well during bathing can increase the risk of fungal acne.
  • Excessive sweating and that sweat dries  out in the body can also trigger fungal acne.
  • Overuse of antibiotics.
  • Because the fungus is contagious, it can spread to your body in close contact with those affected.
  • Heavy workouts and sweating a lot while we exercise and people living in hot and humid climates are more prone to have fungal acne. Because yeast, which present in our body, thrives on sweat.
  • Overuse of sun cream, makeup and moisturizers, and these block the hair follicles on the skin.

These skin conditions are also more prevalent in adolescents, as the production of sebum or natural oil increases during puberty.

Causes of closed comedones or comedonal acne

Closed comedones fall into the non-inflamed acne category. To be honest, open and closed comedones are the least severe forms of acne, making them easier to treat and less invasive than many other acne.

As I mentioned, that closed comedones are the plug of hair follicles by skin cells and oils. This can occur naturally.

  • Certain products triggers the tendency to have closed comedones. The use of heavy creams or products or make-up that contain a large amount of oil, they block plugs and cause skin problems.
  • Isopropyl myrilate and propylene glycol are present in specific and many skin care products, that can fill your pores.
  • Excessive consumption of dairy products, fat and sugary foods can trigger comedones acne. Dairy and fat can increase oil production on the skin and cause inflammation.
  • Stress makes a significant impact on our physical body. Stress regulates oils in our body and leads to block pores.
  •  Over hydration of your skin can lead to these problems. Especially peelings or laser therapy may lead to this acne issue sometimes.
  • If you smoke you more likely to develop closed comedones.
  • During puberty, the natural sebum production of the skin increases, and this extra oil can get caught under the cells and causes closed comedones.
  •  If closed comedones build up along your hairline, you should check your hair products.
  • Living in a humid place increase sweating and greasy skin and this leads to a blockage of pores and occurs new closed comedones.

Is there any difference between the treatment of fungal acne and comedonal acne?

There are also differences in treatment such as symptoms and causes of fungal acne and comedonal acne, and that’s normal since these two are different types of acne.

Prescription-strength medicine is required for comedonal acne. Topical OTC treatment for comedonal acne is often ineffective, but topical retinoids and benzoyl peroxide successfully treat it. Meanwhile, anti-fungal medication works great for fungal acne.

The treatment options for fungal acne

If your fungal acne is severe, and you are not going to the doctor for fear that this treatment may be scary. Then let me tell you that there is no reason to be afraid.

 When you go to a dermatologist first, the doctor will ask you some questions for example, since when have you been suffering from this problem. To make sure your acne is fungal or not, they can also take your skin sample for a biopsy test.

  • Also, there are many medications recommended to treat fungal acne.
  • Often doctors prescribe an oral anti fungal medicine. Oral antifungal medicines like fluconazole and itraconazol reduce the infection by targeting the hair follicles.
  • Anti fungal cream, like ketoconazole 2%  butenofine and butenofine and are great for fungal acne. This cream healps to control the yeast on the skin.

The treatments options of closed comedones

If you have closed comedones and you are not treating them, so let me tell you that these closed comedones of yours can be the first stage of inflammation. Because Just a few triggers are enough to transform closed comedones into inflammation. And these triggers can be anything such as increased levels of hormone, increased the production of natural oil, or of sweat emitted may increase.

So the treatment of close comedones should be started in time before it turns into terrible form. Fortunately, you can treat close comedones yourself before seeking any medical help, for example, you can try natural home remedies or over-the-counter remedies for closed comedones.

  • If you do not want to apply various medications on the skin, then tea tree oil is a good option. It work well in various skin treatment. As it helps to reduce inflammation it also helps to reduce various skin infection.
  • Since excess oil production is the main causes of closed comedones, it is important to reduce excess oil to treat it. You can reduce it by applying different face musk such as charcoal or clay musk. These masks absorbe excess oil from the skin and in addition they also remove dead skin cells and dirt.
  • Witch hazel is a familiar product for skin care just like the tea tree oil. It also healps reduce skin inflammation hazel reduce excess oil secretion from the skin.

OTC topical treatment

However, over-the-counter treatment may not be effective if you have chronic closed comedones. OTC topical treatments are done to control excess oil on the skin and to unclog the clogged pores. And you need a prescription-strength topical treatment to reduce these chronic closed comedones. In that case, a high concentration of products is required, such as peroxide and retinoids.

And if you have minor-closed comedones then here are some of the OTC topical options you can try azelaic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide. You can apply these directly to your skin. But remember to apply sunscreen whenever you apply OTC topical.

Medical treatment

If your closed comedones are not cured by OTC or natural remedies then there is an another option to cure closed comedones that is medical treatment.

Which medicine your doctor prescribes for your closed comedones treatment depends on your skin concern. He may prescribe you oral contraceptives, isotretinoin pill or antibiotics.

If closed comedones does not respond to the above treatments, the dermatologist then may perform surgery. Such surgeries are cryotherapy, electrosurgery or microdermabrasion.

In microdermabrasion, the layer of your skin is removed by crystals. This opens the closed comedones and the germs trapped inside come out easily.

In crystotherapy, comedons are freez with the help of nitrogen So, that they can be easily removed.

Fungal acne vs comedonal acne prevention

No matter which acne it is, fungal or closed comedones. If it is eliminated first, then you will get rid of the problem of those happening in the future. With different OTC treatments, even if you are aware of various aspects of your lifestyle, you can prevent them.

How do you prevent your fungal acne on your own

Fungal acne is often misdiagnosed because it looks like any other common acne. So, the treatment is not effective. And if you do not want to go to the doctor or do the OTC tricks, then you should keep a few things in mind in your daily life. That’s how you can reduce the chances of spreading fungal acne. 

  1. Take a shower as soon as you finish your workout.
  2. Wear loose fitting breathable clothes as much as possible. Wear natural fabrics like cotton.
  3. Maintain your hygiene, and keep the things clean that are used in your daily life.
  4. Stop taking excessive amounts of antibiotics.
  5. Have a healthy meal. Cut down sugary and carbohydrates contained food from your diet. Because yeast thrive on these. Hence, add more vegetables, fruits and proteins to your diet list.
  6. Keep the area where you have fungal acne as dry as possible. Because if the affected area is moist, it more likely to spread the fungus.
  7. Try to avoid tight fitted clothes. Avoid spandex and wash clothes after workouts or sweating.
  8. Do not scratch the affected area. Scratching can worsen the infected area.
  9. Eat yogurt and probiotics. Yoghurt and probiotics contain good bacteria that fight against microbes that cause fungal acne.

How do you prevent closed comedones to happen in the future?

If you start treating closed comedones at the beginning then it will not get worse in the future. You need to pay close attention to your lifestyle, you will be able to get rid of this acne problem a lot.

Firstly, you should start with a good skincare routine and follow it regularly. Here are a couple of tips to get you going:

  1. Thoroughly wash your face well, at least twice a day. When washing the skin, don’t rub at all, wash gently.
  2. Exfoliate the skin regularly, because skipping exfoliation causes the buildup of dead skin cells on the skin and leads to closed comedones, it will also cause other skin problems.
  3. Always clean make-up, sunscreen or dirt and oil on the skin with the pre-cleanser before you start the skin care routine.
  4. Never sleep with make-up on.
  5. Avoid sugary, fatty, and diary foods.
  6. Eat less processed foods as much as possible.
  7. Exercise to maintain proper blood circulation in the body.
  8. Add more anti-oxidant foods to your diet.
  9. Wash your face properly and take a bath after the workout.

When to consult a dermatologist

If you do not get results after treatment of all kinds of home remedies and various OTC for your fungal acne or closed comedones. And there are new breakouts occurring, so that is when you need to go to your dermatologist.

But you have to be patient for any treatment. Remember that it is not magical that all your acne will go away and clear skin overnight. Allow your dermatologist enough time to treat your skin.

Fungal acne vs closed comedones conclusion

Many people think that their acne is a typical pimple and due to this misconception, many people have misdiagnosed their acne, making the acne worse. That does not reduce their acne, on the contrary, it increases further.

And this is why you need to know what kind of breakouts you have, fungal acne or closed comedones then get proper treatment. And once you understand the difference between fungal acne vs closed comedones, you can prevent it from happening in the future.

One more thing to be sure of is that you have a dermatologist who will explain to you the difference between fungal acne vs closed comedones and you will get proper treatment.

Abhijit Sarkar

Abhijit Sarkar

Abhijit Sarkar is a passionate automobile engineer and part-time content writer. With his deep interest in skincare and hair care, he brings a unique perspective to the world of beauty. Abhijit's expertise lies in dissecting the science behind various hair and skin problems, providing effective solutions, and sharing practical tips for a healthy and radiant appearance. As a meticulous researcher, he delves into the intricacies of beneficial and harmful ingredients, empowering readers to make informed choices. Through his engaging articles, Abhijit aims to simplify the complexities of hair and skincare, helping readers unlock their true beauty potential.

For Your Further Reading

Shopping Basket