Malassezia Folliculitis: When Pimples Aren’t Just ‘Acne’

Are you battling persistent tiny, round pimples that lack a white center and seem to appear around your hairline and cheeks? If so, you might be dealing with a skin condition often mistaken for acne – Malassezia folliculitis.

Understanding Malassezia Folliculitis

Malassezia folliculitis, also known as Pityrosporum folliculitis, is a skin disorder caused by an overgrowth of the yeast Malassezia in hair follicles. Unlike traditional acne, which is primarily associated with bacterial infections, Malassezia folliculitis is a fungal issue. It often presents with small, itchy, and round papules that can be mistaken for acne.

The Culprit Behind the Pimples

Malassezia is a type of yeast that naturally resides on the skin’s surface. However, when it proliferates within hair follicles, it can lead to an inflammatory response, causing those pimple-like bumps. This condition is particularly common in areas like the face, chest, and back.

Misdiagnosis and Misconceptions

One of the reasons Malassezia folliculitis is frequently misdiagnosed as acne is because the symptoms can be quite similar. Both conditions result in skin blemishes, and the small, round appearance of these pimples can easily lead to confusion.

Treatment Strategies

Conventional acne treatments, such as antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide, are often ineffective against Malassezia folliculitis. In fact, some might experience a worsening of their condition when using these treatments long term, especially topical antibiotics! Antibiotics can kill off the ‘good bacteria’ over time that actual can keep this under control- thereby allowing Malassezia folliculitis to rage out of control. Here’s where a tailored [VS] approach becomes essential:

  1. Hygiene and Lifestyle Changes: Proper skincare and hygiene are vital in managing this condition. Using a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser and avoiding heavy, occlusive products can make a big difference. Malassezia folliculitis likes heavy fatty lotions
  2. VS 10% Sulfur Soap (made without heavy fatty lotions in our own lab by our founder)
  3. VS Mandelic Acid 5%
  4. VS Oil Free Moisturizer ( keep oily products away from Malassezia folliculitis -it’s a feast for this type of ‘acne’

Using the 10% sulfur and mandelic acid gives a 1-2 punch against this acne player.

sulfur acne soap no chemicals

Our handmade sulfur soap is a true teammate in defeating fungal acne. We created our own recipe and hand make it in our own lab.” All Natural non-pore clogging ingredients: 10% Sulfur 5% Charcoal.

-Acne Game Founder and CEO

Dietary Modifications: Some individuals find that reducing their intake of foods that encourage yeast growth, such as sugars and dairy, can help manage Malassezia folliculitis

Take Our Acne Quiz

Get ready for a skincare showdown! Take our Acne Quiz now and gear up with a personalized arsenal of top-tier products. It’s time to assess your skincare game, identify the opponents (hello, stubborn acne!), and strategize for a clear skin victory. Our quiz is your ticket to a winning regimen tailored just for you. Don’t miss out on this game-changing opportunity – tackle acne head-on and emerge victorious! Take the quiz, ace the game!


If you’ve been struggling with pimples that lack the classic characteristics of acne, and they seem to congregate around your hairline and cheeks, consider the possibility of Malassezia folliculitis. This fungal condition may masquerade as acne but requires a different approach to treatment.

Remember, when it comes to skin issues particularly acne-using the right products to combat the correct player is key to the most effective solution. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help to uncover the truth behind your persistent skin concerns.

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