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Treating Pityrosporum Folliculitis: What You Should Know

If you’ve tried every acne treatment available and you’re still suffering from breakouts, you could have a condition called pityrosporum folliculitis. Not sure what that is? We’ve got you covered. Here are a few things you need to know about this condition and how to treat it.

What Is Pityrosporum Folliculitis?

Pityrosporum folliculitis, also known as Melassezia folliculitis, is a common skin condition that is often mistaken for acne. This is mostly because of the way it presents itself on the skin. When you’re living with pityrosporum folliculitis, the condition will look nearly identical to an acne breakout. For this reason, pityrosporum folliculitis is often under-recognized and under-diagnosed. This condition occurs when a specific type of yeast called Malassezia, which naturally occurs on the skin, gets into your hair follicles and causes infections. Unfortunately, as a result of the way this condition presents itself, it often gets treated using traditional acne treatment methods. For example, birth control for acne won’t necessarily make pityrosporum folliculitis go away. Other traditional methods of treating acne include using topical products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. And though they may be effective on the bacteria that cause acne, you’ll have no such luck using them on pityrosporum folliculitis. Fortunately, there are two easy ways to tell the difference between acne and pityrosporum folliculitis: a lack of comedones and the presence of an itching sensation. In addition, people with pityrosporum folliculitis are more likely to have conditions like dandruff. Now let’s get into some treatment options.

Pityrosporum Folliculitis Treatments

Topical Treatments

Just like acne, pityrosporum folliculitis can be treated with topical gels and creams. Unlike acne, however, it’s necessary to treat pityrosporum folliculitis with an antifungal agent. It’s possible to attain antifungal treatments in the form of a cream or lotion, and it’s also common to find antifungal shampoos to help treat pityrosporum folliculitis on areas of the body such as the scalp, neck, back, chest, and even shoulders. These shampoos can be combined with other topical treatments to effectively eliminate pityrosporum folliculitis from the skin. But if you want to combine an antifungal shampoo with another topical treatment, make sure you speak with your dermatologist.

Oral Treatments

As noted above, it’s necessary to treat pityrosporum folliculitis with an antifungal agent. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be a topical solution. In fact, for many people living with this condition, oral antifungal treatments work quite well. In addition, they’re a little bit less of a hassle than a topical ointment or cream. The most common antifungal medications prescribed to treat pityrosporum folliculitis orally are itraconazole and fluconazole. With a good treatment program, pityrosporum folliculitis can clear up in a matter of weeks.

Over-the-Counter Treatments

If you’d prefer to treat your pityrosporum folliculitis at home, there are several over-the-counter options that you can try. Most of them are selenium sulfide shampoos from brands like Head & Shoulders and Neutrogena. Like the prescription antifungal shampoo, these products are easy to apply and can cover the scalp, neck, chest, and back when used in the shower. These treatments may not be as effective as a prescription-grade antifungal, so make sure you consult with your dermatologist before using them to treat pityrosporum folliculitis.

Pityrosporum folliculitis is a common skin disorder, but it’s often under-diagnosed or mis-diagnosed. If you think you could be living with this condition and want a concrete diagnosis, contact SE Dermatology Specialists today.

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