If Not Back Acne, What Is It?

If Not Back Acne, What Is It?


Florida’s humid August weather combined with outdoor exercise and taking care of the horses gives me what I have been calling for years, my “body acne”. Turns out it is not acne at all but something called malassezia folliculitis. Doesn’t that sound lovely? Often, it is inaccurately referred to as "fungal acne". (And for simplicity, that is what I will be referring to it as) I say inaccurate because unlike acne, it is not caused by bacteria.  It is due to excess yeast within the hair follicles.

How to recognize

“Fungal acne” looks very much like most acne.  The small red bumps appearing on the chest, shoulders, and back. However, you may also notice itchiness and stinging sensation.  The inflamed area can almost look more like hives or a rash.


Yeast, for the most part is good for the skin. Healthy skin needs yeast to stay in balance and function properly. However, too much yeast can lead to break-outs. Creating an environment that is hot, humid, and sweaty can lead to increased yeast production.  Other triggers can be oral steroids, antibiotics, inflammatory foods, and hormone factors.

How can we treat it?

Fortunately, “fungal acne” can be fairly easy to treat and prevent.  Below is a list of ways you can prevent and treat break-outs.

  1. Immediately remove sweaty clothing, and shower. Remember, we are not dealing with bacteria, so there is no need to scrub down with harsh soap. We just need skin to be sweat free and dry. No need to exfoliate either, this may further irritate your skin.
  2. Where loose fitting clothing that are breathable.
  3. Cut back on sugars and dairy as they may increase inflammation.
  4. My favorite remedy has been our Calming Essence. It contains Witch Hazel, Rose, and Chamomile that all help calm skin, regulate pH balance and stop the itching.  If you choose to purchase Witch Hazel by itself, make sure it is alcohol free and naturally persevered. Otherwise, it may cause further irritation. 

For me, the biggest take-away here is that since this type of breakout is not caused by bacteria, it should not be treated as such. Most acne treatments are antibacterial 

Keeping skin balanced can be a struggle, my friends.  But, as long as we know what we are dealing with, there is always a natural way treat it.  Love to hear from you!  Any comments or concerns, please send my way!



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