Skin Care

How To Treat Fungal Acne On The Face Naturally

Dealing with acne can be a frustrating experience, but the challenge becomes even more significant regarding fungal acne on the face.

Fungal acne, or pityrosporum folliculitis, is a specific type of acne caused by an overgrowth of yeast on the skin. While conventional treatments are available, many seek natural remedies to address this condition.

In this article, we will explore various natural approaches and lifestyle changes that can help treat fungal acne on the face effectively.


Fungal Acne – An Overview

How To Treat Fungal Acne On Face Naturally


Before delving into the natural treatment options, it’s essential to understand what fungal acne is and how it differs from other types of acne. Fungal acne is caused by an overgrowth of Malassezia, a type of yeast that naturally resides on the skin.

Unlike traditional acne, fungal acne is not caused by bacteria, sebum, or dead skin cells clogging pores but rather by a disruption in the natural balance of microorganisms (fungi, archaea, bacteria, etc.) living on the skin.

When this yeast proliferates, it can cause inflammation within the hair follicles and lead to acne-like eruptions.

What are the Benefits of Treating a Fungal Infection using Natural Remedies?

Fungal infections, including fungal acne, can be stubborn and difficult to treat with conventional methods. This is why many people turn to natural remedies as an alternative solution.

Many individuals prefer natural home remedies for treating fungal acne due to their potential effectiveness and minimal side effects.

Natural remedies are often preferred because they offer a gentler approach that works in harmony with the body’s own healing mechanisms.

Conventional treatments may involve the use of harsh chemicals and medications that can cause skin irritation, dryness, or other adverse reactions.

Moreover, natural remedies often utilize ingredients that have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that are generally less likely to cause harsh side effects or contribute to antibiotic resistance, which can be a concern when using traditional acne treatments.

Additionally, natural remedies are generally more accessible and affordable compared to prescription medications or dermatological procedures.

Scientific Evidence for Natural Remedies

Several studies have shown the effectiveness of natural remedies in treating fungal acne.

For example, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology found that tea tree oil, a natural antifungal agent, effectively reduced the severity of fungal acne lesions. [1]

Another study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology demonstrated the antimicrobial properties of apple cider vinegar, which can help regulate the growth of yeast species and soothe inflammation. [2]

According to a study published in the European Journal of Medical Research, raw manuka honey can be effective in relieving itchiness and reducing inflammation caused by bacterial and fungal infections like acne vulgaris and seborrheic dermatitis (a skin condition closely associated with Malassezia).

This is due to its antifungal, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties.

The study found that itching subsided within a week of using manuka honey, and within two weeks, the lesions disappeared. Additionally, it was observed that manuka honey helped reduce the likelihood of patients experiencing a relapse. [3 , 4 , 5]

A study from the Department of Dermatology at Chung-Ang University College of Medicine in Korea found that applying green tea extracts three times per week for four weeks significantly decreased lesions for patients with atopic dermatitis, another skin condition tied to Malassezia. [6]

This indicates that extracts of green tea can be utilized to naturally and effectively get rid of fungal acne.

Another study carried out by the Department of Dermatology at the University of California found that green tea has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. These properties have been found to be effective in reducing symptoms of active acne vulgaris and, most importantly, in decreasing sebum production in the skin. [7]

Those who suffer from Malassezia folliculitis will be pleased to know that reducing the amount of sebum produced by the sebaceous glands can also decrease the likelihood of increased fungus growth rates.

This is because Malassezia thrives on fatty acids, such as the fatty acid content of sebum. [8]

Therefore applying green tea extract can lower the inflammation and severity of this skin condition and will not worsen fungal acne.

These findings suggest that natural home remedies can be a viable option for managing Malassezia folliculitis.

Here are 9 Ways On How To Treat Fungal Acne on your Face Naturally

Female Face Free from Fungal Acne Natural Treatments

1. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal and antibacterial agent that effectively treats fungal infections. It contains compounds such as terpinen-4-ol, which have been shown to inhibit the growth of Malassezia yeast. [9 , 10 ]

To apply tea tree oil, mix 2-3 drops with 2-3 tablespoons of carrier oil, such as squalane or MCT oil, to ensure proper dilution. Then, gently apply the mixture to the affected areas with a cotton swab. Allow it to sit for approximately 20–25 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.

It is important to note that tea tree oil may cause skin irritation in some individuals, so a patch test is recommended before using it extensively.

2. Manuka Honey

Manuka honey has been found to have potent antifungal properties due to its high concentration of methylglyoxal. It can be applied topically to treat fungal skin infections or consumed orally to combat internal fungal infections. [11 ]

It can be applied directly to the affected areas or used as a face mask by mixing it with other ingredients like yogurt, oatmeal, sulfur, aloe vera, or even manuka essential oil for an enhanced synergistic antifungal effect. [12 , 13 , 14 , 15 ]

However, individuals with bee allergies should avoid using manuka honey.

Read our previous article about fungal acne vs. closed comedones.

3. More Natural Antifungal Ingredients

Several natural ingredients possess antifungal properties that can aid in treating fungal infections.

These include:

a) Sulfur: For centuries, sulfur has been used as a natural antifungal ingredient to treat different fungal infections, including ringworm and athlete’s foot. It works by curbing the growth of fungi and reducing inflammation in the affected areas. Furthermore, sulfur is often paired with other antifungal ingredients to boost its effectiveness. [16 , 17 ]

b) Garlic: Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which exhibits antifungal properties. Crush a garlic clove and mix it with a carrier oil. Apply the mixture to the affected areas and leave it on for 10–15 minutes before rinsing it off. [18 , 19 ]

c) Turmeric: Turmeric has antimicrobial and very potent anti-inflammatory properties. Make a paste using turmeric powder and water or manuka honey. Apply it to the affected areas and leave it on for 15–20 minutes before rinsing it off. It also removes dead skin cells. [20 , 21 ]

d) Apple Cider Vinegar: ACV has acidic properties that can help balance the pH levels of the skin and inhibit the growth of fungi. [22] Dilute apple cider vinegar with water and apply it to the affected areas using a cotton ball. Leave it on for 10–15 minutes before rinsing it off. It may cause a slight tingling sensation. [23]

It is advisable to perform a patch test before using apple cider vinegar, as it may cause skin irritation or dryness.

Before using any natural antifungal remedy, it is recommended to perform a patch test to prevent any unexpected adverse reactions that may arise due to ingredient sensitivities.

4. Keep the Skin Clean and Dry

Maintaining proper hygiene is essential in managing fungal acne. To prevent the overgrowth of yeast, it is crucial to keep the skin clean and dry.

Use a gentle cleanser free from harsh chemicals and fragrances to cleanse the face twice daily. Avoid scrubbing the skin vigorously, as it can cause further irritation.

After cleansing, pat the skin dry with a clean towel and ensure no moisture is trapped, especially in areas prone to fungal and bacterial acne too, such as the forehead, cheeks, and chin.

5. Probiotics

Since fungal acne is caused by an imbalance in the skin’s microbiome, restoring this balance can be crucial in its treatment.

Whether taken orally or applied topically, probiotics can help replenish beneficial bacteria on the skin and inhibit yeast growth. Consuming probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut can support a healthy gut and skin microbiome.

For topical application, choose skincare products that contain probiotics or apply a thin layer of plain yogurt to the affected areas for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off.

6. Dietary Modifications

In addition to topical treatments, dietary modifications can play a significant role in managing fungal infections. Certain foods can promote yeast overgrowth, exacerbating the condition.

Limiting the consumption of sugary foods, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods is advisable to reduce the likelihood of flare-ups. Instead, incorporate nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your diet.

Drinking plenty of water can also help flush toxins from the body and promote healthy skin.

7. Stress Management

Stress can harm the skin, including the development of acne. Stress-management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or regular physical activity can help reduce stress levels and promote overall skin health.

Adequate sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and allowing the body to repair and regenerate the skin.

8. Natural Antioxidants

Incorporating natural antioxidants into your skincare routine can help protect the skin from oxidative stress and support its healing process.

Ingredients such as green tea extract, vitamin C, and vitamin E have antioxidant properties and can help reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin.

Look for skincare products or DIY recipes incorporating these natural antioxidants for topical application for treating fungal acne.

Learn more about fungal treatment in our previous article.

9. Hygiene and Lifestyle Considerations

In addition to specific natural remedies, particular hygiene and lifestyle factors can contribute to the management of fungal acne:

a) Avoid excessive sweating: Sweat can create a humid environment that promotes yeast growth. After exercising or sweating, cleanse your face promptly to remove excess moisture and sweat.

b) Avoid tight clothing: Wearing tight-fitting clothing can trap heat and moisture, creating an environment conducive to developing fungal acne. Opt for loose-fitting, breathable fabrics to allow proper airflow and minimize the risk of flare-ups.

c) Cleanse personal items: Physical contact fungal acne –  To prevent reinfection, ensure that personal items that come into contact with the face, such as pillowcases, towels, and makeup brushes, are regularly cleaned and disinfected.

d) Avoid occlusive skincare products: Heavy, occlusive ones can trap moisture and promote fungal acne. Opt for lightweight, non-comedogenic products that allow the skin to breathe.

e) Practice sun protection: Sun exposure can worsen inflammation and hyperpigmentation caused by fungal acne. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect sensitive skin from harmful UV rays.

All these considerations also prevent other types of acne besides fungal acne, such as acne vulgaris.


Female with blue eyes - Face Free from Fungal Acne Natural Treatments


Fungal acne on the face can be effectively managed using natural fungal acne treatment and lifestyle modifications.

By adopting a holistic approach that includes maintaining proper hygiene, using natural antifungal remedies, incorporating probiotics, making dietary adjustments, and managing stress, individuals can experience relief from fungal acne symptoms and support long-term skin health.

However, it is essential to consult a dermatologist to get fungal acne diagnosed properly.

As they can prescribe antifungal treatments, such as topical antibiotics and anti dandruff shampoo, to effectively reduce the symptoms. These are just a few of the methods by which dermatologists treat fungal acne.

With patience and consistency, a natural approach to fungal acne treatments can help restore clear, healthy skin.

We have also written an article about how to pick the best moisturizer for fungal acne-prone skin.

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