Acne Imposter

Many people confuse folliculitis and acne because they look so much alike.  Folliculitis is often found on the forehead but can be anywhere on the face or body.  Folliculitis on the scalp is characterized by flaking and itching.  To further confuse the matter, some people have a combination of acne and folliculitis. Folliculitis is characterized by small red, non-inflamed bumps that, when extracted only exude a clear fluid.  There is no purulent head.  It looks like small, non-inflamed bumps.

What is folliculitis?

Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles.  Generally, it is caused by a fungal or yeast infection. It can remain dormant for long periods of time and then flare up with humid weather.  If the acne on your forehead is a condition that “comes and goes” then that is a clue that it may be folliculitis and not acne.  folliculitis can be caused from the extended use of antibiotics, the use of steroids, oily skin, humidity, occlusive clothing, heavy moisturizers and the use of hot tubs/spas.

Treating Folliculitis

Mandelic cleansers and serums are great as an anti-fungal remedy.  Some clients even like to use our Face Reality Mandelic Cleanser as a shampoo.

Cleansers or shampoos containing ketaconazole, can be helpful. For severe scalp issues, try Nizoral or Regenepure DR.

Keep the affected areas dry – applying Muddy H20 Pit Powder can help keep the skin dry (on the body).

Avoid sugar and yeast containing foods (bread, alcohol, processed/frozen foods, sandwich meat and dairy).

Cotton clothing and cotton sheets are best. Avoid use of fabric softener.

Lifestyle Factors and Things to Avoid

  • Discuss with your doctor whether you can stop oral and topical antibiotics. They are not necessary for us to clear your acne and antibiotics can contribute to folliculitis
  • Avoid use of very emollient or creamy moisturizers, sunscreens, cleansers, etc.
  • Keep the affected area as dry as possible
  • For body folliculitis, avoid wearing constrictive clothing or clothing that doesn’t allow skin to breathe. Cotton is best.
  • Avoid foods high in sugar, yeast and carbohydrates including alcohol, breads, candy, etc.
  • Don’t use fabric softener or harsh detergents on sheets or clothing
  • Avoid using hot tubs or taking very hot showers or baths (especially for body folliculitis)

Antifungal Topical Products

  • Mandelic Products
  • Mandelic Wash or Scrub
  • Mandelic Serums
  • Regenepure shampoo or other shampoos 1% or 2% ketoconazole (make sure there are no pore clogging ingredients if you also have acne)
  • Propylene Glycol which is in Face Reality Hydrating Emulsion
  • Benzoic Acid is anti-fungal which is in Face Reality Salicylic Antiseptic Toner
  • Topical zinc oxide can be calming and help skin maintain an optimal PH.
  • Muddy H2o Powders for body folliculitis to help keep the skin dry

Antifungal Supplements

Select one or two and rotate every few weeks:

  • Probiotic supplements – good if you have been on antibiotics for a long time. No need to rotate as often as other supplements. Take for several months, then take out of diet for two weeks and start again.
  • Pure Encapsulations A.C. Formula II—also good for treating candida and yeast type issues (I have found this supplement to be the most effective.)
  • Coconut Oil (or caprylic acid) – taken internally, NOT as a topical product.
  • Undecylenic Acid (bioactive nutrients combine this with two antifungals – neem and grapefruit seed oil.
  • Olive Leaf Extract
  • Neem Oil
  • Oil of Oregano
  • Apple Cider Vinegar tablets or liquid
  • Garlic
  • Pau D'Arco
  • Berberine
  • Grape Seed Oil

Thank you to Face Reality for supplying much of this helpful information.