Patient Portal

Medical Records

How to Treat Pityrosporum Folliculitis

If you’re suffering from pityrosporum folliculitis, odds are you are fed up with the itching, recurring bumps, redness and more. If this is the case, feel free to breathe a sigh of relief as we give you the top treatment options for dealing with pityrosporum folliculitis.

What is Pityrosporum Folliculitis?

Pityrosporum folliculitis is a skin condition that is caused by the hair follicles becoming infected by Malassezia, a naturally occurring yeast found on our skin. When Malassezia begins to grow out of control it gets into the hair follicles infecting them and causes tiny red bumps to form on the skin’s surface. Often misdiagnosed as acne, pityrosporum folliculitis, also known as Malassezia folliculitis, usually appears on the upper back, chest, and shoulder regions. Like acne, these bumps tend to form in areas that are prone to high oil production and are often severely itchy. Nonetheless, Malassezia is not acne and cannot be treated using the same methods.

Who’s At Risk?

Pityrosporum folliculitis is most often seen in patients who have a high sebum production (the natural oil our bodies produce). Those who experience excessive sweating may also be at a higher risk of developing Malassezia folliculitis. Antibiotic topical creams and medications, as well as steroids and other immunosuppressants, can also play a role in the overgrowth of Malassezia yeast.

How to Treat Pityrosporum Folliculitis

What makes pityrosporum folliculitis tricky is that it is recurring. Though, with diligence and a bit of prevention, you may be able to maintain the symptoms.

1) Use Topical Agents

Keep in mind that pityrosporum folliculitis is a condition that affects the hair follicles. This is why certain medicated topical treatments mixed with anti-fungal shampoos can be used to minimize the growth of Malassezia yeast and reduce its symptoms.

2) Try Oral Treatments

For those who are more equipped to handle oral treatments, there are a few options that can help control the yeast overgrowth. Fluconazole or itraconazole works well to regulate yeast production and may be able to temporarily treat pityrosporum folliculitis.

3) Safely Experiment With Home Remedies

Treating any condition at home comes with serious risks, and while some may work, none have been scientifically proven. Nonetheless, if you are willing to test a few treatments at home, we suggest going with over-the-counter antifungal shampoos like Head and Shoulders. These shampoos contain selenium sulfide which helps to control the production of fungus and minimize your chances of overgrowth.

4) Consider Photodynamic Therapy

Though it is still being researched, some scientists have been testing the theory that photodynamic therapy can successfully be used as an antifungal treatment option. The theory states that when the skin is first exposed to a photosensitizer (a topical ointment that makes your skin more sensitive to light), then subjected to light at a particular wavelength, a reaction occurs on a molecular level that causes the fungi to be destroyed. If this can be performed safely, it would serve as a non-invasive way to treat pityrosporum folliculitis with fewer side effects than all other treatment options. It may be just a theory now, but in a few years, it could become something to truly consider.

If you are in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, just reach out to our experts at The Dermatology Group and we can help you explore your treatment options. Give us a call today!

Was this helpful?

We would love to meet you and get started on a solution!