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Fact: we’ve all probably experienced bumps on our skin at some point in our lives. Whether it was during our teenage years or caused by hormonal fluctuations, we’re all familiar with different forms of pesky pimples.

There are several ways to treat standard acne, but how do we tackle something less common like “facial fungus”?

Photo source: @dr.farzan/TikTok

Doesn’t that term make you feel a little grossed out? Well, this isn’t any ordinary acne. In fact, it’s a pretty puzzling skin issue that plagues most skincare junkies to this day.

However, several TikTokers have since attested that using shampoo will help get rid of it.

But what kind of shampoo works best? And does shampoo belong in our skincare routines?

Photo source: @dermdoctor/TikTok

So before we dive into how we can get rid of facial fungus and whether using a shampoo really works, let’s find out what “facial fungus” is and how it differs from our usual acne breakouts.

What is acne?

Photo source: @imhannahcho/TikTok and @arwaakhu/tiktok

Acne breakouts often occur when the acne bacteria you naturally have on your skin reacts with a clogged pore. Pores can get clogged by external factors like dirt and impurities or by the sebum our skin produces.

So if you’re someone with oily skin, chances are, you’re more likely to have acne.

What is “facial fungus”?

Photo source: @not.kez/tikTok and @dermdoctor/TikTok

Though they both have the same appearance of red spots, “facial fungus” is not acne.

Better known as fungal acne, “facial fungus” is a skin condition that occurs when our hair follicles become infected with a fungus called Malassezia yeast.

While it rarely appears on the face, it can be found more frequently on the back, chest, or neck. You’ll most likely see clusters of sore red bumps in a particular area.

Unlike regular acne, you also won’t notice excess oil production with fungal acne.

Photo source: @drcharlesmd1/TikTok

Many factors can lead to fungal acne. It can be due to the use of steroids or antibiotics, or a weak and suppressed immune system.

However, the most common cause would be the use of moisturisers and sunscreens that are thick and not easily absorbed, also known as occlusive products.

If you often wear tight clothes and perspire in them, you’re trapping a lot of sweat that feeds the Malassezia yeast.

How do I get rid of “facial fungus”?

Photo source: @not.kez/TikTok

Before you go on and look for a cure, make sure you have identified that the bumps along your skin are indeed facial fungus and not acne.

If you’re certain you have fungal acne, try these tips:

1. Be more conscientious with your lifestyle

Photo source: @Ketut Subiyanto/Pexels

If you’re someone who perspires easily, bring a handkerchief or small towel around with you so that you can regularly dry off your sweat to prevent unnecessary build-up.

Try to avoid wearing tight and waterproof clothing for long periods of time too. The tighter fabric will stick to your skin and trap sweat and sebum, allowing Malassezia to feast on them.

Instead, try to wear loose dry-fit shirts during your workouts so that sweat can easily evaporate and dry off.

2. Avoid using occlusive skincare products

Photo source: @radhika.p18/TikTok

Moisturisers and sunscreens that are thicker in consistency can often create a layer of product that sits on your skin.

The moisture trapped in this barrier could feed Malassezia and cause “facial fungus”.

We recommend you use lightweight moisturisers like the new Geek Gorgeous Hydration Station (EU€8.80, ~S$12.53) which features a Malassezia-safe formula and a hydrating gel-cream texture.

Krave Beauty Oat So Simple Water Cream (US$28, ~S$37.97) is also another option you can explore. Its formula has natural ingredients like oats for deep hydration.

If you’re looking for a suitable sunscreen, you can try the Cetaphil Sun SPF 50+ Light Gel Sunscreen (S$35.90) which will soothe your skin with its gentle formulation while protecting your skin from harmful UV rays.

3. Wash your face with shampoo

Photo source: @not.kez/TikTok

This might the strangest advice we have given you so far. But you better believe it because washing your face with a certain type of shampoo may be able to keep fungal acne under control.

Reach for a medicated shampoo like the NIZORAL Ketoconazole 2% Shampoo (S$22.68). It has been specially recommended to prevent and treat fungal acne because of the key ingredient: ketoconazole.

You can also try the Head and Shoulders Clean and Balanced (S$15.70). It boasts pyrithione zinc which will help eliminate the fungal acne.

Leave the shampoo on for about two to three minutes when you’re washing your face. Be consistent and make sure you do this for at least 14 days straight.

Wash your face with this shampoo regularly and change your towels every day to prevent any further infection or yeast buildup.

Featured image credit: @not.kez/TikTok and @drcharlesmd1/TikTok