• Spots Which Aren’t Acne: Pityrosporum Folliculitis!

Spots Which Aren’t Acne: Pityrosporum Folliculitis!

‘You’ll grow out of them!’, ‘it could be worse?’, ‘it’s a fact of life, you should be happy that you are a teenager!’: these are just a few reactions you may be met with if you’ve finally plucked up the courage to go to the Doctor about those dreadful spots. And some of the stories I hear from people make me angry. Really angry. Not only because there is much that can be done about spots, but also because although for some it may not be such a big deal, there are those for whom it is! And that is enough reason to take it more than seriously…plus, sometimes something else may be going on, such as Pityrosporum Folliculitis.

I have written before about treating spots on my blog and fortunately there is a lot you can do to reduce acne. Sometimes though, you can’t get rid of it yourself and medication is necessary, but sadly not all Doctors are “pimple experts”. In my experience a good many Doctors assume straight away that spots are acne and treat them as such. But this is not always the case! Certainly in women over 30, it is often another problem such as, for example, Periorale Dermatitis, Rosacea or Pityrosporum Folliculitis. If these conditions are treated as though they are acne you’ll see very little improvement. In fact, they can even be made worse! These spots, which look like pimples, require a different approach. If you have spots and have tried everything (including antibiotics) without any results, first have a look at my blog about Rosacea. If you don’t recognise anything there then read on further!

It isn’t acne, Rosacea or Peroriale Dermatitis but it is Pityrosporum Folliculitis!

Pityrosporum Folliculitis is usually seen in young adults but can, in principle, occur at any age. People with Pityrosporum Folliculitis have spots and blocked pores that are mainly seen on the forehead, along the hairline and on the jaw line and neck. The bumps are often smaller and may be itchy and red or colourless. You may see people with pityrosporum folliculitis completely covered in bumps. It can occur in everyone, but it is more common in people who are prone to allergy/asthma or have Keratosis Pilaris. The inflammation is (other than in acne) not caused by a bacteria, but by a yeast. While this yeast is present on everyone’s skin, people with this condition have reacted to it or have an increased amount of it. A warm climate, increased perspiration, non-breathable clothing and using greasy, heavy creams worsen or trigger off the spots. People with a lower resistance, diabetes or greasy skin are more at risk of developing Pityrosporum Folliculitis.

Time for action!

The first step is to deal with any triggering factors. You can also put a stop to the growth of the yeast by means of special salves such as Ketoconazole or Selenium Sulphide. In some cases it is worthwhile taking a short course of tablets to tackle the yeast. Obviously a Doctor would need to prescribe this. Alongside this it is essential that you clean the skin thoroughly each day with a mild Cleanser. With the aid of a cream with soothing ingredients and barrier repairing ingredients (e.g. Niacinamide) you can calm the skin down. So, if you know someone with lots of those small bumps on their forehead, then just say: ‘Hey, are you maybe affected by Pityrosporum Folliculitis?’  You’ll have then done them a good turn!

Regards Jetske

(Dr. Jetske Ultee- Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology)

You can also read the blogs:
Ingredients to Avoid‘,
Spots. Should I Go to the Doctor or Not?
The Exfoliant
Vitamin C‘ and