Skincare Routine Adjustments for Summer: Tips for Fungal Acne Prevention

Skincare Routine Adjustments for Summer: Tips for Fungal Acne Prevention

As summer kicks in with its intense heat and humidity, your skin undergoes significant changes, demanding more precise care. As the temperature soars, your skin might be silently struggling and you might not even notice the tiny details as you spend time outdoors. Even though fungal acne can occur at any time of the year, it can worsen in summer due to multi-factorial reasons. For those prone to acne, this season can be particularly challenging and your skin needs more care as the excess oil can clog your pores and make skin prone to fungal infections. Going ahead, FCL brings you expert advice and strategies to prevent fungal acne and keep your skin healthy during the summer season.

What is fungal acne? 

Fungal acne, also known as Malassezia folliculitis looks similar to acne vulgaris. Both, conditions share a different causation and treatment. Fungal acne can be identified as small, red, itchy, scaly papules and pustules that can appear on the back, chest, forehead, face, groin, and rest of the body parts. The heat and humidity in summer provide perfect conditions for the fungal infection to grow. These inflammatory, irritated breakouts can be frustrating, but understanding the cause is the first step in managing and preventing them.

What are the different types of fungal acne?

Fungal acne occurs when the fungus feeds on the excess oil produced by sebaceous glands resulting in inflammation and blockage of pores. These can lead to a variety of fungal infections, and it's important to recognize them to select the appropriate treatments. Here are a few forms of fungal infections that one can be prone to in summer: 

  1. Ringworm: Referred to as Tinea infection which can appear on the scalp, arms, legs, face, trunk & other parts of the body whereas Jock Itch commonly seen in men is another form of ringworm infection that occurs in places like the groin, inner thighs, and surrounding areas due to wearing tight fitted clothes giving rise to sweat and friction. 
  2. Scalp Infection: Referred to as Tinea Capitis which appears on the scalp as scaly and itchy patches. This is commonly seen in the younger generation or anyone prone to conditions like seborrheic dermatitis. If this condition is not well taken care of, it can result in inflammatory bald patches on the scalp and hair loss issues.
  3. Vaginal Yeast Infection: Vaginal Yeast Infection is also known as Vaginal Candidiasis. Overgrowth of yeast is the major cause of a vaginal infection which can change the substance of vaginal discharge and cause burning and itching around the vulva which is the outer wall of the vagina.
  4. Oral Thrush: A fungal (yeast) infection that affects your mouth, throat, and other areas. The tongue and cheeks may develop white, elevated sores like cottage cheese when you have oral thrush, also known as oral candidiasis. Inflamed thrush can swiftly lead to redness and pain in the mouth.
  5. Nail Fungal Infection: A thicker, malformed nail is a sign of nail fungal infection. Toenails are more frequently affected by this illness than fingernails. Compared to young children, teenagers and adults experience it more frequently. Nail ringworm symptoms can include thickening of the nail tips and yellow hue on the nails.

What are the causes of fungal acne and how to prevent them?

Fungal acne can be caused by a number of factors, including warm, humid environments. The skin's natural equilibrium can be disturbed by heat, perspiration, drugs, and other factors. This can result in a shift in the skin's oil and moisture content, which encourages the growth of yeast and causes flare-ups. Below, let's review a few common causes: 

  1. High levels of heat and humidity: These conditions can act as a breeding ground for fungi. Acne may worsen as a result of blocked pores and stimulated fungal growth on the skin.
  2. Frequent Sweating: The weather, physical activity, and medical conditions can all cause sweat to accumulate on the skin. The pore obstruction and fungal development are encouraged by this dampness.
  3. Unclean Clothes: When moisture and bacteria are retained against your skin after sweating, it can promote the growth of fungus. Change into clean clothes as soon as possible.
  4. Specific Drugs: Antibiotics upset the skin's natural microbiota, which makes fungus grow and exacerbates acne problems.
  5. Tight Clothing: Particularly in warm weather, tight attire can trap sweat and heat against the skin, creating an ideal environment for fungal growth and acne.
  6. Skin Friction: Friction from clothing or repetitive movements can irritate the skin, leading to inflammation and breakouts, especially in areas prone to sweat and moisture buildup.
  7. Compromised Skin Barrier: Damage to the skin barrier, from harsh products or conditions, weakens its protective function, making it more susceptible to fungal infections and acne.
  8. Antibiotics Disruption: Antibiotics disrupt the balance of bacteria on the skin, allowing fungi to proliferate unchecked, leading to fungal acne outbreaks.
  9. Immune System Suppression: Medications that suppress the immune system weaken the body's ability to fight off infections, making individuals more susceptible to fungal acne and other skin conditions.

You can partially prevent fungal acne and maintain balanced, healthy skin by avoiding the above-mentioned triggers.

Anti-fungal skin care products to protect your skin this summer

Multiple antifungal topical medications and creams are available in the market to treat fungal skin infections such as athlete's foot, ringworm, and jock itch. These infections can affect anyone and are typically easy to treat with over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription-strength antifungal creams.

There are four main classes of antifungal medications, each targeting specific types of fungi: Azoles, Echinocandins, Flucytosine, and Polyenes. Treating fungal acne (also called Malassezia folliculitis) and achieving clear skin can be done with the help of anti-fungal creams, tea tree oil, Ketoconazole, OTC medications, etc

Two of the most popular acne treatments that help in the prevention of inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, which kill yeast and bacteria that cause acne. Introducing these two active ingredients to your skincare will help prevent but not treat fungal acne. To cure fungal infection from the root cause one must visit a dermatologist. 

Benzoyl Peroxide is a well-known active ingredient that can help in reducing inflammatory acne (papules and pustules). While not specifically an antifungal solution, its strong antibacterial properties can eliminate bacteria and yeast that cause acne. Benzoyl Peroxide increases cell turnover and unclogs pores, which helps remove the bacteria and yeast.

Salicylic Acid is another popular ingredient for treating non-inflammatory acne. As a natural exfoliant, it helps shed dead skin cells and unclog pores, making it effective for reducing breakouts. As a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), Salicylic Acid has antifungal properties that can kill the yeast causing fungal acne. Its antibacterial properties also help combat bacteria contributing to acne.

FCL offers derma-approved products containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, which can help maintain clean and healthy skin in the summer. These clinically tested and cruelty-free topical products provide a complete solution to prevent any form of fungal acne. Inculcating these products in your skincare routine with lead to healthy and acne-free skin.

One such product is FCL B Prox 10 Wash, a therapeutic face wash created to prevent acne breakouts. It contains a potent blend of 2% Benzoyl Peroxide and 2% Salicylic Acid, which effectively controls acne-causing bacteria and future breakouts. This face wash promptly dissolves blocked pores, excess oil, and pollutants on the skin, making it an excellent choice for maintaining clear skin.

With 2% salicylic acid and 1% glycolic acid, the FCL Alpha Beta Acne Cleanser is a medicated face wash meant to treat acne outbreaks. It efficiently removes excess oil and impurities that clog pores, which helps to soothe irritated skin and lessen breakouts. It treats skin issues like blackheads, acne, and greasy, acne-prone skin and is suitable for all skin types.

Look for over-the-counter products containing ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, or miconazole. Apply these antifungal treatments to the affected areas as directed on the label, typically for a few minutes. Then rinse thoroughly to ensure proper treatment and removal of the product.

Summer Skincare Routine Adjustments

  1. Choose Anti-Fungal Skincare Products: Pick skincare with anti-fungal properties that can unclog skin pores. Look for ingredients such as ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, etc that can reduce excess yeast growth in pores.
  2. Opt for Acne-Friendly Summer Cleansers: You must switch to a mild cleanser that works for fungal acne. You need something that doesn't strip your skin while efficiently eliminating oil and sunscreen. 
  3. Managing Sweat-Related Breakouts: Controlling sweat is essential in the heat. You must cleanse your skin as quickly as possible after sweating, whether from physical activity or heat during the day.
  4. Sunscreen for Fungal Acne: Sunscreen is non-negotiable, but some formulations can add to fungal acne. Make sure that you choose a non-oily formula that has a thin consistency. Fragrance-free, Broad spectrum sunscreens can help with providing UV protection and achieving a healthier skin.
  5. Skincare Tips for Humid Weather: Your skin may feel clogged and sticky in the presence of humidity. It's critical to modify your skincare regimen to incorporate breathable, light-weight products. Opt for a lightweight, moisturizing serum rather than thick creams. A fantastic component to keep hydrated without getting greasy is hyaluronic acid.
  6. Oil-Free Moisturizers for Summer: Look for gel-based, oil-free moisturizers that provide hydration without clogging pores. Ingredients like glycerin and aloe vera are excellent for lightweight hydration.
  7. Heat-Induced Acne Solutions: Heat can exacerbate conventional acne in addition to fungal acne. Make an effort to stay cool by utilizing cooling facial mists, fans, or air conditioning. Steer clear of prolonged sun exposure.
  8. Exfoliation: Less is More: Exfoliating is necessary to remove dead skin cells, but doing it too often might weaken your skin's protective layer and increase the likelihood of fungal acne. Instead of using physical scrubbing, choose milder chemical exfoliants like lactic acid or salicylic acid.

Expert advice for this summer: shield your skin from fungal acne.

Achieve healthy, acne-free, and fungus-free skin by modifying your skincare routine and bid farewell to summertime skin problems. To get the clear skin you want, stick to a regular regimen with good cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and sunscreens that your skin can trust.

The above-mentioned product can help prevent the rise of fungal acne in summers however, if you are suffering with severe fungal acne conditions, consulting a doctor is a must. Your doctor will be able to make fungal acne diagnosis by examining the skin and understanding your history, the location of the breakouts, the characteristics of each lesion and the scenario that triggered a flare.