Have you ever heard of fungal acne? AKA: Malassezia. It is a type of fungi that is naturally found on the skin. Everyone has Malassezia, and it’s actually needed and beneficial in small amounts. Just like sebum oil (which usually causes bacterial, inflammatory, and hormonal acne,) Malassezia fungi isn’t trying to destroy your life – it’s too much Malassezia that’s the real problem. When the balance of Malassezia is thrown off on the skin or scalp, fungal infections and overgrowth can occur, leading to MANY different skin conditions. Which includes fungal acne, seborrhoeic dermatitis (dandruff), psoriasis, and eczema. A fungal infection can cause just about every skin issue out there, so it’s very important to keep those Malassezia levels in check.
While many people’s skin has no problem managing Malassezia levels naturally, some individuals with a compromised immune system, skin microbiome, or gut microbiome tend to have a much harder time managing Malassezia and are much more likely to have dandruff and fungal acne. The use of oral and topical antibiotics is a huge factor, along with eating an inflammatory diet. Harsh acne products that you have used in the past may have actually caused your fungal acne. Fungal acne arises when these harsh products disrupt the natural skin microbe and act as antibotics, which ends up leaving the skin too damaged and weak to fight off the excess Malassezia. It’s extremely important to tackle acne through your diet, lifestyle, and supplements.
Signs and Symptoms of Fungal Acne
- Whiteheads near the lips, nose, eyebrows, or jawline
- White, flakey substances near the nose
- Dandruff or flakes in the hair
- Red, pus-filled pimples
- Redness around nose and lips
- Acne that doesn’t seem to respond to conventional cleansers, creams, or treatments
A reason to consider that you might have fungal acne, is if you have been fighting with acne for a long time and that “nothing seems to work”. This is where MCT oil comes to the rescue.
What is MCT Oil and How It Helps With Dandruff and Acne
We have all heard that coconut oil is the “cure” for everything, but this is not true for your fungal acne and dandruff unfortunately. There are too many yeast-feeding properties in coconut oil, which MCT oil has all the properties of coconut oil, but without the yeast. MCT oil is purely caprylic acid without the lauric acid, which means you have 100% pure fungus-fighting oil on your skin.
MCT oil is non-comedogenic (unlike coconut oil which clogs pores) and very moisturizing. You must only use pure caprylic and capris acid, with NO lauric acid. Always check the ingredients list to make sure it does not contain lauric acid.
How To Use MCT Oil
- Once a day, massage about a tablespoon or two (enough for a thin layer) of MCT oil to both your skin and scalp.
- Let the MCT oil sit for 15 minutes or so – or you can even let it sit for an hour or two
- Wash your face with lukewarm or cold water (hot water can dry your skin and kill good bacteria).
- Use only 1-2 times a week
Soap and acne products are extremely drying and damaging to the skin microbiome – most of our skin is actually too clean, and despite what your dermatologist might have told you, acne, especially fungal acne, is not caused by oily skin. If you have acne, your skin doesn’t have enough good oil and bacteria to fight off fungus and acne bacteria. When stripping your skin and scalp of its much needed and healthy, moisturizing oils, your skin will end up producing more sebum oil. Both acne bacteria and Malassezia fungi thrive on sebum oil.
If you have fungal acne, benzoyl peroxide, the active ingredient in most acne cleansers, is only going to make your skin worse by damaging your gut microbiome, which increases your sebum oil production, and drying out the skin. Fungal acne does not respond to conventional acne treatments because it isn’t caused by bacterial infections.
Also, the same goes for your shampoo prescription and over the counter dandruff shampoo (T-Gel by Neutrogena for example). Don’t get me wrong, it is very effective of getting rid of dandruff, but only temporary. The fungus on the scalp can adapt to it, and it makes your scalp extremely dry, which can lead to flakey skin and thin, dry, damaged hair.
You might even break out or find your dandruff getting worse when you first start using MCT oil. But trust me, stick with it for at least 2 weeks and you’ll really be thankful.
Keep in mind that when you stop using your regular soap, your skin and scalp might be a nightmare to you (not for everyone). But keep on keeping on and it will start to get considerably better as the days go on.
The products pictured below will get you off to a great start at fighting the fungal-yeast over growth on your skin and scalp.