Growing up I always had super clear skin and I guess this is my karma for never having to wear make up through high school. So what the hell are these tiny bumps?! They’re not acne and they’re not even really blackheads; sometimes stuff comes out of them, but not usually.
What is it?!
Well for starters, this is not acne. Acne is a bacteria and you treat it with antibacterial things and products; whereas these bumps are known as malassezia and it is a fungus. I know, it sounds super disgusting but have no fear, we make yeast and that’s a fungus. So don’t worry. Malassezia is a type of yeast and actually inhabits the skin of about 90% of adults. While some people might never show signs, unfortunately in some people the yeast suppresses the body’s expected immune response and it allows it to flourish, eventually causing a skin disorder. The yeasts released from this can also sometimes cause tinea versicolor (discoloration of skin) and folliculitis.
How can I get rid of it?
Since this is a fungus, it needs to be treated with anti fungal products (unlike acne which is treated with antibacterial products). Keep in mind though that this is a normal component of the microbiota of the skin and instead of trying to completely demolish it, we should be concerned about controlling its population. Healthy skin is actually cultivated by a healthy balance of bacteria and fungi. Malassezia are lipophioic, meaning that they looove fat. We contain sebaceous glands all over us that produce fats to moisten and waterproof our skin, but Malassezia feeds off of this.
Getting regular salicylic acid chemical peels by your licensed esthetician will help dramatically. But then it’s on you to treat it at home.
Sulfur and urea are good natural treatments for Malassezia. I actually used to use both of those on my eczema. Green tea extract is another great natural treatment. Use it in a bath 3 times weekly if it’s on your body; if it’s on your face like me, make some tea, drink some and literally put the rest on your face. For real. Honey has super antimicrobial effects on pathogens that cause skin disorders. (It also makes you super soft!) Get your vitamin D! That is one of the best and free natural cures for Malassezia. Tea tree oil is a great EO that has antimicrobial properties against Malassezia also.
Your diet is hugely tied in with your skin’s health. It’s super important that you are eating right and knowing which foods to avoid if you have malassezia.
Things to avoid
- Fatty acids with carbon chain lengths 11-24 & oils
- Warm weather & sweating (I live on the East Coast of Florida sooo🙃)
- Unbalanced pH
Some good supplements for treating the skin are cod liver oil, flaxseed oil and probiotics. You should know the importance of probiotics for your skin. Eat foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Reduce your intake of foods that are rich in omega 6 fatty acids.
This subject could literally be a book in itself if I went into full detail on everything. But hopefully this serves as a good enough mini guide for you to know how to treat these annoying bumps! Let me know what works for you in the comments below!