This was super interesting to read – especially because you’d had the problem for so many years and still managed to get rid of it. I’ve had fungal acne since i started puberty – never got diagnosed with it so was put on things like antibiotics to treat it which of course did not go well. Now, 12 years later, I had a similar moment to what you described of being like, fuck it, I’m GOING to figure out what’s wrong with my skin! I’d just come back from a holiday in Spain which had caused a particularly bad flare up from the heat, sunscreen and humidity (my skin seems to have a natural state of fungal acne on my forehead and inner cheeks) where the FA had spread to my whole face and the redness was getting worse and worse. I was also on holiday with my boyfriend and his sister who have been blessed with the smoothest, glowiest skin I’ve ever seen, so I felt like I couldn’t ignore how bad my skin was getting. I came home and started researching skincare in earnest, from a more science based perspective than I had previously, and thankfully came across fc’s blogpost before I had bought too many products that weren’t fa safe.
I got off to a kind of bad start – bought ketaconazole cream and didn’t get any reaction from patch testing, so went full face. Unfortunately after about three applications I had a horrific allergic reaction with a case of full face, painful stinging hives, which took a week to go down. At the end of that I was FA free for the first time in my life! But of course my moisture barrier was f’ed from the hives, so it gradually came back, though not as bad as before. I’ve since changed my routine and am experimenting (slowly) with incorporating more FA safe products for moisturising since it’s winter here so the squalane + Benton gel combo isn’t enough for me. Unfortunately I’ve found even some FA safe products have broken me out in FA, such as the snail mucin and skin aqua uv milk. I use clotramizole cream now because of the ketaconazole allergy and the difficulty finding any of the more interesting antifungals in Europe. I know fc didn’t seem very convinced about its efficacy in his guide, but with limited options, I’m finding it works quite well.
Just to finish off with a question: I’m interested in how you are able to use so many products with no FA safe ingredients? The Pyunkang Yul balancing gel, for example, contains 2 polysorbates. In my experience, even if I’m using an antifungal cream in the same routine, I can’t use ANYTHING that might aggravate the FA. did you find that once it cleared up it just never came back? Or is it that other products in your routine have enough antifungal action that they’re killing off any hopefully malassezia? Thank you so much for sharing your story!
Taressa Fraze is a mixed-methods health services researcher at The Dartmouth Institute. She studies how health care organizations—including leaders, providers, and patients—change their behavior under policy initiatives aimed at improving primary care and how those changes affect patient care. For example, how does a given policy influence an organization’s strategic actions which then changes the way providers offer care within that organization, and thus affects the quality of care patients receive? Within this context, Fraze has several current research projects: How do health care organizations —systems, practices, and hospitals—adopt and spread health care innovations? What strategies to Accountable Care Organizations use to care for complex patients? What types of health care practices and patients participate in the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus model? Prior to joining The Dartmouth Institute, Fraze was an industry-based researcher where she led a complex portfolio of health services research related to health care utilization. She has substantial experience developing and evaluating programs on public reporting of health care quality, individual information acquisition and exchange, and a range of public health behavior change programs. Her PhD (2006) is in health communication with an emphasis in effective message design and a sub-emphasis in research methodology.