Pityrosporum folliculitis is a condition where the yeast, pityrosporum, gets down into the hair follicles and multiplies, setting up an itchy, acne-like eruption. Pityrosporum folliculitis sometimes turns out to be the reason a case of acne isn’t getting better after being on antibiotics for months. It is especially common in the cape distribution (upper chest, upper back) and the pimples are pinhead sized and uniform.

This yeast is a normal skin inhabitant, different from the yeast that causes thrush and from baker’s or food yeast. Everyone has it on his or her skin but in most cases it causes no problem. The condition affects young to middle-aged adults of either sex. It is associated with a tendency to seborrheic dermatitis or severe dandruff.

Pityrosporum folliculitis is not an infection as such; it is an overgrowth of what is normally there. The yeast overgrowth may be encouraged by external factors and/or by reduced resistance on the part of the host. The reasons why a particular patient develops pityrosporum folliculitis are not fully understood but the following are believed to be important

The reasons why a particular patient develops pityrosporum folliculitis are not fully understood but the following are believed to be important:

  • The yeast tends to overgrow in hot, humid, sweaty environments, clothing that doesn’t "breathe" especially synthetics, which encourages sweating.
  • Application of greasy sunscreens and oily emollients such as coconut oil.
  • An oily-skin tendency – the yeast feeds on skin oil. Skin oil production mainly depends on hormone factors.
  • Decreased resistance to microorganisms (immunity).
  • Stress or fatigue
  • Diabetes
  • Oral steroids such as prednisone
  • Oral contraceptive pill
  • Being overweight, resulting in more sweating and tighter clothing.


Oral antibiotics can aggravate pityrosporum folliculitis because skin-inhabitant bacteria and yeasts are normally in competition on the skin surface. When antibiotics suppress the bacteria the pityrosporum yeasts can over grow.

The rash consists of tiny itchy rounded pink pimples with an occasional tiny whitehead. The spots are located mainly on the upper back, shoulders and chest. Sometimes spots are found on the forearms, back of the hands, lower legs and face. The tendency to scratch spots is greatest on the forearms, face and scalp. Most patients have oily skin.

Most patients seek advice because of the itch. This may have led their doctors to suspect scabies or other mite infestations. The itch tends to come in episodes, accompanied by a stinging sensation. Some patients notice the itch is worse after sweat inducing exercise or after a hot shower. When scratched, the spots may display a local hive-like reaction with a surrounding red flare.

Patients may also have tinea versicolor or seborrheic dermatitis. In these conditions an overgrowth of the same pityrosporum yeast is believed to be involved. Patients may also have true acne accompanying the pityrosporum folliculitis. This is not surprising because increased skin oil also encourages acne but in this case there is an overgrowth of the normal skin bacteria rather than yeast.

Treatment must deal with both the yeast overgrowth and any predisposing factors, otherwise the condition will recur. Unfortunately we often either do not know, or cannot correct, all the factors that make one susceptible so the condition has a tendency to return once the anti-yeast treatment is stopped.

For the rest of the story click HERE …

Honestly, this is exactly what my skin looks like when I have a break-out, complete with the stinging they mention, this is quite incredible, special thanks to Toni over on LymeBusters for alerting this to me via her post over there. I am not saying this is Morgellons but it is the left over part I am dealing with I am 100% sure. My Thanksgiving relapse was this beyond a shadow of a doubt.


Comments on: "Morgellons – Pityrosporum Folliculitis" (16)

  1. I had that rash a few days ago. I put my far infrared heating pad on it for an hour for two consecutive nights and the rash disappeared.

    • You are exactly right, the FAR infrared pad clears it right up, which means it must massively kill the fungus, and according to Dr. Staninger this kind of heat can penatrate deep within the body, I think the FAR infrared pad is really important to healing from Morgellons, I hate to say that because it is so expensive, but then I think there are some that have posts on my blog that are cured that never used the pad. But I agree, the pad will wipe that mess out in no time flat.

      Mine is sitting over on the leather couch right now, going to watch American Idol but I don’t really care so much for the show anymore, but burnt out and need a core dump on my brain.

  2. herehoping said:

    Never used it.

    The bumps/lesions I experienced were not puritic at all. I can remember them like it was yesterday……each one of them had a sort of stem sticking out that seemed to scream “pluck me”. I was never really “itchy” just very crawly skin, and stingy , biting feeling. I could also feel it on the inside like burning sensation flowing thru my veins.

    • Same here, I was never really what you would call itchy, only once did that happen to me when a bunch of black specks raised up all over my forearm but it was gone within a few days. Your description herehoping is very similair to my issues (but I had far more severe system issues as you caught it early) I went 2 years before I caught on how to attack it, by then I could barely walk and hold down my job, so it did get very bad for me.

  3. herehoping said:

    I was also covered in black freckle-like thinkgs that I would shed. I would find them all in the sheets after sleeping.

  4. This is very interesting, and looks/sounds a lot like what is happening in my family. The upper chest, upper back, neck is the area affected, particularly after hot-shower or bath. I think it was possibly made worse by coconut oil, which is supposed to be anti-fungal, so go figure.
    I would certainly say more than one person in my house suffers this–it seems a mild contagious fungal something is happening in my family. Comes and goes. We have it nowhere near as bad as the poor guy in the photos–It makes me itch just to look at him. I could just cry for him!!

    • Susan, this is exactly what I get, I am 100% sure of it. I get it on my stomach/chest, if I get crawling now it’s really not a crawly feel it’s stinging. Right now my skin is very clear. It’s interesting that they state this happens with oily skin, I have very oily skin, since I was a kid I had to take a shower every day or my hair was a greasy mess. That makes me think the Sulfur soap (which if you ever tried it you know it stips the oil out of your skin like nobodies business) really works against this stuff, of course it has other benefits. The full article above talks about Nizoral shampoo which I also used a lot of before the sulfur, in fact, probably for a year straight I used Nizoral body wide in the shower.

      I think this post is extemely important regarding Morgellons, one of the most important and relevant posts I’ve made.

      • When I was a teenager, I had very oily skin and hair as well. Had to wash my hair in the morning and at night. People used to bug me about it all the time. Another clue for us M sufferers?

  5. No, my hair and skin are dry.

  6. Sister to Common Sense said:

    Another Question which maybe we can address. We have noted that most Toxic (morgellons) patients run sub normal temperatures. 100 degrees F is a high temp to most sufferers with this syndrome.
    Along with the question did you have oily skin as addressed above at a younger age??
    This disease draws the protein out of the skin and this would be another question to investigate, this is why your skin and hair are dried out.
    I have many who now are running low grade temps, I say this is “GREAT” as the body is recognizing a foreign agent and the immune system is beginning to recognize this. They seem to get better after running a temperature (remember when the body heats up it is trying to kill off foreign pathogens)
    So MRC three questions you could put out is
    1. Did you normally run a low grade temp before you noted the symptoms?
    2. Have you had a temperature that was above your normal temp since you have had this? (If so this is good)
    2. Did you have oily skin and hair before this syndrome was noted?
    Sister to Common Sense

  7. 1. yup
    2. don’t think so
    3. never

  8. Hi,

    I’m a PF sufferer for many years now and I am considering buying Dr. Staninger’s heating pad. I have PF on my thighs, back, chest, face, and scalp. If I buy the heating pad and apply it to my back will that clear up the entire PF or will I need to it put it on each area of my body where the PF occurs? Also, what is MSM and where can I buy it? Do you have any other advice for PF sufferers? Thanks so much. This blog is amazing and I appreciate any help you can provide.

    • Jeff, I cannot speak to the FIR, not having used it myself, nor to the PF.

      However, since nobody has responded to your MSM question yet, I will have a stab at it. I personally get my MSM from this site:
      It has no fillers, which is important; it is also absolutely no-frills packaging, so the price is less expensive than I have found elsewhere (though there might be better deals that others know about). They offer both OptiMSM and Lignisul, in both “powders” and capsules.

      MSM is basically sulfur. It stands for Methylsulfonylmethane 🙂 It is a sulfur compound (not Sulfa), which is important to the body.

      This site has a message board so you can ask questions and get answers; there is even more information in their archived messages though.

      While they feel as though you can build up to temporarily take a whole lot more than some other companies suggest (“to make up for years of deficiency”), there is guidance here on HOW to take it and it is important to build up slowly to avoid detox effects. Never increase too quickly!

      Also, another site has what seems like a pretty good article about MSM. .

      I hope this helps a little.

  9. Thanks so much for the info! I will look into it. I really appreciate it. Thanks again!

  10. The problem is that acne medicines treat pimples and blackheads caused by the bacteria p. acnes. They don’t treat yeast and the breakouts of pityrosporum folliculitis type acne are due to an overgrowth of the pityrosporum yeast. Medicines that kill this yeast are necessary to control the pimples and blackheads of pityrosporum folliculitis.

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