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If you have itchy red bumps that are covering your shoulders, chest and back, you
have probably figured that you just have a particularly annoying case of acne, and
tried using over the counter acne medications to get rid of it. You may even have
contacted your doctor and gotten yourself on a course of antibiotics for folliculitis,
an infection of the hair follicles, in which case you are probably getting even more
There are a variety of products available on the market that you can select to treat your condition. If you have determined that what you have is not a bacterial infection, the first thing that you need to do is to stop taking any antibiotics that may have been prescribed for the misdiagnosed acne. Antibiotics, particularly tetracycline, are notorious for having a side effect of encouraging an overgrowth of yeast, which is probably what caused your problem in the first place.
When used by themselves, antifungal creams, lotions and other topical treatments may not work well enough to completely get rid of your pityrosporum folliculitis outbreak, but these treatments can be very helpful and effective when combined with oral antifungal medications. The most popular, most widely used of these medications is Ketoconazole, which is most commonly found under the brand name Nizoral. Ketoconazole comes in a few different topical forms, including a cream and a shampoo. It kills all sorts of fungus and yeasts, and is often used in the treatment of athlete's foot, ringworm and seborrheic dermatitis. Some physicians recommend using the Nizoral shampoo on an outbreak of pityrosporum folliculitis, advising patients to apply the shampoo directly to the affected area and allowing it to sit for about fifteen minutes before rinsing it off. Other over the counter remedies that people have reported success with for this condition include Lotrimin and Lamisil. Treatments using salicylic acid or coal tar have also proven to be very effective.
If your case of pityrosporum folliculitis is particularly bad, or if you find that the topical antifungal treatment you are trying isn't doing the trick by itself, you may want to contact your physician about getting yourself onto a course of prescription strength oral antifungal medication. These are generally much more effective at killing the yeast that is causing your problem, and you will find that they work much faster, especially if you combine them with a daily topical treatment. Most physicians will prescribe a capsuled medicine called Intraconazole, or Sporanax as it is branded.
Intraconazole acts to destroy yeast by eliminating its protective membrane, effectively killing it. Ketoconazole, the same product that is available as a cream, is also available as a tablet, and in that form it is much more effective. Finally, Fluconazole is also in the same class of medication, and is also effective. It is important to remember that once you stop taking the oral antifungal medication, the yeast overgrowth may come back, so it is important that you continue a topical treatment. Once the original outbreak has been successfully treated you are able to cut back on the cream or shampoo to just once a week.
In addition to the commercially branded treatments for killing yeast and fungus, there are a couple of remedies that you can try from products that you have in your home, or that are available at health food stores. The most commonly available household item that people report success with is vinegar and apple cider vinegar. The pure vinegar should be cut in a 1 to five ration with water to make sure that it isn't too strong and won't irritate your skin. Use the solution a few times a day. Other people make a solution of epsom salts with warm water, or treat the outbreak with any of a number of essential oils that have been shown to be antifungals. There are several that you can try, including lavender, jojoba and orange oil. Tea tree oil is the most popular of these, but caution must be exercised not to use too strong a concentration.
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