Nizoral for Acne: Does it Work

Nizoral will work for certain types of acne breakouts but is not the proper over the counter solution for all types of acne.

What Type of Acne Do You Have

First you need to identify the type of acne breakout you have. Everyone will experience acne but all acne breakouts are not created equal. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, approximately 50 million Americans struggle with acne each year. 

Blackheads, whiteheads, papule, pustules, nodules and cysts, they are all common types of acne and if you have any of these Nizoral is not going to be the correct treatment. All of the above mentioned types of acne occur when skin regenerates and the dead skin cells aren’t flushed from the pores. When these skin cells mix with sweat and oil or become trapped a pimple is formed.

These types of acne breakouts are treated with cleansers that turn over the dead skin cells and kill the bacteria in the pore and on the surface of the skin.

The active ingredient in cleansers for this, the bacterial type of outbreak, include alpha-hydroxy’s and glycol acid. There may also be chamomile or other calming ingredients in these cleansers too. There will not however be Nizoral or its active ingredient.

If your breakout is outside the T-zone and consists of evenly shaped red bumps, you may have a fungal outbreak in which case Nizoral may be a good place to start for treatment.

What is Nizoral?

Nizoral is an anti-dandruff shampoo specially formulated to fight hair dandruff. It’s key ingredient, Ketoconzale is an anti fungal medication. Ketoconzale as a topical is used to treat infections such as athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm and dry, flaking skin or dandruff. Nizoral contains a lower dose of ketoconzale than the prescription strength topical making it safe for use at home and without the guidance of your physician.

Nizoral does not treat traditional acne breakouts but studies have shown Nizoral is helpful in treating fungal acne. 

What is Fungal Acne?

Fungal acne, the kind that can be treated with Nizoral, resembles bacterial acne but is caused by yeast that inflames hair follicles on the skin and causes pimple like bumps. It’s normal for this type of fungus to be living on your skin. But when your skin is not in balance, a fungal acne breakout may occur.

The yeast that causes fungal acne feeds off of sebum which is prevalent in the sebaceous glands of the face and upper body. This yeast thrives in this environment of triglycerides, fatty acids, wax esters, sterol esters, cholesterol, and cholesterol esters. 

Because the yeast thrive in this environment, it is difficult to find products to fight them. Most products contain a blend of fatty acids to moisturize and balance the skin’s natural barrier. 

What Causes Fungal Acne?

Some of the ways the fungal to bacteria balance may be thrown off include taking antibiotics, wearing tight non-breathable clothes, or, according to Dr. Chung, assistant professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine, wearing sweaty clothes for too long. Genetic predisposition is another scenario where a person may be prone to fungal breakouts.

Fungal acne feeds on the oil found in your skin , so the oilier your skin the more prone it is to developing fungal acne that may require Nizoral as a treatment. If you are using heavy oil cleansers or moisturizers, these may be contributing to the fungal outbreak.

Fungal acne may trigger other skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and dandruff. 

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), fungal acne is common in adolescents. This is likely due to the increases sebaceous gland activity in this population. 

How Do You Know If You Have A Fungal Breakout?

First of all, a fungal breakout isn’t actually acne. It’s an infection. So how will you know the difference? A fungal breakout definitely looks similar to an acne breakout but the bumps will be more uniform in shape. A fungal breakout will come with more of an itching feeling and may be outside of the traditional T-zone. If you have blackheads and whiteheads its probably not a fungal outbreak. According to the Cleveland Clinic, fungal acne causes your skin to itch and along with the itchiness may irritate and be red. 

Treating the Fungal Outbreak With Nizoral

If you have identified your breakout is fungal try this. Apply the anti-dandruff shampoo to your damp face. Leave it on, like a mask for 5-10 minutes and rinse off. Use daily for 2-4 weeks . Fungal breakouts can last for a long time if not treated. If they are treated with the correct products, the fungal breakout can clear in as little as a few days. If you try an at home solution and your fungal acne does not clear, make an appointment to see your dermatologist to make sure there isn’t a more serious or just different skin problem going on.

Side Effects of Nizoral

The side effects of Nizoral as listed for its use as a shampoo include mild itching, dry skin, rash and hives. If any of these occur, see your dermatologist.

Where to Find Nizoral

Nizoral, despite its clinical name, is available at your local pharmacy. Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Target all carry Nizoral. Additionally because Nizoral does not require a prescription, it can be purchased at an online retailer too.

If Nizoral does not work, or is not working fast enough, your dermatologist may prescribe a topical that contains a higher concentration of the active ingredient.

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