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What is Face Fungus?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 21, 2024
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Face fungus generally refers to a fungal infection on the face and can be caused by any number of fungi-related organisms. The most common areas for infection are around the edge of the scalp, along the jawline, and in the beard area for men. There are various fungi and pathogens which may result in a facial infection, and some are more prevalent in some areas of the world than in others.

There are various risk factors for developing face fungus-related infections. Those with pets may be at a higher risk, primarily if they are kept indoors. Animals worldwide are known to carry zoophilic dermatophytes, or various animal-related fungi, and can spread them to their owners when in close contact. People who live in urban areas are also more prone to face fungus than those in rural areas. This is primarily because fungi are spread through contact with infected persons or animals, and people are more likely to be in close proximity in cities.

Symptoms of face fungus can include scaling, redness, and pustules. Pustules are red areas of the skin that become raised or inflamed. They are often filled with pus, similar to pimples. These symptoms should be checked by a doctor to determine if face fungus is the cause for irritation. Those who exhibit symptoms are encouraged to avoid direct contact with others.

Face fungus can generally be treated by using an anti-fungal cream or gel. A doctor is usually required to prescribe this treatment after fungi have been detected. In some cases no testing will be done and treatment will be based on trial and error. In other cases, the treatment has to be done based on the type of fungi in question, primarily for people who are resistant to treatment.

In most patients, face fungus is not a serious condition, although it is typically uncomfortable for the person with the condition. Itching may occur, along with skin irritation that can cause burning or overall discomfort when touched. Creams may be available over the counter or by prescription to ease symptoms until the infection has subsided.

The best ways to prevent face fungus is to wash frequently, especially after being around people who exhibit possible symptoms of an infection. Skin to skin contact should be extremely limited. Facial items such as rags, towels, makeup applicators, and sponges should not be used by more than one person without them having been thoroughly cleaned beforehand. Even those who live in the same household should practice these habits if one has signs of infection.

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Discussion Comments
By ruthann — On Nov 25, 2013

I think I have this face fungus thing because I have something like that around my hair line and I just thought I needed oil in my hair or moisturizer.

By annunciata — On Oct 31, 2013

I also never knew there was face fungi. Thanks for sharing. It informed me about who contact concerning my face. It is not easy because people often want to embrace me. I usually get acne pimples on my cheeks at certain times of the month and they heal with time, but if there is any help to do away with them, I would appreciate knowing about it.

By anon171935 — On May 02, 2011

Which over the counter anti -fungal cream has worked the best for fungi on the face? --T

By anon151790 — On Feb 11, 2011

I put tinactin on my face. Have for years. i get it every now and then. Works great!

By anon118586 — On Oct 14, 2010

i think i have the face fungus but taking antifungul pills for a week didn't work. and now they are trying antibiotics.

By pharmchick78 — On Aug 17, 2010

@yournamehere -- You should probably have your brother go to a doctor or a dermatologist. If it's fungus on his face, then he should be put on a fungicide as soon as possible to avoid spreading it to anybody else.

By yournamehere — On Aug 17, 2010

My brother has been having these really gross itchy skin bumps on his face for a few months now. He's tried a lot of acne medications, but none of them seem to work.

I've been trying to look up face rashes to see if that's what he's got, but now I'm thinking that it might be a fungus.

Does anybody have any idea?

By Planch — On Aug 17, 2010

Now I may be out of date, but back when I was in the service, we used the term face fungus to describe a person's particularly ugly or bad mustache.

I never knew that there were actual fungi that you could get on your face.

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