Author: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand,1997. Updated by Dr Thomas Stewart, General Practitioner, Sydney, Australia, November 2017.
Malassezia folliculitis, previously known as pityrosporum folliculitis, is an infection of hair follicles caused by lipophilic malassezia yeasts. There are multiple malassezia species, including furfur, globosa, sympodialis and restricta . The yeast is a normal inhabitant of human skin and only causes disease under specific conditions .
Malassezia folliculitis is most commonly seen in adolescent and young adult males living in humid climates [3,4]. Other risk factors include:
Malassezia folliculitis presents as small uniform itchy papules and pustules on the forehead, chin, neck, trunk and extensor aspect of the upper limbs. They may be itchy.
Clinical examination is usually sufficient for diagnosis. Laboratory investigations may be performed.
It is important to address any predisposing factors at the outset, as malassezia folliculitis has a tendency to recur.
Topical agents (eg, selenium sulfide shampoo, econazole solution) may also be used but should be reserved for those unable to tolerate oral treatment [9,10].
Recurrence is common, even after successful treatment .
Long-term prophylaxis with topical agents may be considered in those at high-risk or with multiple recurrences.
Periodic re-evaluation of predisposing factors is recommended.
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