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How to Use Probiotics for Fungal Acne – Dosage and Application

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 11/20/2023

Probiotics support the skin’s microbiome and strengthen the immune system, which enhances the body’s ability to fight microbial skin infections linked to skin irritation and fungal acne.

Discover what causes yeast infections and learn how to use probiotics for fungal acne.  

Woman with acne

What is fungal acne?

Fungal acne, or Malassezia folliculitis, is a skin infection characterized by itchy bumps and acne-like lesions that are caused by the overgrowth of a type of yeast known as Malassezia.

While this yeast species naturally resides on the skin in small quantities, if allowed to proliferate, it can block hair follicles and trigger skin inflammation associated with the development of fungal acne.

Fungal acne is commonly found on the chest, back, and shoulders but can also affect other areas of the body, including the face.

Evidence published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that Malassezia yeast infections are often misdiagnosed as acne vulgaris and that traditional acne treatments, such as topical antibiotics, can exacerbate fungal acne.

Conventional approaches for treating fungal acne include benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. However, these topical medications can cause side effects and often don’t address the root cause of acne and fungal infections.

Watch the video below to learn how healthy bacteria can help prevent fungal acne and other skin problems. 

Good Bacteria Keep Candida, Fungus and Yeast in Check

Causes of fungal acne

Fungal acne is more common in individuals with weak immune systems due to impaired antimicrobial defenses that help prevent the proliferation of potentially harmful bacteria and yeasts, including Malassezia.

Frequent antibiotic use can alter the skin’s microbiome and lead to inadequate levels of beneficial microbes needed to control yeast growth on the skin.

Excessive heat and humidity and oily skincare products that can trap moisture provide an ideal environment for yeast to thrive, significantly increasing the risk of fungal infection and acne-prone skin.

In addition, a diet high in sugar, alcohol, and processed foods can lead to hormonal imbalances and changes in the skin’s pH levels associated with yeast infections and other microbial skin conditions.

Gut microbiome illustration

Benefits of probiotics for fungal acne

Many individuals opt for natural remedies, including tea tree oil, coconut oil, aloe vera, and apple cider vinegar to treat fungal acne.

However, these treatments don’t address the root cause of fungal acne, which is an imbalanced microbiome on the skin’s surface that lacks beneficial microbes to prevent the overgrowth of acne-causing yeast.   

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support a diverse and balanced gut microflora, which play a profound role in strengthening immune defense and skin barrier functions linked to a lower risk of skin infections such as fungal acne. 

Research published in Frontiers of Cellular Infection and Microbiology suggests that probiotics have antifungal and antibacterial properties that prevent the growth and proliferation of potentially harmful microbes. 

“It’s believed that a healthy gut microflora helps maintain a slightly acidic pH on the skin’s surface,” explains Dr. Berg. “This enhances the growth of beneficial bacteria while preventing the overgrowth of potentially harmful yeast species linked to fungal acne.” 

Probiotics can restore the balance of the gut microbiome by increasing the population of beneficial bacteria, which is crucial for proper immune function and can reduce inflammation throughout the body.

A study published in Immunity, Disease, and Inflammation found that certain Lactobacillus strains, such as Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, and Lactobacillus acidophilus are particularly beneficial for lowering inflammation and may help prevent fungal acne outbreaks. 

In addition, certain strains of Bifidobacteria compete with pathogenic yeasts for nutrients and space within the gut, which lowers the risk of systemic yeast infections that can manifest on the skin.

Woman taking a probiotic supplement

How to use probiotics for fungal acne

Probiotics can be found in probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and other fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and natto or can be taken as probiotic supplements.

A study published in Microorganisms reports that probiotic supplementation enhances skin barrier function, antimicrobial defenses, and immune responses, which can alleviate or prevent fungal skin infections.

While consuming fermented foods is an excellent strategy to promote a diverse microbiome, it can be challenging to determine which types of beneficial bacteria are present in different foods.

Taking a probiotics supplement containing different strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, which are the best fungal acne probiotics, can be an excellent tool to manage yeast overgrowth.

In addition, topical probiotics have been found beneficial for treating and preventing fungal acne, especially if used in combination with oral probiotics.

Probiotics applied topically promote a balanced composition of skin microbes, which supports the skin's natural defense mechanisms against fungal overgrowth.

Probiotic powder and supplements


While probiotics supplements can be taken at any time of the day, it’s important not to consume them with hot food or beverages as heat can destroy the live organisms.

Those with a sensitive digestive system may benefit from taking probiotic supplements before going to bed to minimize gastrointestinal issues such as gas and bloating.

If you are considering using probiotic skincare products to manage fungal acne, choose a product formulated with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria and carefully follow the instructions on the product label.

If you are suffering from persistent fungal acne despite regularly using probiotics, it’s crucial to consult a dermatologist for a thorough evaluation of your symptoms.


Choose a high-potency probiotic supplement that contains at least 60 billion CFU (colony-forming units). The CFU of a probiotic indicates how many viable probiotic microbes each serving contains.

Taking products with a lower CFU may not deliver an adequate concentration of beneficial bacteria into the digestive system, leaving you at risk of microbial overgrowth.

Look for probiotics packed in delayed-release capsules that protect the beneficial microorganisms from the acidic environment in the stomach, or opt for a high-quality liquid probiotic supplement.

Woman with beautiful skin

More benefits of probiotics for skin health

There are many benefits of oral probiotics for skin health. 

Probiotics support a balanced skin microbiome, which is crucial for strengthening the skin’s barrier. A healthy skin barrier helps protect the skin from sensitivity, redness, and inflammation. It also supports skin hydration, which is linked to healthy and radiant-looking skin.

Supporting a diverse skin microbiota with probiotics plays a significant role in inhibiting the growth of harmful microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, and fungi linked to a wide range of skin issues and inflammation. 

A study published in Pharmaceutics confirms the benefits of probiotics for skin health and concludes, “Probiotics have demonstrated beneficial effects for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases such as acne, rosacea, and psoriasis, and have a promising role in wound healing.”

A healthy intestinal microflora helps bolster the immune system against microbial skin infections and is associated with a lower risk of autoimmune skin conditions such as psoriasis, scleroderma, and vitiligo

Probiotic supplements on a wooden spoon

Key takeaways

Probiotics enhance the body’s ability to fight microbial infection, lower inflammation, and improve skin barrier function.

Using probiotic supplements for fungal acne is an effective strategy to promote microbial balance, which plays a significant role in eliminating or preventing yeast overgrowing on the skin’s surface.

Additional resources 


1. Can probiotics improve fungal acne?

Yes. Probiotics support a balanced skin microbiome, which plays a crucial role in preventing the overgrowth of potentially harmful yeast species linked to the development of fungal acne.

2. How do I use probiotics for fungal acne?

Supporting a healthy gut microflora with probiotic supplements has been found to enhance skin barrier function and improve immune defenses against the overgrowth of yeast species associated with fungal acne.

In addition, topical use of skin care products containing probiotics and consuming plenty of probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and natto helps maintain a diverse microbiome needed to manage and prevent yeast infections. 

3. What is the best probiotic strain for fungal acne?

Evidence suggests that Bifidobacterium and certain Lactobacillus species, including Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, and Lactobacillus acidophilus, are the most effective probiotic strains for fungal acne. 

4. Do probiotics help with skin fungus?

Yes, probiotics can help manage and prevent skin fungus.

Probiotics promote a balanced composition of the skin microflora needed to prevent the overgrowth of potentially harmful microbes, including yeasts and fungi.

5. What kills fungal acne fast?

Taking probiotic supplements in combination with using probiotic skin care products can help eliminate fungal acne quickly.

In addition, topical application of antimicrobial remedies such as tea tree oil, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar can kill yeast species associated with fungal acne.

6. How long does it take to clear up fungal acne with probiotics?

How long it takes to clear up fungal acne with probiotics depends on the severity of the skin infection, the composition of your gut microflora, and your immune defenses. 

While some people see improvements within one to two weeks of starting probiotic supplements, it can take up to two months of regular probiotic use to clear up severe cases of fungal acne.

7. Can I use probiotics topically?

Yes, you can use some probiotics topically. However, it’s crucial to use probiotic products that have been formulated for topical application to avoid disrupting the skin’s microflora, which could worsen skin health and increase the risk of microbial infection.



  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3970831/ 

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8813855/ 

  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9119005/

  4. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2607/11/6/1420 

  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8955881/ 

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