What is fungal acne, and how does it differ from regular acne? First of all, fungal acne isn’t acne at all. It’s an infection of the hair follicle called Pityrosporum folliculitis and is caused by excess yeast known as Malassezia. Everyone has Malassezia living on their skin. However, when yeast levels increase, it can promote inflammation and manifest on the skin as bumps. Fungal acne can also be contagious in close encounters and may include intense itching. Common places that fungal acne appears are the chest, back, and areas covered by constrictive clothing.