What Causes Fungus on the Face?

Facial fungus infections are caused by direct skin-to-skin contact with a dermatophyte fungus. The infectives that cause facial fungus often come from existing fungal infection of the feet or nails. There are two types of fungal infections of the face: tinea faciei and tinea barbae, with the latter used exclusively for fungal infection in the beard and mustache areas.

Fungal infections of the face are a type of ringworm infection that can be caused by the humen dermatophyte fungus Trichophyton rubrum (T. rubrum). Animal fungi, such as the Microsporum canis (M. canis) and T. verrucosum, are also known to cause fungal infections of the face.

Infected areas of the face often appear as reddened and raised circular patches that have a scaly surface. In some cases, small pustules also appear on the infected areas. Tinea barbae infections appear inflamed, with pustules and crusting, and hair on the infected area easily falls off.

Both tinea faciei and tinea barbae are often misdiagnosed for other, more common facial skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, rosacea and folliculitis. The treatment usually prescribed for tinea faciei and tinea barbae include the application of topical antifungual creams, while oral antifungal medicines, such as terbinafine and itraconazole, is prescribed for more stubborn infections.