Folliculitis

Appearance of rashes on your skin indicates allergy or infection. Rashes caused by infection may arise due to many different factors. Folliculitis is one such skin infection that arises due to inflammation in your hair follicles. This inflammation can be a result of either bacterial or viral infections, chemical irritation or physical injury.

Any part of your body containing hair can be easily affected by folliculitis. It is however, common on those parts of your body that may be rubbed by clothing or on your face and scalp.

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SYMPTOMS OF FOLLICULITIS

  • You may be suffering from folliculitis if you have red pimples or pustules forming around hair follicles on your skin. Most of the times, these pimples ooze pus, blood or clear fluid.
  • The pimples caused by folliculitis can be quite itchy and can also cause a burning sensation.
  • These pimples appear on your stomach most of the times. These may also appear on your limbs sometimes.
  • Folliculitis is also followed by an upset stomach and mild fever in certain situations.

More About FOLLICULITIS

 

CAUSES OF FOLLICULITIS:

The bacterium staphylococcus aureus inflicts tremendous discomfort through folliculitis. Though bacteria are most common pathogenic carrier of folliculitis, there may be cases where it can be caused by yeast or some other type of fungi. This skin infection is basically the infection of hair follicles, and can also be caused by damaged hair follicles.

Risk Factors

  • Contact with infected water: The water in your hot tub, swimming pool or whirlpool may be easily contaminated with bacterium that causes folliculitis especially if it is not treated with chlorine.
  • Wearing tight-fitting clothes: Wearing tight fitting clothes can lead to damage of hair follicles due to continuous rubbing. This continuous friction between your clothing and the hair follicles may lead to folliculitis.
  • Antibiotics: If you’ve been taking antibiotics for treating your acne for a long time now, it may develop into folliculitis as a side effect. Usage of steroid creams may also lead to folliculitis.
  • Bruises: The bacterium staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic pathogen, which may enter your skin through cuts or wounds.
  • Blocked follicles: Folliculitis may also be caused if you smear heavy makeup, body butter, motor oil, tar or any other substance that blocks and irritates hair follicles.
  • Inefficient defense mechanism: Having HIV or diabetes may render your immune system weak. This may make you easily susceptible to such bacterial infections.

 

DIAGNOSIS

Most of the times, your physician can easily diagnose folliculitis by just looking at your skin. If all tests and medications to clear the infection fail, your doctor may consider performing a biopsy or culture to determine a further course of medication.

 

TREATMENT

Folliculitis can go to any extent, and before treating this infection it is important to determine the extent of your infection. If you’re in the initial stage of infection, it is advisable to treat it before it gets the better of you. Some ways to treat folliculitis have been discussed below:

1. Warm compress: Use warm compresses with white vinegar or Burow’s solution to soothe and relieve yourself of the itch. You may also choose to use medicated shampoo to treat infection on your scalp or beard.

2. Control the itch: Do not scratch or touch the pimples. If you feel the urge to itch, use an effective over-the-counter cream containing hydrocortisone.

3. Oatmeal solution: Soothe your skin using an oatmeal solution, and keep the affected area moist by repeated application of moist and warm washcloth.

4. Cleanse: It is greatly recommended to keep the skin clean by using a good antibacterial soap. Avoid shaving the area, and allow the pimples to drain and heal.

 

PREVENTION

You can easily evade the painful process of folliculitis by taking some of the following preventive measures:

1. Shower after working out: Never skip a shower after a strenuous workout or running session. Letting perspiration dry and allowing dirt to accumulate is one of the easiest ways to develop folliculitis. It is advisable to bathe with a good anti-bacterial soap so that your pores can remain clean and the probability of bacterial infection is considerably reduced.

2. Personal hygiene: It is a must to take proper care of your personal hygiene. Some essential habits to cultivate include:

  • You should avoid sharing your personal items, especially towels and washcloths.
  • Change razor blades regularly, and avoid shaving bumps. You can opt for depilatory creams to remove unwanted hair.
  • Completely avoid using oils on your skin, because excess oil can entrap bacteria and lead to skin infection.
  • Never scratch bumps or pimples.
  • Avoid using public hot tubs or pools, which are not chlorinated. Consider showering with an antibacterial soap immediately after using public pools and hot baths.

3. Adopt regular skin care regime: A regular skincare regime comprising of cleansing, toning and moisturizing goes a long way in preventing folliculitis. This is mainly because it helps in removing dead cells and avoid blockage of hair follicles.

4. Avoid wearing fitting clothes: Wearing skin tight clothes can lead to developing folliculitis, so make sure you wear loose cotton clothes that allow your skin to breathe.

5. Cover wounds: Do not let the opportunist pathogens enter your skin through open wounds and cuts on your skin. Cover these with bandages and clean them regularly.