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Home Remedies for Folliculitis - Causes and Preventions

Updated on August 21, 2011

Causes of folliculitis

Why do people have folliculitis? Let’s first look into the structure of the skin. There are countless pores on the skin, the pores have hair follicles below, where hairs grow from. Hairs of varying lengths grow out of the hair follicles, making pores/hair follicles the “weakest link” in the skin and very vulnerable to the attack of bacteria. Bacterial infection will lead to folliculitis in most cases. Human skin is rich in hair follicles and sebaceous glands, if any part of the hair follicle and sebaceous gland are blocked, it will cause a local infection or irritation, leading to the formation of "folliculitis." In fact, these causes of folliculitis are basically the same with that of the “acne”, and their incentives are the same, such as eating foods that are too spicy or too sweet, having too much stress and so on. Compared with acne, folliculitis is more complicated and it can happen on any part of the body. 

Folliculitis is a type of disease that occurs due to the purulent inflammation of the entire hair follicles, the causes usually are: 

  • Bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, etc.; 
  • Mold, such as yellow dermatophytes, Candida; 
  • Spirochete such as syphilis; 
  • Parasites, such as scabies, lice disease, pinworm; 
  • Chemical substances, such as coal tar, wax, oil, cutting oil, lubricants, blister plaster, and corticosteroids; 
  • Physical reasons, such as scratching, friction, plucking, shaving etc.

Other causes also include reduced body resistance, lack of attention to skin hygiene,and the physical or chemical stimulation of certain substances which reduce the protective function of the pores. For example, people suffering from chronic itching or disease are more susceptible to the occurrence of folliculitis. The infections from a number of pyogenic bacterias (mainly Staphylococcus aureus), along with fatigue or decreased immunity in the human body will result in inflammation of the follicles. Moreover, people who are having regular contact with tar substances, or having long-term usage of tar or cortical steroid hormone drugs are vulnerable to folliculitis. Other situations such as skin frictions, heat and other stimulus, are also likely to cause the disease.

Why are folliculitis reccuring?

When we are talking about folliculitis, we usually refer to folliculitis caused by the inflammation of bacteria infected hair follicles; some patients will suffer recurrent folliculitis in a period of time. This may be the result of a lack of personal skin hygiene, but it also may be associated with characteristics of the skin, such as skin pH, humidity and excess oil secretion during the given period. Dry skins with lower pH are less likely to be infected with bacterias, while skins with high pH and moister can breed bacterias easily. 

Patients suffering from diabetes or with low immune functions have very low resistance to pathogenic bacterias. Other patients have chronic itching skin diseases because of their working environment, their skins are vulnerable to injuries, and thus have higher chances of skin infections and folliculitis. So, in order to cure folliculitis completely and get out of the recurrent dilemma, the pathogenic factors should first be removed, and then the patients should also try to enhance their body fitness and immunologic functions.

Prevention and treatment of folliculitis

It is highly recommended that you should first go to see a dermatologist for physical checkups of folliculitis, or other skin abnormalities. If you are diagnosed with "folliculitis", the following home remedy tips are recommended for the treatment of the disease:

  • Pay attention to your life style, have enough rest and reduce any stress, try to improve the quality of sleep;
  • Eat a diet that is less spicy and fatty, with less sugar;
  • Do not scratch you scalp too much while washing your hair, washing your hair 3-4 times per week is appropriate;
  • Make sure room temperature is not too high, increase ventilation by opening the windows often;
  • Avoid using shower gel, because it will reduce skin resistance.


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