- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
How To Treat Folliculitis
Folliculitis is the infection and inflammation of one or more hair follicles. Treatment and causes of the problem depend on whether the skin is damaged by bacteria and fungi, leading to an inflammatory skin disease. The term "folliculitis" in Latin literally means "a pouch". The main task of a follicle is hair formation. So there is a huge number of follicles on the human body. Just our head accumulates around 80 to 120 thousand of follicles. Folliculitis occurs when one or more follicles under the skin are damaged. On the surface, it appears as a small bump or pimple. Folliculitis can occur anywhere on the body, because the follicles, as mentioned before, are located everywhere. The only exception are the palms, soles and mouth.
What Causes Folliculitis
The cause of folliculitis is related to either skin injuries or inflammation of the follicles. That can happen for various reasons, starting with simple scratches and mini injuries, and ending with skin damage caused by tight clothing.
Types of Folliculitis
There are several types of folliculitis. If the problem starts because of the bacterial infection of the follicles on the face, it is called sycosis. It most often happens on the lip and beard area and looks like small itchy pimples.
When visiting saunas, where there is closed water cycle, you are at risk to get a pseudomonas folliculitis (which is also known as hot tub folliculitis). This disease is caused by a bacterium commonly found in hot tubs, pools, public Jacuzzi tubs or water slides. Hot tub folliculitis can't be noticed right away. The symptoms will appear in several days. The pimples will appear on any place that was subjected to the water.
Gram-negative folliculitis is caused by long-term use of oral acne medication. The name comes from the bacteria that cause folliculitis.
People with curly hair can get a pseidofolliculitis barbae, most commonly known as razor bumps. That happens when hair grows back into the skin causing inflammation.
The Treatment of Folliculitis
If the problem is in the light form, it is easy to get rid of it. First, wash the area with an antibacterial soap. Dial antibacterial deodorant soap worked miracles for me and not only helped get rid of folliculitis, but actually improved the condition of my skin in general. After washing face with the soap, skin should be dried out with a towel and some antibacterial skin care cream should be applied. The one I used and recommend is Ca-Rezz antibacterial skin care cream with aloe vera, allantoin and vitamins A,D & E.
However, if antibacterial soap and cream do not help, you should definitely see a dermatologist, who would prescribe a special medication.
Deep folliculitis is usually treated using ammonium bituminosulfonate which should be applied to the affected area and stay there. It should be changed once or twice during the day.
If folliculitis becomes chronic, the doctors may prescribe antibiotics, as well as immunotherapy. The skin around the follicle should be wiped with camphor alcohol or a 2% solution of salicylic acid several times a day.
The affected area should not be exposed to water. And remember to never squeeze follicles, as it can lead to the appearance of the furuncle.
How To Prevent Folliculitis
To prevent folliculitis, be mindful about personal hygiene and hygiene in public swimming pools and saunas. The water in the swimming pool should be chlorinated. Only clorine can reduce the risk of catching some bacterial infections.
Never use somebody else's sponges or other personal care items. The problem of folliculitis can be easily prevented by using common rules of personal hygiene.