A hair follicle is a sac in the skin from which the hair grows. When the follicles are clogged and irritated they are prone to attacks from bacteria, virus and fungus that trigger infection such as folliculitis. It is commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Usually there is an itch and little soreness. The infection usually appears as small pus-filled blisters like pimples around hair follicle. The disorder could happen to anyone at any age. I may occur on anywhere in the skin and scalp except the areas with no hair follicles as eyes, mouth, palms, or soles.
Folliculitis could be a result of any of these:
- Excess friction from shaving
- Excess perspiration that dries on the skin and clogs the follicles for a period of time.
- Skin injuries such as wounds or abrasions
- Inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or dermatitis
- Friction from tight clothing, covering the skin with plastic dressings or adhesive tapes
Folliculitis Treatment may vary depending on the degree of the infection. Mild cases heal on their own within two or three days. However, folliculitis may return or get worse.
During severe cases, shaving should be avoided for the mean time. For women, it has t be stopped for at least 3 months to let the hair grow healthy. If you must, use an electric razor or a new blade. Avoid cuts and nicks. When you are finished, apply a soothing after-shave lotion.
You can apply warm compresses to the affected area several times to reduce pain and swelling. Topical creams with hydrocortisone can be applied to stop itching and reduce the swelling associated.
The doctor may recommend draining a large boil or carbuncle to relieve the pain, speed up the recovery and reduce skin scarring. With the use of a sterile instrument, the doctor will make a small incision to pump out the fluid.
For those who have sensitive skin, avoid wearing tight clothing especially in warm weather. Friction and rubbing must be avoided. Apply a non-greasy moisturizer. If the skin is drying, antiseptic lotions should be used on the affected areas.
If folliculitis appears on your scalp or beard area, shampoo containing selenium can ba used.
To avoid the spread of the infection, it is advisable to gently wash the hands and infected skin regularly with antibacterial soap and water. Use a clean washcloth and towel to parch off each time you wash. If you own a hot tub, clean it regularly and add chlorine. Use commercial tubs only if you are sure they’re well maintained.
Avoid body contact with someone with any form of folliculitis. Don’t share your towels, laundry them in hot, soapy water after every use.
For stubborn cases, laser treatment may be an option. It will destroy the hair follicle and reduces the scarring. Hair then will no longer grow in the treated area. Need not to say, laser treatment is expensive but helpful when other treatment fails.
Folliculitis is never a grim disease but once disregarded and allowed to spread; it will take more time to heal and may leave thick, raised scars or darker skin patches. Severe cases may destruct of hair Folliculitis that leads to permanent hair loss.
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- FOLLICULTIS NEVER LEAVES