What is folliculitis?
Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles. Every hair on your body grows out of a small pouch called a follicle. You can suffer from folliculitis on any part of your body that is consisting of hairs. But this type of condition is most commonly found on the beard area, arms, back, buttocks, and legs.
What causes folliculitis?
Folliculitis may be caused by bacteria. It also can be caused by yeast or another type of fungus.
You may suffer from folliculitis if you are having damaged hair follicles. Shaving or wearing clothes that rub the skin can irritate the follicles, which can lead to folliculitis. They also can become blocked or irritated by sweat, machine oils, or makeup. At times, when the follicles are injured, they are more likely to become infected.
You are more prone to get folliculitis if you:
- Use a hot tub, or swimming pool that is not properly treated with chlorine.
- Wear tight clothes.
- Use or work with substances that can irritate or block the follicles. Examples involve makeup, cocoa butter, motor oil, tar, and creosote.
- Are having an infected cut, scrape, or surgical wound. The bacteria or fungi can spread to nearby hair follicles.
- Are having a disease such as diabetes or HIV that lowers your ability to fight infection.
How is folliculitis diagnosed?
Your doctor will examine your skin and ask about your health and activities. He or she may do tests to find out what is causing your folliculitis and to make sure you don't have a different problem, such as impetigo or heat rash.
Testing a sample of the fluid in the pimples or a sample of tissue can help your doctor to learn what is causing the infection.
What are the symptoms of Folliculitis?
Generally, folliculitis seems like red pimples with a hair in the centre of each one. The pimples can be consisting of pus in them, and they may itch or burn. When the pimples break open, they may drain pus, blood, or both.
"Hot tub folliculitis" most often appears about 72 hours after you've been in a hot tub or spa. Several of small pimples are seen on your stomach and sometimes on your arms and legs.
You can surely have a mild fever and have an upset stomach. Most of the time, this kind of folliculitis goes away on its own in 7 to 10 days.
How is Folliculitis treated?
Moderate folliculitis generally gets treated on its own in about 2-3 weeks. One can easily take care of himself at home with:
- A warm compress - This may ease itching and help healing. To make a warm compress, soak a hand towel in warm water. Extract out the excess water, and place the towel on the affected skin.
- Medicated shampoo - This can be used to treat folliculitis on the scalp or beard.
If the inflammation gets worse or doesn't go away, you may need to see your doctor. He or she may prescribe medicine, such as an antibiotic.