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Know the basics

What is folliculitis?

Folliculitis is a skin condition that refers to the inflammation of hair follicles. It happens on the body parts with hair such as the beard, arms, back, buttocks, and legs. Folliculitis may look like red bumps or pimples at first. However, the condition may develop and spread to other parts of the body.

Folliculitis is not dangerous, but it leaves a sensation of itchiness and soreness, as well as makes you feel self-conscious. Serious cases can cause hair loss and scarring.

How common is folliculitis?

Folliculitis is a common skin disease. It affects in children and adults, but it is not popular before age of two. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of folliculitis?

The common symptoms of folliculitis are:

  • Red bumps or pimples with a hair in the center;
  • The bumps may break out, leaving blood or pus;
  • Redness and inflamed skin;
  • A sensation of itching or burning;
  • Tenderness or pain.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

In mild case, it usually heals on itself about 2 weeks. You can take care of yourself at home with place a warm compress on the affected skin and use medicated shampoos.

If the affected area becomes red, swollen, warm, or more painful or they start to spread after about 2 weeks, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Know the causes

What causes folliculitis?

Folliculitis can be caused by many an infection of the hair follicle or by another skin condition. Some common causes are:

  • Other skin conditions such as dermatitis and acne;
  • Viruses, fungi, ingrown hair inflammation;
  • Injuries from accident or surgical;
  • Damaged or blocked hair follicles: this could be a result from rubbing with clothing or shaving.
  • A common cause of folliculitis is hair follicles infection from the bacteria that always present on our skin, typically Staphylococcus aureus.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for folliculitis?

There are many risk factors for folliculitis, such as:

  • Skin conditions such as acne or dermatitis;
  • Skin damage from injury or surgery;
  • Certain medications such as steroid creams or long-term antibiotics for acne;
  • Obese;
  • Wearing clothing that do not release heat and sweat;
  • Unsafe shaving;
  • Medical condition that decrease your resistance to infection such as diabetes, chronic leukemia or HIV/AIDS.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is folliculitis diagnosed?

Your doctor will directly check your skin and ask questions about your health condition, or which medications you are using. They can collect a sample from the fluid in the pimples to find out the cause of infection. A lab test can be done to identify which bacteria or fungus causes the infection.

How is folliculitis treated?

Depending on the severity of your condition and what causes it, treatment may vary:

  • Medications: your doctor may prescribe a type of creams or medications to manage the infections. Inflammation can also be controlled with certain pills or skin creams.
  • Photodynamic therapy, also known as light therapy.
  • Minor surgery: if the bump is too large, doctor may need to do a minor surgery to release pus, ease the pain and help fasten the recovery.
  • Laser hair removal.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage folliculitis?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with folliculitis:

  • Keep your body hygiene with mild soap, especially after exercise.
  • Avoid sharing personal utensils such as towels.
  • Try using over-the-counter (OTC) antibiotics.
  • Avoid scratching the bumps.
  • Avoid shaving if possible.
  • Avoid using products causing oily skin. Oil can clog the pores with bacteria and cause folliculitis.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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