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Folliculitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the hair follicles. The condition can affect any part of the body but it most commonly affects the hair follicles in the beard area, arms, back, and legs.
Folliculitis can have many causes including bacterial and fungal infections. It may also be because of damaged hair follicles. Shaving can irritate the hair follicles, triggering folliculitis. Other common causes include blocked sweat glands, machine oils, or makeup. Injured hair follicles are more susceptible to infections.
- Using a swimming pool that is not treated with sufficient chlorine.
- Use of substances that can irritate or block the follicles, including oil based body products, makeup, cocoa butter, engine oil, and tar.
- Health conditions such as diabetes or HIV that can weaken immunity can potentially cause folliculitis.
Folliculitis looks like pimples with a hair in the middle of each one. The pimples may itch or burn. When the pimples burst, they may drain pus, blood, or both.
Warm compresses with salt water. This eases itching and helps with the healing process. To make a warm compress, soak a towel with a slightly warm salt solution and remove the excess salt solution by wringing the cloth. Place the towel on the affected part.
Medicated shampoo: Medicated shampoos are available to treat folliculitis in areas such as the beard and the scalp. If the inflammation persists even after a week of using shampoo, it is advisable to consult a doctor. The doctor might prescribe an antibiotic.
There are many things you can do to prevent folliculitis or keep it from spreading.
- Shower every day with a mild soap. Shower after the exercise routine.
- Avoid sharing personal items like towels and clothes.
- Don’t scrape or scratch the bumps.
- Don’t use a razor on the infected area.
- Don’t use oil based products on the skin. Oils can create an optimum environment for bacterial growth, causing folliculitis.
- After you use public swimming pools, shower right away with soap.