Folliculitis is a deep or superficial inflammation of the hair follicle. It is typically caused by a fungal or bacterial infection.
Signs and symptoms include:
- a large swollen bump;
- painful, tender skin;
- itchy, burning skin;
- pus-filled blisters which break open and crust over;
- clusters of small white-headed pimples or red bumps which develop around hair follicles.
When to Call the Doctor
You should call your doctor if:
- there is a painful, large, red area of skin which has a lot of drainages or feels hard;
- they continue to appear or are not improving;
- these bumps are painful or bothersome.
Possible complications include:
- destruction of hair follicles and permanent hair loss;
- permanent skin damage, like – dark spots or scarring;
- boils under the skin (furunculosis);
- spreading or recurrent infection.
It may be caused by fungi, viruses, and even an inflammation from ingrown hairs. Also, it may be caused by an infection of hair follicles with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria as well as Pseudomonas aeruginosa (a Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen).
Factors which can contribute to the condition include the following:
- medical conditions such as HIV or diabetes make you more prone to folliculitis, as it is substantially harder for the body to fight the infection;
- friction from shaving;
- an infected wound or cut from which the pathogenic bacteria spreads to the nearby hair follicles;
- wearing tight clothes;
- using a swimming pool or hot tub which is not treated with chlorine or clean;
- excessive use of makeup;
- dermatitis (a general term which describes an inflammation of the skin);
- sweat or heat which irritates or blocks the follicles.
A healthcare professional can diagnose the condition by physical examination.
Possible treatments include:
Laser Hair Removal
This procedure uses a concentrated beam of light. It permanently removes hair follicles, hence, notably reducing the density of the hair in the treated area. However, this treatment is expensive and may have some side effects such as – scarring, discolored skin, and blistering.
To speed recovery, relieve pain, and lessen scarring, your healthcare professional may make a small incision in it to drain the pus.
Pills & Creams
Your healthcare professional may prescribe you a steroid cream to ease the itching. Additionally, for recurrent or severe infection, oral antibiotics may be prescribed. Also, antifungals may be recommended for infections caused by yeast.
Here Is A List Of 10 Essential Oils For Folliculitis (Infected Hair Follicle):
This essential oil is an effective agent against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, according to a study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
According to a 2006 study that was done at the Loyola College’s Entomology Research Institute, India, cinnamon essential oil may be one of the strongest antibacterial essential oils of all essential oils.
Its minty fresh odor has a refreshing effect as it fights off pathogenic bacteria. Also, this essential oil is known for its strong antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Turmeric essential oil helps to quickly alleviate the inflammation, pain, and swelling which is associated with folliculitis since it has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Also, turmeric oil is many times more concentrated than the powdered herb.
It comes from the seeds of a plant with the scientific name of Ricinus communis, which is native to tropical areas of Asia and Africa. This essential oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Furthermore, castor essential oil can eliminate unwanted impurities and substances from within the hair follicles due to its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
It helps in reducing blood pressure, curing depression, increasing appetite, and boosting immunity. Additionally, grapefruit essential oil is good at killing off pathogenic bacteria (like – Staphylococcus aureus), one of the main causes of folliculitis.
Oregano is a fragrant herb that is best known as an ingredient in Italian food. Oregano essential oil possesses potent antibacterial agents in the form of carvacrol and terpenes, and it is an excellent natural remedy for skin disorders, including folliculitis.
#9 Tea Tree
It comes from the evergreen leaves of the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree. Tea tree oil possesses antimicrobial properties which might kill the bacteria that cause folliculitis and help keep the skin clear.
It is known for its capacity to support a healthy respiratory system and healthy skin and to help treat various skin conditions, including folliculitis since it contains sulfur compounds that have effective antibacterial and antiviral properties.
It often responds to treatment, however, it may come back.
You can try to prevent the condition from coming back with the following tips:
- use only clean heated pools and hot tubs;
- avoid tight clothes. This will help to reduce friction between your clothing and skin;
- consider hair-removing products or other methods of hair removal;
- dry out your rubber gloves between uses;
- avoid the sharing of towels, razors, and washcloths;
- for men with razor bumps, it is recommended to avoid shaving and growing a beard may be a good option;
- apply moisturizing lotion after you shave. Also, shave in the direction your hair grows;
- use a sharp blade and rinse it with water after each stroke;
- avoid shaving too close by using a guarded blade or an electric razor and by not stretching the skin;
- apply a good amount of shaving lotion before shaving;
- use a cleansing pad or washcloth in a gentle circular motion to raise embedded hairs before shaving;
- wash your skin with antibacterial soap and warm water before shaving;
- shave less frequently.