Folliculitis is a bacterial infection of the follicles of hair which causes itchiness, blistering, oozing rash and pain in one or more of the infected follicles. Folliculitis can be due to a variety of pathogens that can become severe. A pathogen is anything that can cause a disease such as a bacterium which is a microscopic organism that can reproduce on their own, invade tissues of the body and cause disease.
Small red bumps or white-headed pimples can be seen in the follicles of hair which are tiny pockets from which each hair grows and the infection spreads and becomes a non-healing crusty sore. Severe infections can lead to hair loss and scarring.
Symptoms of folliculitis
- Blisters that are filled with pus that breaks open and crusts over
- Red and inflamed skin
- A large swollen bump or mass
- Clusters of tiny red bumps or white-headed pimples that form around the follicles of hair.
- Itchy, burning and tenderness of the skin
- Heat and sweat caused by wearing rubber gloves or waders
- Friction from shaving or wearing tight clothing
- Skin conditions such as dermatitis and acne
- Coverings on the skin such as plastic dressings or adhesive tape
- Wash the affected area using antibacterial soap at least 2 times every day to kill any bacteria that causes folliculitis. Rinse and dry the area using a towel. Avoid using harsh soaps or scrubbing the area to prevent making the condition worse.
- If folliculitis developed on the face, use an antibacterial soap specified for facial use.
- Apply a warm and moist washcloth or compress several times every day to lessen the discomfort and drain the affected area. A warm compress works by reducing the irritation, promote proper drainage and fast healing of the condition. Prepare a salt water compress by dissolving a tablespoon of table salt to a cup of warm water. Soak a cotton ball or washcloth in the solution and press it against the affected area. Apply this solution at least 2 times every day.
- Soak the affected area in warm water and aluminum acetate. It is important to note that aluminum acetate is categorized as an astringent with antibacterial properties that eliminates bacteria that causes folliculitis as well as reducing the swelling, irritation and promotes fast healing of the condition. Prepare the solution by dissolving a packet and combine with the recommended amount of warm water and soak a washcloth in the solution. Wring out the excess water and apply on the affected area.
- Apply the prescribed over-the-counter ointments such as hydrocortisone to lessen the itchiness and irritation. Use hydrocortisone 1% cream at least 2-5 times every day to lessen the pain.