Folliculitis occurs when hair follicles get infected causing skin inflammation. Hair follicles anywhere on your body are susceptible to folliculitis however it’s most commonly found on the scalp, face, and areas of the body that are frequently rubbed by clothing, like the groins and thighs.
What Is Folliculitis Caused By?
Folliculitis is most commonly caused by bacteria, yeast, or other types of funguses. As mentioned before, clothes that rub your skin can also damage the hair follicles leading to folliculitis. When your follicles are blocked or irritated by makeup, sweat, and other foreign substances, inflammation follows.
Folliculitis can be triggered by the following factors:
- Wearing tight clothing
- Frequently exposing the skin to substances that irritate and block hair follicles, such as makeup, sweat, motor oil, and many others
- Having an infected wound that could possibly spread to neighboring hair follicles
- Bathing in hot tubs and swimming pools that are not properly treated
- Having illnesses that compromise or weaken the immune system
What Are the Symptoms of Folliculitis?
Folliculitis generally appears as red pimples that grow hair in the center. These pimples might not exhibit any other symptoms but they may also itch, burn, or pus. There is also a specific condition known as “hot tub folliculitis” where you find symptoms and signs 72 hours after being in a hot tub or spa. With this condition, you’ll notice small pimples forming on the stomach, arms, or legs. In some cases, the patient can get a mild fever and an upset stomach.
How Do I Treat Folliculitis?
Luckily, mild cases of folliculitis go away on its own within a couple of weeks. In the meantime, you can alleviate symptoms and encourage healing with a warm compress with white vinegar. Dr. Stockton can also recommend some medicated shampoos that help treat folliculitis on the beard or scalp.
If the inflammation does not go away, an antibiotic or an antifungal cream can be used. If your condition does not improve after the application of topical medication, laser hair removal can be a long-term option.