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Folliculitis - Symptoms and Treatment

Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicle caused by Staphylococcus bacteria. It is a common disorder of the skin, and it can occur at any age. Typically it appears as an eruption of skin that surrounds a hair or hair pore. Many red bumps or pus bumps are seen. Frequently a hair is seen coming out of the center of an individual bump. Any part of the skin can be involved except for the palms and soles. While folliculitis can occur anywhere there is body hair, most often it appears in areas that become irriated by shaving, the rubbing of clothes, or where follicles and pores are blocked by oils and dirt. Coomon sites of folliculitis include the face, the scalp, under the arms, and on the legs. Folliculitis can also be found in the beard area, known as barber's itch or pseudofolliculities and sometimes on the scalp along the front hairline with small, very itchy rash like pustules (small blisters with pus inside). Folliculitis skin infections primarily affect younger adults. Folliculitis appears as small, round and slightly elevated pus-filled pimples or pustules that form around the hair follicles, located in the center of each lesion. The affected areas often cause mild discomfort as the infected lesions become swollen and tender. Itching is common and often the biggest complaint.

Folliculitis is the name given to inflammation of hair follicles that can be caused by several factors. But folliculitis, an infection of the hair follicles, is no laughing matter. Severe cases may cause permanent hair loss and scarring, and even mild folliculitis can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Folliculitis usually appears as small, white-headed pimples around one or more hair follicles the tiny pockets from which each hair grows. Most infections are superficial, and although they may itch, they're seldom painful. Superficial folliculitis often clears by itself in a few days, but deep or recurring folliculitis may need medical treatment.

Causes of Folliculitis

Common causes and risk factor's of Folliculitis include the following :

  • Pityrosporum ovale is the most common yeast to cause folliculitis. It is an itchy acne-like infection that is referred to as pityrosporum folliculitus.
  • Dermatitis.
  • Staphylococcus aureus is the most common bacteria that causes folliculitis and is referred to as staphylococcal folliculitis.
  • Fungal folliculitis is caused by a fungus and is contagious.
  • Include injury or damage to the hair follicle by friction from tight clothing, by blockage of the hair follicle, or by shaving.
  • Exposure to coal tar, pitch or creosote.
  • Acne.

Symptoms of Folliculitis

Some common Symptoms of Folliculitis :

  • Itching skin.
  • Pimples or pustules located around a hair follicle.
  • Rash.
  • Reddened skin area.
  • Damaged hair.
  • Irritated and red follicles.

Treatment of Folliculitis

  • Topical antibiotics (for folliculitis).
  • Oral or intravenous (IV) antibiotics (to treat the infection).
  • For carbuncles and boils, a warm compress may be used to help promote. Drainage of the lesion.
  • Topical antiseptic treatment is adequate for most cases
  • Some patients may benefit from systemic flucloxacillin



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