Folliculitis may be a skin condition caused by an inflammation of 1 or more hair follicles during a limited area. It typically occurs in areas of irritation, like sites of shaving, skin friction, or rubbing from clothes. In most cases of folliculitis, the inflamed follicles are infected with bacteria, especially with Staphylococcus organisms, that normally survive the skin.
The most common factors that contribute to the event of folliculitis include:
Ø Irritation from shaving
Ø Friction from tight clothing
Ø A pre-existing skin condition, like eczema, acne, or another dermatitis (inflammation of the skin)
Ø Injuries to the skin, like abrasions
Ø Extended contact from plastic bandages or tape
Who's at risk?
Folliculitis occurs in people of all ethnicities, all ages, and both sexes.
Other risk factors for folliculitis include:
Ø Suppressed system thanks to HIV, organ transplantation, or cancer
Ø An underlying skin condition, like eczema, acne, or another dermatitis
Ø Frequent shaving
Ø Pressure (prolonged sitting on the buttocks)
Signs and Symptoms
The most common locations for folliculitis include:
Ø Beard area in men
Ø Underarms, groin, or legs in women
Individual lesions of folliculitis include pus-filled bumps (pustules) centered on hair follicles. These pus-filled bumps could also be pierced by an hair , can vary in size from 2–5 mm, and are often surrounded by a rim of pink to red, inflamed skin. Occasionally, a folliculitis lesion can erupt to make a scab on the surface of the skin.
Mild and moderate cases of folliculitis are often tender or itchy. More severe cases of folliculitis, which can be deeper and should affect the whole follicle , could also be painful.
Mild and moderate cases of folliculitis usually clear quickly with treatment and leave no scars. However, more severe cases of folliculitis may cause complications, like cellulitis (an infection of the deeper skin tissue), scarring, or permanent hair loss.
In order to stop folliculitis, try the following:
Ø Shave within the same direction of hair growth.
Ø Avoid shaving irritated skin.
Ø Use an electrical razor or a replacement disposable razor whenever you shave.
Ø Consider other methods of hair removal, like depilatories.
Ø Avoid tight, constrictive clothing, especially during exercise.
Ø Wash sportswear after each us.
The following measures may help to clear up folliculitis if it's mild:
Ø Use an antibacterial soap.
Ø Apply hot, moist compresses to the involved area.
Ø Launder towels, washcloths, and bed linens frequently, and don't share such items with others.
Ø Wear loose-fitting clothing.
When to hunt medical aid
Make a meeting to be evaluated by a dermatologist or by another physician if the above self-care measures don't resolve the condition within 2–3 days, if symptoms recur frequently, or if the infection spreads.
Be sure to inform your doctor about any recent exposure to hot tubs, spas, or swimming pools, as a less common sort of folliculitis could also be caused by contamination from these water sources.
If you're currently being treated for a skin infection that has not improved after 2–3 days of antibiotics, return to your doctor.
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) may be a strain of "staph" bacteria immune to antibiotics within the penicillin family, which are the cornerstone of antibiotic therapy for staph and skin infections for many years . CA-MRSA previously infected only small segments of the population, like health care workers and persons using injection drugs. However, CA-MRSA is now becoming a more common explanation for skin infections within the general population. While CA-MRSA bacteria are immune to penicillin and penicillin-related antibiotics, most staph infections with CA-MRSA are often easily treated by health care practitioners using local skin care and commonly available non-penicillin-family antibiotics. Rarely, CA-MRSA can cause serious skin and soft tissue (deeper) infections. Staph infections typically start as small red bumps or pus-filled bumps, which may rapidly become deep, painful sores. If you see a red bump or pus-filled bump on the skin that's worsening or showing any signs of infection (ie, the world becomes increasingly painful, red, or swollen), see your doctor directly . many of us believe incorrectly that these bumps are the results of a spider bite once they reach the doctor's office. Your doctor may have to check (culture) infected skin for MRSA before starting antibiotics. If you've got a skin disease that resembles a CA-MRSA infection or a culture that's positive for MRSA, your doctor may have to supply local skin care and prescribe oral antibiotics. to stop spread of infection to others, infected wounds, hands, and other exposed body areas should be kept clean and wounds should be covered during therapy.
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
Folliculitis is fairly easy to diagnose in most cases. Your physician might need to perform a bacterial culture so as to work out the explanation for the folliculitis. The procedure involves:
Ø Penetrating the pus-filled lesion with a needle, scalpel, or lancet.
Ø Rubbing a sterile cotton-tipped applicator across the skin to gather the pus.
Ø Sending the specimen away to a laboratory.
Typically, the laboratory will have preliminary results within 48–72 hours if there are many bacteria present. However, the culture may take a full week or more to supply final results. Additionally to identifying the strain of bacteria that's causing the folliculitis, the laboratory usually performs antibiotic sensitivity testing so as to work out the medications which will be best in killing off the bacteria.
Depending on bacterial culture results, your physician may recommend the subsequent treatments:
Ø Prescription-strength antibacterial wash, like chlorhexidine gluconate
Ø Topical antibiotic lotion or gel, like erythromycin or clindamycin
Ø Oral antibiotic pills, like cephalexin, erythromycin, or doxycycline
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