What exactly is folliculitis?
Hair follicles are responsible for hair growth. It is from their channels, that hair grows on the scalp and body. In the area of the hair follicle, there are sebaceous glands, that produce sebum, which protects the skin against harmful substances and their penetration into the skin. If the mouth of the follicle is damaged by inappropriate cosmetics or rubbing, the protection in the form of a lipid coat is disturbed and harmful substances get into the hair follicles, causing inflammation and infection.
Most often, it is the staphylococcus bacteria that causes persistent inflammation and can develop into fig. In most cases, there is inflammation of the hair follicles on the head, skin on the chin, legs and armpits.
How is folliculitis on the head manifested?
Symptoms of folliculitis are very obvious. If an infection occurs, persistent itching and skin eruptions appear on the scalp. The appearing lesions are often filled with pus or serous fluid and are located within the mouths of the hair follicles. At first, single eruptions appear, which spread over time and form entire clusters of papules and pustules.
They can cause itching and even pain. In addition, the emerging pimples are often getting pierced with hair, and there is a visible redness within them. Regardless of where the folliculitis appears, the symptoms are the same. If the skin eruptions do not go away after a few days, they start spreading. You should see your doctor immediately and start a treatment.
Keep in mind, that if folliculitis is ignored and treatment is not being started, complications such as boil and sycosis can occur. A boil is a purulent inflammation of the follicle, that takes the form of a lump. With time, necrosis in its middle part progresses and a purulent plug appears. If left untreated, the lesion, especially if it appears on the face, can lead to serious complications and infections of the sinuses and meninges. A boil can also turn into a cancerous lesion. On the other hand, sycosis is a chronic inflammation that causes persistent itching and is difficult to treat.
How is folliculitis treated?
The treatment of folliculitis depends primarily on its cause. The therapy is slightly different in case of an infection caused by bacteria, than one, that is in an advanced stage. In case of a bacterial infection in the initial stage, antibiotics are used in the form of an ointment, which is applied topically to the resulting inflammation.
If boils have already appeared, frequent skin disinfection and oral antibiotic therapy are also very important. In addition, moist and warming compresses are recommended. You should not squeeze or tear the boil, as this will lead to its further spread. For the treatment of folliculitis on the head, you will need a suitable shampoo.
The ones with antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties will work best. It is also worth reaching for home treatments, such as regular cleansing and disinfecting the skin. For this purpose, among others, salicylic-resorcinol spirit is used. However, it will not be possible to cure folliculitis only with home remedies. Therefore, if disturbing changes and eruptions appear on the skin, an appointment with a specialist should be made immediately.
How to prevent it?
As folliculitis takes time to heal, it is a good idea to rule out risk factors that will cause it to reappear. First of all, you should pay attention to the hygiene of items used while washing, cutting or shaving. You should also include a suitable shampoo or lotion in your daily care and excluding those with artificial ingredients that may cause the skin to dry out.