Severe infections might lead scarring and even hair loss. Mild infections usually heal naturally within a few days. However, recurrent infections or infections that occur deeper inside the hair follicles need medical intervention.
Symptoms of folliculitis
Folliculitis is usually divided into two categories – superficial folliculitis and deep folliculitis. Infection in the upper portion of the hair follicle is known as superficial folliculitis. Small red colored pus-filled lesions clustered together are the common signs of superficial folliculitis. The bumps might itch. The skin around the site of the infection becomes red and swollen. Deep folliculitis is characterized by big painful bumps filled with pus. Deep folliculitis often leads to scarring.
What causes Folliculitis?
Injury to the hair follicles is a common cause of folliculitis.The hair follicles can be injured or damaged from repeated friction from shaving. Wearing tight fitted garments could irritate the skin due to constant friction. Excessive sweating can damage the hair follicles.
People prone to acne or dermatitis have a greater risk of folliculitis. Covering the skin for a prolonged period with an adhesive tape increases the risk of hair follicle infection. Folliculitis develops when the bacteria, viruses and fungi enter the hair follicle through the damaged area of the hair follicle.
To reduce the pain and inflammation, you can apply warm compress over the infected area. Warm compress helps the lesions to burst and drain the pus, speeding the recovery process. Soak a washcloth in a cup of water to which one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar has been added. Wring the cloth to remove the excess water and place it over the bumps to reduce the discomfort.
Tea tree oil could be applied to kill the microorganisms associated with the infection. Itchiness could be healed with over-the-counter hydrocortisone ointments. You can even apply cooked oatmeal over the itchy lesions. Oatmeal lotions are readily available in chemist shops for curing folliculitis. Men prone to folliculitis should shave with electric razors. The infection could be treated naturally by consuming three to four cloves of garlic daily.