Folliculitis is the inflammation of one or more hair follicles, the tiny openings in the skin where hair comes out. It is usually the result of a staphylococcus bacteria infection. It can occur almost anywhere on the skin, but it is most commonly found on the neck, thighs, buttocks, or armpits.
- Formation of red, swollen bumps on the skin
- Single lesions may enlarge to form a boil
To avoid folliculitis, take these steps to protect yourself.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Use antibacterial soap and a clean washcloth and towel every time you shower or bathe.
- Avoid sharing towels, washclothes, or other personal care items.
- Change clothes and shower with antibacterial soap after participating in sports or exercising.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothes that trap sweat and bacteria. Wash clothes worn next to the skin in very hot water.
- Avoid using oils on your skin, which can trap bacteria in your pores.
- Avoid public hot tubs or spas and shower with antibacterial soap after using one.
- Shave in the direction of hair growth with shaving gel or cream. Rinse well and use an antiseptic afterward, such as Sea Breeze.
If you develop folliculitis, it can be treated with oral or topical antibiotics or antibacterial creams. Schedule an appointment at the IU Health Center Medical Clinic through MyHealth or call (812) 855-7688. You should also see a medical provider if folliculitis spreads or recurs.
You can also try these home remedies:
- Use an antibacterial soap to wash the infected area. If the infection is on your scalp or beard, use a shampoo that contains selenium or propylene glycol, such as Selsun Blue.
- Apply warm, wet compresses to the infected area 3-6 times a day. Leave it on until the water begins to cool (5-10 minutes). Burows solution or white vinegar may be used instead of tap water.
- Avoid scratching the infected area.
- Avoiding shaving the infected area during treatment. If you do shave, use a new blade every time.