Folliculitis is the inflammation or infection of hair follicles which can occur anywhere on the skin including your scalp, genital/pubic area, legs, armpit, buttocks, nasal area or face. It looks like acne pimples or non-healing, crusty sores and is usually followed with some itch, sometimes a little soreness.
It is one of the most uncomfortable, embarrassing and stressful cosmetic issues you will encounter. It is a very common condition which can appear even in dogs (canine folliculitis). The most common forms of folliculitis include:
- Pityrosporum Folliculitis (also known as Mallasezia or fungal folliculitis because of yeast proliferation)
- pseudomonas aeruginosa folliculitis (also known as hot tub folliculitis)
- herpetic folliculitis
- pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy
- folliculitis decalvans (or scalp folliculitis that results in severe scars and hair loss)
- eosinophilic pustular folliculitis (associated with HIV)
- Pseudo folliculitis barbae (ICD 9 code 704.8)
- staphylococcal or staph folliculitis
- gram negative folliculitis
The most common symptoms of folliculitis include:
- Clusters of small red bumps or white-headed pimples that develop around hair follicles
- Pus-filled blisters that break open and crust over
- Red and inflamed skin
- Itchy or burning skin
- Tenderness or pain
- A large swollen bump or mass
The most common causes are:
- Friction from shaving or tight clothing
- Heat and sweat, such as that caused by wearing rubber gloves or waders
- Certain skin conditions, such as dermatitis and acne
- Injuries to your skin, such as from scrapes or surgical wounds
- Coverings on your skin, such as plastic dressings or adhesive tape
- Demodex mite infestation
- Going into a swimming pool or hot tub that has not received proper chlorine treatment
- Having HIV or diabetes
- Wearing makeup.
Generally, folliculitis is not contagious, but the infection might be contracted by sharing a hot tub or a razor with an infected person. Fortunately, there are various forms of folliculitis treatment ranging from antibiotics (including antibiotic cream or antibacterial shampoo) which can cure even the worst cases of chronic or recurring forms of folliculitis to natural home remedies, which can do wonders for your overall health. There’s a list of 11 all-natural treatments and preventions that are highly beneficial against folliculitis.
1. Avoid Untreated Hot Tubs / Swimming Pools
You should try to avoid swimming pools, hot tubs or whirlpools that have not been properly treated with chlorine as these are the major cause of folliculitis. Or, always make sure that whenever you use a hot tub or swimming pool, it is adequately treated with chlorine.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the best home remedy there is, and virgin coconut oil is believed to be one of the best natural solutions against folliculitis available. As it usually comes in solid form, you may need to heat it up before application. Then, apply the liquid coconut oil directly on the affected skin and leave it get absorbed. For best results, do this every day.
Neem leaves is one of the oldest and most inexpensive treatments for skin conditions. What you can do is boil a handful of neem leaves and use the water to rub on the infected area or use the juice extracted from them to do the same thing. In case you want faster results, do this treatment twice to three times a day.
Garlic is one of the most versatile vegetables and one of the most powerful natural antibacterial agents. Pus, it also has anti-inflammatory properties that are extremely beneficial for this condition. Increasing your daily garlic intake is highly recommended for your overall health. In order to address this skin condition, you should eat at least three or four cloves of garlic a day. Aside its aroma, it will help you get rid of folliculitis.
5. Loose Clothing
Tight clothing is one the main causes of skin irritation which leads to folliculitis. Therefore, avoiding it as much as possible is strongly recommended. Also, stay away from leggings, tight jeans, lacey undergarments or any other kind of material that could irritate your skin. Instead, choose loose pieces of clothing that will let your skin breathe.
6. Antibacterial Soap
Maintaining proper hygiene is essential to prevent folliculitis. Wash your body, especially the affected areas as often as possible, using strong antibacterial soap. However, do not scrub the infected skin hard as you can only cause more irritation. Use warm water.
Due to the fact that many anti-folliculitis products contain oatmeal, it is no wonder that this ingredient would be an excellent home remedy for this condition as well. Prepare an oatmeal bath that you can soak in instead of purchasing a cream with oatmeal extract from the drugstore. This will naturally cure your folliculitis.
Apart from its wide range of uses, turmeric is also one of the best known and most commonly used home remedies for folliculitis. Add one teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of water and let it dissolve. You can also dissolve the turmeric in milk. Do this treatment twice a day for fast results.
Both apple cider vinegar and white vinegar are equally praised for their effectiveness in treating folliculitis. The best way you can use vinegar as a solution for folliculitis is by mixing one part of apple cider or white vinegar with two parts of lukewarm water. Then soak a clean cloth in the solution and use it as a compress to apply on the affected skin. Press the cloth gently on your skin for five to ten minutes. This solution is also beneficial against scars.
10. Witch Hazel
This is another efficient home remedy for treating folliculitis. Dip a cotton ball in some witch hazel oil and pat the infected areas of your skin as often as possible. Pure witch hazel oil works best.
11. Aloe Vera
This widely used home remedy can also do wonders for folliculitis as a result of its strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It will soothe the itching and burning symptoms of folliculitis and will also stimulate the natural healing of your skin. Extract the gel from a leaf of aloe vera and apply it lightly on the affected skin leaving it act for about 15 minutes. Repeat the procedure three times a day.
12. Change Bedsheets Often
As personal hygiene is very important for treating folliculitis, changing your bedsheets as often as you can is also highly recommended. By often, it means every day if possible. Although this may sound too radical, consider that your sheets absorb a lot of sweat, dust and dirty particles every night and your skin constantly rubs against it, thus putting off the healing process.
13. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is one of the best oils for treatment of folliculitis. Apart from increasing your dietary intake, you can also use this oil topically. It gives best results when combined with jojoba oil. Pure tea tree oil is also highly beneficial, but oregano oil is more efficient, as it can treat acne and other conditions of skin irritation as well.