Treatments for Folliculitis

The Variety of Infections

There are several varieties of folliculitis, each manefesting in a different way from the others.  Folliculitis, the inflammation and infection of hair follicles - also known as boils - is caused primarily by the staphylococcus aureas bacteria and there are complications which can arise from severe cases of the infection.  These include cellulitis, a potentially dangerous infection which spreads rapidly; furunculosis, the development of several boils under the skin surface; and scarring and the permanent destruction of hair follicles which leads to permanent hair loss.  By ensuring proper and immediate care, these extreme situations are most often avoided.  

For many people, the unpleasant symptoms of folliculitis go away within a few days with proper home care.  Using warm compresses, ensuring there is no picking or squeezing of the boil, or perhaps using one of the many alternative or home remedies available is all that is needed to promote healing.  However, recurring or hard to heal cases may require more treatment by your medical doctor depending upon the type and seriousness of the infection.

The Variety of Treatments

Staphylococcal folliculities, the most common type, is identified by the white, itchy, pus-filled lumps and bumps which can occur anywhere on the body.  Commonly, the physician may prescribe either a topical or oral antibiotic along with the recommendation that if the folliculitis is in the beard, that shaving be avoided until the infection heals.

Hot tub folliculitis, caused by the pseudomonas bacteria, appears as a red, itchy rash of round bumps which will eventually turn to pustules.  Rarely does this type of folliculitis require special treatment; however, the doctor may want to prescribe a topical medication to relieve the itch.  An oral antibiotic may be necessary if the situation is serious.

A fungus rather than a bacterium is responsible for the folliculitis called tinea barbae - razor rash.  It can become more seriously inflamed and infected, which would indicate the use of an antifungal medication to deal with the situation.  Similarly, pseudofolliculitis barbae, which is caused by the beard growing back into the skin by curling around, can be treated with an antifungal as well.

Commonly found on young adults, pityrosporum folliculitis presents in a chronic, red, itch rash of pustules on the back and chest.  A fungus similar to yeast causes this infection and your doctor may prescribe a course of oral antifungals. Since this type of folliculitis recurs often, topical antifungals may be the order of the day for a long time to come.

Herpetic folliculitis is spread usually by cutting through a cold sore.  A blister may be ruptured in this fashion and the infection can spread to other hair follicles.  If a person is otherwise healthy, herpetic folliculitis may clear on its own within a few days, simply by applying careful home remedies.  However, if the individual is HIV/AIDS positive, or if there are persistent cold sores, an oral antiviral medication may be prescribed.