Hair follicles are skin organs. They are responsible for production of hair. In case of hair follicle infection hair follicle gets inflamed and filled with pus. The condition is medically known as folliculitis and the affected follicles resemble pimples. Hair follicle infection is a rather painful condition but it is easily treated and completely curable. Folliculitis predominantly occurs on legs, buttocks, scalp and in men it commonly affects the beard.
Causes of Hair Follicle infection
Hair follicle infection is in majority of cases caused by a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus. Apart from Staphylococcus aureus the infection also occurs due to Pseudomonas auruginosa. These bacteria can be found in pools, whirlpools and spas in case of improper disinfection. Apart from bacteria hair follicle infection can also be caused by fungi or yeast. There are certain factors that contribute to the onset of folliculitis and they include excess of friction between the skin and clothes, excessive sweating etc. In men hair follicle infection develops as a consequence of ingrown hair.
What Are Symptoms of Hair Follicle Infection?
The infection initially leads to itching sensation. Once hair follicle infection fully develops there is evident swelling of the affected skin, it becomes red and in the middle of the infected area there is a collection of pus (a boil). The size of boils changes with time and they grow quite quickly. The surrounding area is very painful particularly when it is touched. The pain subsides once the pus starts to drain. In severe cases people may additionally develop fever and general fatigue.
Treatment for Hair Follicle Infection
Mild cases of hair follicle infection do not require any treatment at all since infection withdraws on its own. On the other side, moderate and severe cases of folliculitis require proper care and treatment. In case the infection affects a small portions of the skin patients may be prescribed with topical antibiotic creams. If the infection is more serious patients are prescribed with oral antibiotics. The infected area must be kept clean. This is perfectly achieved with antiseptic creams or lotions. And finally, if the infected follicle does not drain spontaneously the doctor makes a small incision and allows the pus to be eliminated.
Hair Follicle Infection Treatment at Home
In order to accelerate drainage of the pus one can use warm compresses. A clean cloth is dipped into warm water and held on the affected area for approximately 5 minutes. The entire procedure should be repeated several times a day. Tea tree oil possesses natural antibiotic and antiseptic characteristics hence it can be used in case of hair follicle infection. Still, if the infection tends to linger, becomes worse and the pain of the affected area increases a person should consult a health care provider.