An infected hair follicle is also known as folliculitis. It is an infection of the hair follicles that are present on the skin surface. Although it is a common problem, it is not very serious. When an infection occurs, tiny pus filled spots begin to develop at the base of your hair, and in many cases, these happen in the form of crops.
Mild cases of tainted hair follicle will often resolve without the need for medical treatment. At times, you may have to use a cream, or an antibiotic to resolve the problem.
What Is an Infected Hair Follicle (Folliculitis?)
Folliculitis or an impure hair follicle is the infection of hair follicles located on the surface of your skin. Naturally, tiny hairs growing out of the hair follicles to cover a large part of the skin surface.
When you have this type of hair infection, you will find that many hair follicles located in the same area will be affected.
The hair follicles that have been affected will then begin to swell and turn into small pimples that are filled with pus. The pimples will appear like small, but rounded yellowish looking spots.
Why Does It Occur?
Many cases dealing with unhygienic hair follicle are brought about by an infection caused by a bacterium that is referred to as S. aureus. It is a bacterium normally carried harmlessly in the noses of most people without causing any problems.
Folliculitis will in mainly occur at sites where the hair follicles have become damaged by shaving or friction, or when the follicle is blocked.
Excessive sweating that has been caused by the sweat glands being overactive may be another cause of follicle.
Infected Hair Follicle Pictures
Here are pictures of inflamed hair follicles.
Causes of Infected Hair Follicles on Head, Scalp, Leg, Breast
Bacteria can bring about an infected follicle and another type of fungus, as well as yeast could cause it.
If you happen to have damaged hair follicles, there is a chance that you may get an infected follicle. Wearing clothes that rub against your skin, as well as shaving, could irritate your follicles, and this can lead to folliculitis.
It is also possible for the follicles to become irritated by machine oils, makeup, as well as sweat. When your follicles become injured, there is a high likelihood that you will get an infected follicle.
Risk Factors for an Infected Hair Follicle
It is possible for any person to develop an infected follicle. However, there are certain factors, which may make you more susceptible to this condition, which includes:
- Use a whirlpool, hot tub, or a swimming pool that has not been properly treated using chlorine
- When you wear tight clothes
- Work or use substances that may block or irritate your follicles such as cocoa butter, tar, makeup, creosote and motor oil
- Have a scrape, infected cut or happen to have a surgical wound. The fungi or bacteria present in these can easily spread to the neighboring follicles leading to an infected follicle.
- Have been infected by a disease such as HIV, or diabetes. These diseases affect your immune system making it hard for you to fight any infections that may affect your body.
Infected Hair Follicle on Labia, Groin Area
An infected follicle on the groin and vagina area is mainly caused by waxing or shaving the wrong way. When this happens, the hair follicles will start growing back into the vagina lips and will cause a small bump.
The resulting bump could be itchy, and may appear in the form of boils, genital warts, or herpes when they are many.
Reducing Your Risk of an Infected Hair Follicle
It is possible to lower your risks of getting an impure hair follicle by doing the following:
- Avoiding friction by wearing clothes that are not too tight
- Changing your razors after every use
- Ensuring your razor is always clean
- Managing your weight
- Minimizing trauma as you shave
- Ensuring that your skin surface is clean, especially after you have exercised, or used heated swimming pools or hot tubs
- Ensuring you only use mild soaps
The symptoms of a contaminated hair follicle include an itchy skin rash accompanied by pimples that begin to develop near your hair follicles.
The pimples will in many cases begin to appear in the groin, genital areas, as well as on the neck. At times, your pimples could develop into a crust.
The symptoms include:
- Pus-filled blisters accompanied by crusting
- Red bumps around the hair follicle
- Tender or itchy skin near the follicle
- Inflammation and redness
Symptoms of Deep Folliculitis
When inflammation begins to spread deeper into your skin around the infected follicle, the symptoms will include:
- Pus-filled blisters that crust and ooze
- Possible scarring
- Large bumps
Serious Symptoms of an Infected Hair Follicle Which Could Indicate a Life-Threatening Condition
An unhygienic hair follicle is normally not a very serious condition, but when you leave it untreated, it could lead to a staph infection.
The infection could end up entering your bloodstream and spreading through the body, which may in the result in a systemic infection known as sepsis.
Sepsis should immediately be evaluated in a hospital setting. The life-threatening symptoms of an impure hair follicle include:
- Change in alertness or consciousness levels, like unresponsiveness
- Loss of consciousness or confusion for brief moments
- High fever
- Severe pain
- Difficult breathing, which is accompanied by pale blue lips, or a rapid heart
Remedies for Hair Follicle Infection
Ingrown hairs are hairs on the skin surface that have curled around, and then started growing back into the skin, rather than rise from it.
According to the University of Alabama, ingrown hairs mostly appear among people of African-Americandescent who have curly hair.
Infected follicles can produce red bumps that are raised, and which looks like small pimples. In some cases, the bumps could be filled with pus. It may also cause redness, inflammation, swelling, irritation, and pain in the affected area.
An impure hair follicle is a condition, which occurs when people have shaved their bodies in an attempt to get rid of unnecessary hair found in sectors such as the beard, legs, and the bikini region.
You can treat an infected follicle at home using the following remedies.
Sugar is often considered to be a great skin scrub, which can help in getting rid of the ingrown hairs. Sugar gently exfoliates your skin, and in the process removes all the dead cells, making it possible for the ingrown hair to come out of your skin surface.
Additionally, it helps make the skin really smooth.
- Mix a single cup of white sugar with a half cup of jojoba oil
- Take ten drops of lavender and ten of tea tree oil and stir them in
- Scoop a small amount of the homemade scrub and apply it to the area that is affected
- After application, scrub your skin in circular motions gently before rinsing it off with some warm water
- Make sure that you replicate this remedy at least two times each week
The remaining scrub may be stored in an airtight container to use it in the future
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda contains a soothing effect on your skin due to the fact that it contains anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps in relieving your skin by exfoliating it and reducing the redness, which is often brought about by ingrown hairs.
- Combine a single tablespoon of baking soda with a single cup of water
- Pick a cotton ball and immerse it into this solution
- Once immersed, gently dab the cotton ball on the affected skin area
- You should ensure that you leave it there for a minimum of five minutes before you can wash it off using some cold water
- Try to repeat this procedure at least three times each day
- Alternatively, you can make a home scrub using a single teaspoon of baking soda, ground meal, and another of water
- You should then take these ingredients and mix them to come up with a paste
- Take the blend and apply it to the area that has been affected by the infected follicle
- Ensure you leave it there for only five minutes
- Proceed to rinse the blend off using some lukewarm water before patting your skin dry
- Ensure you follow the remedy two times each day
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil comes with antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which will help your skin, heal, and at the same time thwart the happening of an infection
- Take five drops of tea tree oil and add them to two teaspoons of water.
- Scoop the diluted tea tree oil and proceed to apply it to the area that has the infected follicle.
- Before application, you should first clean this skin surface using an antibacterial soap
- Once you apply the diluted solution, ensure you leave it there for ten minutes before you rinse it off
- Always apply this solution at least two times each day
- Alternatively, take three drops of tea tree oil into a single tablespoon of olive oil
- Take the resulting blend and apply it to the contaminated hair follicle, before proceeding to massage it for at least a few minutes
- Once you have massaged it into the membrane area, you are advised to leave it there for ten minutes prior towashing it using lukewarm water
Aspirin helps in reducing inflammation and redness caused by an impure hair follicle. Aspirin has anti-inflammatory properties, which are vital in reducing swelling, and treating mild infections, and in fighting inflammation.
It also contains salicylic acid, which is vital in scrubbing away the dead skin, and in the process helps in loosening the hair that is offending.
It works by as a good exfoliating agent, while at the same time helping increase circulation, reduces swelling, and promote healing.
- Take a single tablespoon of table salt and combine it with a single cup of warm water
- Pick a cotton ball and immerse it into the mixture
- Use the cotton ball to rub the area that has the infected follicle
- You should leave it there for five minutes before you rinse it off with water
If your skin easily gets irritated, you should not use this remedy
6. Black Tea Bags
Black tea bags have also been known to help eliminate infected follicles. The black tea bags contain tannic acid, which helps in reducing inflammation, and swelling, while at the same time soothing the skin.
- Take a black tea bag and dampen it using some warm water
- Once immersed in the warm water, proceed to rub it over the contaminated hair follicle for three minutes
- You should ensure that you repeat this a few times each day
- Alternatively, take the black tea bag and steep it in water for five minutes
- Once steeped, remove it and squeeze the resulting liquid into a bowl
- Take a single spoon of coconut water and combine it with the liquid from the tea bag
- Pick a cotton ball and immerse it into this blend
- It is recommended that you repeat it two times each day until you note some improvement
7. Aloe Vera
This is another very effective remedy for infected follicles or razor bumps. Aloe Vera contains cooling and soothing properties, which have been known to provide instant relieffrom inflammation and itchiness.
It will also assist your skin toremain moisturized at all times while ensuring that it speeds up the healing process
- Take a fresh aloe Vera leaf and extract the gel from it
- Scoop the gel and rub it onto the polluted hair follicle
- Leave it in place for thirty minutes
- Rinse the gel off using warm water
- Proceed to repeat the process three times each day
Honey has been known to come with antibacterial properties, which will prevent the impure hair follicle from getting inflamed. Additionally, it moisturizes your affected skin area, and this will assist in reducing inflammation and swelling.
- Scoop a layer of honey and apply it to the skin surface that is irritated
- Leave it to air for at least ten minutes
- Once aired, rinse it using warm water
- Follow this process four times each day
9. Apple Cider Vinegar
It contains anti-inflammatory properties, which are important when it comes to soothing your skin, as well as in reducing inflammation. Additionally, it plays a vital role in destroying yeast and skin bacteria, and in the process, helps reduce infection rates.
- Make use of a fiber ball to apply the vinegar to the contaminated hair follicle
- Provide your skin with enough time for it to absorb the apple cider vinegar
- Once absorbed, you should then wash the apple cider vinegar off using warm water
- Ensure you follow this remedy two times a day
A cucumber comes with anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties, which will deal with the irritating symptoms that are caused by an impure hair follicle.
It also contains vitamins, which are important in reducing itchiness and relieving pain
- Take a cucumber and slice it
- Place the freshly cut slices into a fridge for thirty minutes
- Use the chilled cucumber slices to rub the grimy hair follicle
- Always make sure to rub the chilled slices on the affected area two times each day for a few weeks
- Alternatively, you could make puree from using a half cucumber
- Add a quarter cup of milk to the puree
- Take this blend and put it in your fridge for at least ten minutes until it becomes cold
- Take a piece of cloth and immerse it into the blend before applying it to the infected hair follicle
- Once you have applied, you should then rinse the puree using warm water
- Make sure to apply the puree two times each day until the symptoms disappear
In case the above home remedies do not provide you with relief, or if the infected hair follicle symptoms become worse, it is recommended that you visit a hospital for consultation purposes.
Infected Hair Follicle Treatment
According to Mayo Clinic, an impure hair follicle develops when bacteria gains entry into one or more of the available hair follicles.
When developing, it starts out as a red bump, which forms around your hair follicle. If you leave it untreated, there is a possibility that this infection could become worse. When it worsens, it may cause weeping, pain, and inflammation.
To treat an infected follicle, you will need to undergo lifestyle changes and have to leave out some products in a bid to resolve the infected follicle, calm your skin, as well as do away with the inflammation.
The more mild cases of folliculitis will be self-limiting and will usually self-resolve within a few days, normally within three days.
If this condition persists, or if the infected follicle recurs, it is recommended that you seek medications, which arespecific to the kind of infection you have at the moment.
Once treatment has been prescribed, it is recommended that you ensure you take the full dose for the infected follicle, or else there could be a recurrence of this condition. Failure to take the prescribed medication could also lead to it becoming worse, or begin to spread as soon as you have stopped taking the medicine.
Medications for Severe Folliculitis
Treatments for contaminated hair follicle include topical or oral antibiotics, topical or oral antifungal agents, topical corticosteroids, as well as oral antiviral medications.
The treatment choices that will be provided by the physician will depend on the severity, and type of disorder that has afflicted you.
They may include:
- Antifungal agents like Lamisil
- Antiviral agents
- Topical corticosteroids
What You Can Do To Improve Your Infected Hair Follicle
- As indicate above, many cases of infected hair follicle will resolve themselves within a day or two. Regardless of whether you are receiving treatment or not, you can always prevent an outbreak of infected hair follicles by doing the following.
- Making sure to manage your weight
- Using an electric shaver, or making sure that you change blades after each use
- Using mild soap that is perfume free
- Ensuring you thoroughly wash your skin after each exercise, or after using swimming pools that are heated
- Always making sure to wear clothes that are loose
Additional Treatment Information
1. Minor Cases
Minor cases of an impure hair follicle will resolve within seven to ten days, and you may not need to see a physician for treatment purposes.
However, it will be important to make sure that you always use a moisturizer, which contains antibacterial properties.
The properties will help in not only soothing the skin but in improving its condition as well. In many cases, it will also help decrease the possibility of aggravating the dirty hair follicle, while also making sure that the healing process is hastened. While at home, you can:
- Wash the area that is affected: use an antibacterial soap to wash the skin area affected by the tainted hair follicle gently two times each day. When washing this area, you will need to use a clean towel.
- Apply a calming lotion: it is likely that you will experience an itchy feeling. You can calm this feeling by using an oatmeal lotion
- Use a humidcondense: using a warm compress a few times each day will help in relieving the discomfort being experienced on your skin. You can also use salt water in the warm
2. Localized Infected Hair Follicle
For this kind of impure hair follicle, you will find that an antibiotic cream will come in handy. Ensure you apply the cream as directed by the physician.
The remedies described above will help in dealing with an unhygienic hair follicle. However, if you feel that its symptoms are becoming severe, instead of decreasing, it will be best to visit the local emergency center to be checked out.