Folliculitis is a terrible disease to contract. Chances are you are reading this because you are looking for answers. You know then that there are four causes and the treatment options are mostly prescription medications. The 4 categories of folliculitis are bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic.
It is not Acne; it is called Folliculitis, which is the inflammation of one or more hair follicles occurring anywhere on the skin. The common symptoms are a rash, itching and pimples or pustules near a hair follicle on the neck, groin or genital area.
Some day to day things to change to reduce the incidence of Folliculitis is to reduce friction from clothing, avoid shaving or use a new, clean razor each time you shave. You may want to sterilize the razor. Lastly do your best to keep the area clean and avoid clothing and washcloths that could be contaminated.
As has been mentioned there are different types of Folliculitis and the current treatment used, they are:
Bacterial Folliculitis is a result of one of the types of the Staphylococcus bacteria, Pseudonomas, Proteus or Coliform bacteria getting under the skin by some break in the skin and infecting a hair follicle. Once the bacteria are trapped under the skin it is possible for it to spread to other parts of the body.
The types of Folliculitis caused by bacteria are “Hot Tub” Folliculitis and Gram-Negative Folliculitis. Superficial Folliculitis, also known as Impetigo, consists of pustules but the infection can go deeper into the skin causing pain and pus. These can often result in scarring to the skin.
Superficial Folliculitis often responds to a topical antibiotic like Mupirocin or fusidic acid ointment. The cases where the Folliculitis has gone deeper into the skin require broad-spectrum antibiotics like cephalosporins, macrolides, or fluoroquinolone. Lancing is required to drain carbuncles and furuncles if they do not drain on their own.
Fungal infections are either superficial or deep and can even spread to the blood or internal organs. Three categories of functions are common in the body; Dermatophytic Folliculitis, Pityrosporum Folliculitis and Candida Folliculitis.
Dermatophytic Folliculitis is caused by a fungal species and the severity of the infection will be directly related to the depth of fungal penetration in the hair shaft. Athlete’s Foot and Jock Itch are both conditions caused by Ringworm, which are well-known types of this condition. Unsightly pustules of various sizes are present filled with pus and it is common that there will be a loss of the hair shaft. It is not uncommon for there to be scarring in cases of bad folliculitis. If the penetration into the skin is deep there may also be pain, fever and permanent hair loss. Griseofulvin and Terbinafine HCl are used as treatment options that produce good results.
When yeast is able to enter a hair follicle and reproduce causing an itchy skin eruption it is known as Pityrosporum Folliculitis. It can be effectively treated with a topical antifungal medication.
Candida Folliculitis is caused by the Candida fungus and is the most common in infecting people. This is best treated with Itraconazole, a broad-spectrum antifungal agent.
This is an infrequent infection of the hair follicle by a virus such as the herpes simple virus or herpes zoster virus. They are treated by the use of oral antihistamines or surgical removal.
Parasites cause Folliculitis when they burrow their way into a hair follicle to live there or lay eggs. Two mites, Demodex Folliculorum and Demodex Brevis are natural hosts of the hair follicle. The most well-known form of this infection is Rosacea, which is commonly mistaken for as acne. A course of treatment would be the use of a topical Permethrin cream like Elimite or Acticin, systemic Ivermectin or Itraconazale.