Folliculitis is the inflammation of one of the hair follicles in a person's skin. When a follicle, the small cavity in the skin out of which hair grows, becomes blocked or damaged, the follicle can become infected with bacteria or fungus. Shaving, friction from clothing, or exposure to bacteria or fungus can cause folliculitis symptoms.
This type of folliculitis occurs on the follicles of the scalp. Also known as acne necrotica miliaris, it causes small, red, itchy bumps on the scalp, especially along the front hairline. Scalp folliculitis bumps may become sore and crusty. These symptoms may be caused by bacteria, yeasts or mites. A severe form of scalp folliculitis is perifolliculitis capitis abscedens et suffodiens, which causes large pus-filled nodules to form on the scalp and may cause baldness and scarring.
Hot Tub Folliculitis
Hot tub folliculitis may cause symptoms such as an itchy, bumpy red rash that appears within a couple of days after spending time in a hot tub. The rash is most likely to develop underneath areas covered by a person's swimsuit, but can appear over the entire body. This rash may change into darker red lumps that feel tender when touched, and the lumps may be filled with pus. Other symptoms of hot tub folliculitis include a mild fever and general ill feeling.
According to DermNet NZ, malassezia folliculitis is a type of follicle infection caused by yeast. People with this form of folliculitis develop an itchy rash of tiny, dome-shaped pink bumps on the upper back, shoulders and chest. Malassezia folliculitis may also be linked to acne.
Deep Folliculitis (Boil)
When folliculitis caused by bacteria develops deep in a hair follicle, it can cause a painful, red lump called a boil (furuncle). A boil, which can contain large amounts of pus, causes symptoms such as red, painful, swollen skin; more boils around the original boil site (often called carbuncles); fever; and swollen lymph nodes, according to eMedicine.com.
Folliculitis after Hair Removal
DermNet NZ reports that folliculitis can also develop after a person plucks, waxes or shaves or has hair removed via electrolysis. These types of hair removal can cause small, red lumps to develop on the area where hair was removed, but the lumps do not contain bacterial or yeast infection like other forms of folliculitis. The main symptom of folliculitis after hair removal is itching, which should go away within a few months if hair removal is stopped.
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