Folliculitis is one of the most common skin infections and happens when a hair follicle becomes infected due to bacteria. The infection presents as red pimples filled with pus and can burn and be quite itchy. The cause of Folliculitis is bacteria, fungus or yeast situated on the skin or in the body. Although Folliculitis is usually superficial and trivial, it can produce extensive disease if not treated correctly and thoroughly.
Bacteria live on everything around us. For people with a tendency for Folliculitis, bacteria is an enemy that can cause painful lesions. To help kill bacteria at the source, periodically soak your razor head or electric razor in diluted bleach or alcohol for at least one hour. This will eliminate the overgrowth of both bacteria and fungi.
Home treatments for Folliculitis usually involve bleach or vinegar. This is because bleach and vinegar have antibacterial properties that kill bacteria living on the skin that can cause Folliculitis. To avail of this treatment, mix ¼ to ½ cup of bleach in the bath and soak all of infected skin, agitating the skin gently, in order to kill the bacteria. Alternatively, soak in a bathtub with one part vinegar to four parts water.
Bacterial Folliculitis can usually be contained and managed by simply applying hot, moist compresses to help drain the infected follicles. If the compresses don't work, antibacterial washes that contain Benzoyl Peroxide, such as Clearisil or Proactiv, Chlorhexidine, such as Hibiclens, or Phisoderm can be effective. The skin is washed with these antibacterial washes twice daily and thoroughly patted dry. For more stubborn cases of Folliculitis, topical or oral antibiotics are prescribed by a physician.
According to The Skin Center, Laguna Hills, California, having good personal hygiene can help minimise the risk of Folliculitis. This includes bathing thoroughly, washing hands, and keeping nails clean and cut short. Avoid shaving the irritated skin for at least one month or until all lesions and pimples have healed and, in the future, avoid shaving too close to avoid irritating the skin.
Change disposable razors daily in order to avoid bacteria congregating on the blade and soak the blade every few days in alcohol or bleach for at least one hour. Wear clothes that are loose to reduce friction and ensure clothes, towels, sheets and wash cloths are laundered frequently to avoid getting new bacteria.
It has been shown that those with a diet rich in green vegetables have a higher immune system. Drinking eight to 10 glasses of water daily helps flush out bacteria from the body and can assist with avoiding Folliculitis.