Folliculitis is the inflammation of the hair follicles and may often lead to hair loss. If you are unaware of folliculitis hair loss, its symptoms, and treatment, we can help. Keep reading to know more about the condition.
What, precisely, is Folliculitis?
Each strand of hair grows out from a pouch-like structure which is known as the hair follicle. In diagrams of hair, the bulb in which the strand terminates is the follicle. Folliculitis is a condition where this bulb gets inflamed due to certain persisting skin factors like dry skin, or when there is friction between the hair and clothes on a certain area of the body (1). The latter is common in places like the groin or the thigh which is normally covered at all times. However, folliculitis as we understand it is common in the scalp and facial region.
Causes of folliculitis hair loss:
There are many causes which tend to irritate the hair follicles and make them irritated and reddish. Some of them are as follows:
- Bacteria and certain types of yeast infections can attack the hair follicles. In such cases, they swell up and become inflamed.
- Sometimes, excessive friction of the hair follicles with clothes can be a reason for them to get inflamed and it can even aggravate into a full case of folliculitis.
- Sweat, dirt, grime can clog the pores of the skin, leading to inflammation and infection of the hair follicles.
- Shaving, especially shaving regularly with a blunt razor, can do massive damage to your hair follicles. They will become visibly red, inflamed and itchy.
Some other causes of folliculitis and hair loss:
- Wearing tight clothes which constantly rub against the skin, using water which is not properly treated with chlorine, excessive use of certain products like make up, cocoa butter, motor oil, steroid creams which clog the pores of the skin and damage the hair follicles are some of the other causes of folliculitis. It is a condition which is both avoidable and reversible with a little bit of care.
In case of prior infections or cuts, the damage can spread to the nearby hair follicles. This is why you need to be especially careful with wounds or stitches which have not dried yet. Diseases such as HIV or diabetes which reduces the strength of the immune system of the body also sometimes manifest themselves as folliculitis.
Get yourself checked if:
- You have pimple-like formations all over your skin with a hair in the middle. These are what the inflamed hair follicles look like.
- These inflamed hair follicles tend to burst with blood or pus oozing out of them. This means that it is time to call your dermatologist.
- The hair follicles itch like crazy and you are spending all your time trying to be comfortable in your clothes while your body feels like it is on fire.
- If the folliculitis sets in two days after you have been in a non-chlorinated hot tub or swimming pool, then the inflammations are most likely to occur in the stomach region.
Folliculitis hair loss treatment: How to cure the condition?
- Usually, the only good thing about this condition is that it heals on its own. Have patience and give it about two weeks’ time. In case the itching is really getting to you, you can use a warm compress using white vinegar or Burow’s Solution for some immediate relief.
- Medicated shampoo can be used to treat this condition when it occurs on the scalp.
This is a common enough condition which you shouldn’t panic about. However, it can be difficult to live with recurrent folliculitis hair loss. It is best to consult a dermatologist in such cases.
Following a good hygiene helps keep folliculitis at bay. Here are a few things you could do to control the infection from spreading.
- Use antiseptic soap preparations
- Dab on antiseptic and antibiotic lotions on the affected area. This will help treat infected follicles.
- Apply a warm and moist compressor on the affected areas, as this will control spread of the infection to other unaffected areas.
- Use over the counter drugs such as cortisone cream after a shower.
- Sprinkle medicated powder on the affected follicles before donning your clothes.
- Add a few drops of chlorine in your hot bath thrice a week.
- Do not share your towel with others.
A study showed that hydrocortisone can help treat folliculitis (2). So, let’s have a look at home remedies with this ingredient that have helped several hundreds suffering from folliculitis.
a. Water and hydrocortisone:
1. Use a moist cloth and wet the affected areas with warm water.
2. Lather the area with a generous amount of a reputed anti-bacterial soap. This could be in liquid or soap form.
3. Rub the soapy skin gently with a soft wash cloth for a good 30 seconds. This will exfoliate the dead skin cells near the follicles.
4. Rinse the skin thoroughly using luke warm water and then pat dry.
5. Follow this session by treating the skin with a thin layer of hydrocortisone cream which will relieve both inflammation and acute itching.
b. Vinegar compress:
1. Mix four parts of water with one part of good quality white vinegar. Now soak a clean wash cloth and wring it out till almost dry.
2. Now place this vinegar soaked cloth on the affected area for half an hour. Do this twice a day for best results.
3. Follow this session of vinegar compress by applying a thin layer of hydrocortisone for quick results.
Folliculitis hair loss is an inflammatory condition where the hair follicles become inflamed and itchy. This is caused by factors such as bacterial infection, excessive friction, grime, and shaving. In most cases, the condition heals on its own in two weeks. If you cannot wait that long, you can use a medicated shampoo or vinegar compress to soothe the itching and inflammation. Following good personal hygiene can prevent folliculitis hair loss from developing in the first place. If you develop pimple-like formations, excessive itching, and pus, consult your doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can folliculitis be cured completely?
Yes, with the right treatment and care, folliculitis can be managed and treated completely.
Does stress cause folliculitis?
Although stress is a factor in many hair loss cases, it does not cause folliculitis.
Which vitamin deficiency can cause folliculitis?
A deficiency in vitamins C and A may cause follicular issues, like bleeding follicles, that lead to folliculitis.
Can you have folliculitis for years?
Without the right medical treatments and hair care, folliculitis can be a severe and long-term hair issue.
What happens if folliculitis goes untreated?
Folliculitis can worsen if left untreated. Painful boils can form in the infected area, leading to infection and inflammation.
Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.
- A Case of Therapy-Resistant Folliculitis due to Adrenal Insufficiency?
The following two tabs change content below.
Jyotsana Rao is an engineering graduate from NIT, Nagpur, who discovered her love for writing during her undergraduate days. She… more