Is Folliculitis Contagious? Types, Causes, and Prevention

Skin infections are prevalent diseases at any age. Also, skin disorders are one of the most challenging ailments to diagnose and treat. They can be particularly disturbing due to their ugliness, notably when they occur in a location that is impossible to conceal, such as the face, even after using make-up.

Most skin infection treatments take a long time to show results. If the condition does not respond to medications, the situation becomes more concerning.

Folliculitis is one of the most common skin diseases in the US (3m+ cases per year). This article will give you an overview of what you need to know about this ailment.

What is folliculitis?

What is folliculitis?

Folliculitis is a condition in which the hair follicles become infected. Every hair in the skin emerges from a tiny structure known as a follicle. Small red bumps or white-headed pimples form around hair follicles, the little pockets where each hair grows. The infection might spread and result in crusty, non-healing sores. Although the ailment isn’t life-threatening, it can be itchy, painful, and humiliating. Allergies that are severe enough might result in permanent hair loss and scars.

If you have a mild case, basic self-care techniques can generally clear it up in a few days. If your folliculitis is severe or recurring, you may need to contact a doctor for prescription medication.

You may require an antibiotic or antifungal medicine to stabilize the condition. Folliculitis can affect any region of the body with hair. The arms, beard area, legs, and buttocks are the most commonly affected regions.

Causes of folliculitis

Folliculitis is a condition that affects the hair follicles. Bacteria are there to blame. Fungus such as yeast might also be the cause. If your hair follicles are damaged, folliculitis might develop. Oil, makeup, and sweat can also clog or irritate your follicles, which are at a higher risk of becoming infected when they are wounded.

The risk of folliculitis is higher if you have the following factors:

  1. If you use a swimming pool, whirlpool, or hot tub not disinfected with chlorine.
  2. By wearing tight clothing.
  3. By close contact with substances that irritate or obstruct follicles. These include make-up, and motor oil, among others.
  4. If you have an infected surgical wound, scrape, or cut. The bacteria or fungus can infect nearby hair follicles and spread.
  5. If you have an illness that reduces your natural defenses, such as HIV or diabetes.

Written by Greg M. Wilcox

With a background in medical research, I'm dedicated to unraveling the complexities of health and nutrition in a way that's easy to understand and implement. From debunking myths to sharing science-backed insights, my goal is to guide you on a journey towards optimal well-being.