Here are infected hair follicle pictures with information on symptoms, treatment.
An infected hair follicle can cause painful sore which can occur anywhere in the body where hair usually grows, such as the face, scalp, legs and underarms. The condition may involve one or more hair follicles. The infection causes pimple-like red bumps which are painful, itchy and tender to the touch. Severely infected follicles have been found to result in scarring and hair loss which is why this condition shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Treatment for infected hair follicle aims to relieve the discomfort that results from the infection. The unsightly red bump usually resolves with home care treatment. However, individuals with severe or persistent follicle infections should seek medical help to treat the infection effectively. Treatment is tailored based on the type of infection and how severe it is.
Role of Hair Follicles
A hair follicle refers to the place where the hair grows. It is surrounded by nerve endings which make the skin receptive to external stimulants. This is the reason why scientists enlisted hair among the sensory systems of the human body. The role of hair follicles in hair growth plays a huge part in regulating internal body temperature as well as protecting other sensory organs from harmful elements.
An infected hair follicle is the result of a damaged hair follicle. The infection could be superficial or deep. Superficial follicle infection occurs when the upper portion of the follicle is affected, whereas deep follicle infection affects the whole follicle including the surrounding skin. Deep follicular infection is responsible for recurring or persistent bouts of follicle infection. An infected hair follicle is medically referred to as folliculitis.
Cause of infected hair follicle
Hair follicles become infected when microorganisms make their way into the follicles. These microorganisms could be bacteria, fungi or viruses.
- Staphylococcus aureus
Most cases of infected hair follicles are attributed to the staphylococcus aureus bacterium. This bacterium resides on the skin surface but only causes infection once it gains access into the skin.
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
This bacterium is the culprit for hot tub hair follicle infection. Pseudomonas aeruginosa flourish in unregulated swimming pools, spas and hot tubs.
- Yeast and other fungi
Hair follicles may also get infected by yeast resulting in a condition called pityrosporum folliculitis. Tinea barbae, or more commonly known as Barber’s itch, is also caused by a fungal infection of the hair.
- Herpes simplex virus
This cold sore virus could also cause hair follicle infection.
These microorganisms gain entry into the hair follicle and eventually cause infection by means of the following:
- Skin injury
- Heavy perspiration
- Wearing tight clothes
- Creosote exposure
Symptoms of an infected hair follicle
Those who are suffering from an infected hair follicle experience a great deal of pain. The infection causes an unsightly pimple-like rash that could be quite itchy. The red small bump is found to increase in size very fast – from the size of a pin head to that of a pea or a golf ball. The painful sensation tends to subside following the draining of pus. Formation of a crust will start soon thereafter. However, severely infected hair follicles develop pus-filled nodules and the afflicted person will experience a general feeling of weakness, fever and inflamed lymph nodes. Bleeding or an excessively oozing bump requires an immediate visit with the doctor.
Treatment of infected hair follicle
Hair follicle infection can be treated in various ways. Home care remedies are often enough to treat a mild infection, while the more severe form requires more intensive treatment. Some infections even clear up on their own without requiring treatment aside from simply observing regular skin hygiene and healthy practices.
When hair follicle infection is suspected, the following things could be done as first aid treatment:
- Apply warm compress to the infected follicle. Don’t rub to prevent the spread of bacteria to other skin parts.
- Gently massage the infected area using warm water and antibacterial soap.
- Thoroughly rinse the infected site.
- Once dried, put a small amount of hydrocortisone cream to relieve itching. Oatmeal lotion or facial moisturizer could also be used to reduce itchiness.
Treatment may also involve taking medications which are suited to counter the microorganism responsible for the infection. Antibiotics are used to address bacterial infections; while antiviral and antifungal medications and creams are for infections caused by viruses and fungi, respectively. Hair removal or shaving should be avoided on the infected area until the infection has completely cleared up.
Having an infected hair follicle can be a horrible experience but this can be avoided by following correct skin hygiene and practices, such as shaving with care, avoiding tight-fitting clothes and bathing in chlorinated hot tubs. It is not a good practice to share hair removal tools or other personal skincare essentials with other people. Proper hygiene, like washing the infected skin with warm water and antibacterial soap, also helps in reducing the duration of hair follicle infection. Professional medical help could help prevent the condition from getting worse.
Infected Hair Follicle Pictures