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Folliculitis

Folliculitis is an infectious and inflammatory condition of one or more hair follicles. It is also referred to as “Hot Tub Rash”. This disorder may occur anywhere on the skin except for palms and soles. It may appear as red dots that come to white tips on the chest, arms, head and back.

Etiology:

  • Folliculitis begins when the hair follicles are hampered by friction from clothing, an insect bite, blockage of the follicle, shaving, or braids too tight and too close to the scalp.
  • In majority of the cases, the damaged follicles are then infected with the bacterium Staphylococcus.
  • Folliculitis is generally seen to affect people in their early adult life, and may last till their early 30’s.
  • Warm weather may aggravate the condition.
  • Use of steroid creams or antibiotics for long period of time.
  • After an infected cut, scrape or surgical wound; the bacteria or fungi may spread to nearby hair follicles.
  • Immunocompressed individuals who are affected with diabetes or HIV which lowers their capacity to fight infection.

Clinical Picture:

Symptoms:

  • Rash (reddened skin area)
  • Itching over the skin
  • Pimples or pustules located around the hair follicle
  • May crust over
  • Classically seen on the neck, groin or armpits
  • May present as genital lesions
  • Spreading from leg to arm to body through improper treatment of antibiotics

Complications:

Mild cases o Folliculitis are very unlikely to cause complications. If at all, complications take place, these may include:
Large, itchy patches of Staph infection on the skin (plaques)

    • Recurrent or spreading infection

Severe Folliculitis may involve these complications:

  • Scarring: Severe variety of folliculitis may leave behind thick, raised scars (hypertrophic or keloid scars) or patches of skin that appear to be darker than normal.
  • Destruction of hair follicle: This results in permanent hair loss.
  • Furunculosis: A number of boils develop under the skin. Boils usually commence as small red bumps but become larger and more painful as they fill with pus.

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