Folliculitis (Pseudofolliculitis barbae, Tinea barbae, Barbers itch) - Causes, Treatment, Symptoms and Prevention Tips
Other common names for Folliculitis:
Pseudofolliculitis barbae, Tinea barbae, Barbers itch
What is Folliculitis (Pseudofolliculitis barbae)?
Folliculitis (Pseudofolliculitis barbae)is a skin condition leading to inflamed hair follicles. The result is a tender red spot, often with a surface pustule. Folliculitis can be due to infection, occlusion, irritation and specific skin diseases.
Folliculitis (Barbers itch) usually appears as small, white-headed pimples around one or more hair follicles - the tiny pockets from which each individual hair grows.
Folliculitis may also lead to the development of furuncles (Furunculosis), commonly called boils, or carbuncles (Carbunculosis). It is exacerbated by irritation, pressure, friction, or perspiration. Prognosis depends on the infection's severity and on the patient's conditions and ability to resist infection.
Causes of Folliculitis (Barbers itch)
Folliculitis (Barbers itch) develops when bacteria, such as Staphylococcus, or a fungus enters the body through a cut, surgical incision, scrape or other break in the skin near a hair follicle. Scratching the affected area can trap fungus or bacteria under the fingernails and spread the infection on other parts of the body too.
This is usually caused by traumatic hair removal, that is, hair under the skin barrier of the pouch is pulled out when the skin barrier is removed.
Contact with oils, tar and grease can make one more susceptible to folliculitis.
Tight or occlusive clothing such as polyester can contribute to the development of folliculitis.
Signs and Symptoms of Folliculitis
Treatment of Folliculitis (Tinea barbae)
. In many cases, the infection clears on its own. When it persists, your doctor may recommend treatment with a topical antibiotic. For more severe infections involving the entire follicle, you may need oral antibiotics or broad-spectrum anti fungal agents.
. Mild folliculitis caused by bacteria is often treated with antibiotic ointments or creams such as bacitracin, polymyxin B sulfate (Polysporin), clindomycin, erythromycin, or mupirocin (Bactroban). Topical antiseptic cleansers may also be used, such as povidone-iodine or chlorhexidine.
. If folliculitis (Tinea barbae) occurs on the scalp or beard area, a shampoo containing selenium sulfide 2.5%, selenium 1%, or 50% propylene glycol can be used.
. Cleaning the area once to twice a day with the liquid form of Lever 2000 soap (a mild antibacterial soap) is helpful.
. A pill such as tetracycline or minocycline can be given for 4 to 6 weeks.
You should see a doctor if fever develops during treatment or if the infection spreads or a pus pocket develops during treatment.
Some Prevention tips for Folliculitis (Tinea barbae) from making the condition more worse:
. Use a soap that kills bacteria to wash infected area.
. Avoid shaving the infected area during its treatment. If you must shave, change your razor blade each time you shave as it may spread infection.
. Avoid sharing towels, washcloths, or other personal care items.
. Avoid using oils on your skin. Oils can cause bacteria to get trapped in the pores of your skin. This may cause Folliculitis to recur, particularly in people more prone to it.
. Wash your hands and under your fingernails often, especially when you or someone you are caring for has a skin infection.
. Gently remove crusts or pustules with a washcloth while bathing.
. After drying off apply medication.
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