Scalp folliculitis is a skin complaint that results in inflammation due to blockages of the hair follicles. The condition is by no means rare, and is also known as scalp acne, Barber’s Itch, and Tinea Barbae amongst others. It is not a discriminatory disease, as it can affect both men and women, no matter what age. Although known as scalp folliculitis, it can actually affect any part of the body that has hair follicles, including the arms, armpits, face and legs.
Due to the fact that it most often arises on the scalp, many sufferers are not aware of just what scalp folliculitis looks like. It appears as small, white-yellow pustules, usually surrounded by red, circular blisters. As mentioned, the infection usually clogs the hair follicle, but this does not prevent hair growing straight through the pustules, and frequently, hair also grows adjacent to the pustule. If scratched, the pustules tend to seep bloody pus or sebum. It is not impossible for scalp folliculitis to turn into boils, or for bacteria to enter the bloodstream via an infected hair follicle, but these are rare occurrences.
So what are the tell-tale signs that scalp folliculitis may be present? A persistent itch along the hairline may be a sign, even though the number of lesions may be small. In most instances, only a small section of the scalp is infected, but it has been known to spread all around the scalp in the severest cases. As with most itches, it is extremely difficult to stop scratching or touching the infected areas, which rapidly causes the infected area to become hard and crusty. If this happens, the urge to scratch the area increases, which only makes matters worse.
The cause of folliculitis on the scalp is similar to that of acne, in that bacteria and fungi get trapped within a pore. Along with yeasts and mites, one of the main bacterial causes of the condition is the Staphylococcus bacteria, which can also cause infections in the eyes and nose. The bacteria that invades the hair follicle, combined with sebum within, results in the onset of folliculitis of the scalp.
Another source that stimulates the onset of scalp folliculitis is a hot tub, especially if not properly cleaned or chlorinated. The scalp becomes moist due to the high temperatures, which leads to hair follicles becoming more receptive to infection. Ingrown hairs are another problem as the area surrounding the follicle provides the right conditions for bacteria to thrive.
Other conditions that can lead to the development of scalp folliculitis are:
– sweating profusely
– wearing tight and constricting clothing
– unhealthy, unsanitary environment
– humidity and heat exposure
– dermatitis and eczema
Scalp folliculitis is extremely contagious. With this in mind, it is advisable to use common sense and not share items such as towels, brushes, combs or other hair products and equipment.
In all cases, it is always prudent to visit your medical professional for treatment advice, especially to determine whether the infection is bacterial or fungal. Treatments range from daily applications of antibiotic creams, to oral antibiotics for infections that do not respond to the creams.
Today, there are natural treatments available for the growing number of people that are keen to avoid any possible side effects of taking drugs as a cure. To reiterate, medical advice should be sought when trying different forms of treatment.
At least you have a choice when looking to treat scalp folliculitis.
Source by Roger Clinton
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