Folliculitis is an infection or irritation of hair follicles. Staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria, is responsible for the majority of cases of this condition. This bacteria has also been linked to many serious conditions, including pneumonia and meningitis. While folliculitis is normally not a life-threatening condition in healthy patients, it can be for those who are immunocompromised. It can also be an irritating condition to live with and, for some, difficult to treat.
Treatment for folliculitis can vary based on the type that a patient has as well as its severity. In some cases, patients will receive folliculitis acne treatment. Laser treatment for folliculitis is also fairly common. Prescription shampoo for folliculitis, as well as the best lotion for folliculitis, will be used. Doctors will also often speak to their patients about antibiotics for folliculitis. Prompt folliculitis treatment is vital, as this condition can trigger a cascade of symptoms that vary between mild and severe. Understanding the warning signs is crucial, as they can alter the best folliculitis treatment for each patient.
Blisters Filled With Pus
One of the most common symptoms patients with folliculitis experience is the eruption of blisters filled with pus. These blisters are often one of the first warning signs of folliculitis. They can sometimes first appear as small yellow or white dots before growing larger. They can be found anywhere on the body. In folliculitis, these bumps can be scattered across a single area or clumped together. In severe cases, these blisters can rupture and remain as open sores on the body until the cause of folliculitis has been treated. Most cases involving blisters are due to bacterial infections. However, it is quite common to see blisters filled with pus in non-bacterial cases of folliculitis as well. Wearing certain types of clothing, for example, has been linked to this form of folliculitis.
Painful And Tender Skin
Folliculitis can be difficult to recognize at first. This is because sometimes the initial symptom is just pain or tenderness, which can happen very suddenly and without any visible signs. Painful and tender skin can happen with or without the appearance of blisters or bumps. However, when there are blisters that rupture, the skin that remains often becomes tender, red, and painful. This can last long after the ruptured area heals. Patients with painful folliculitis have often reported that it feels as if their skin is burning. However, the type of pain and severity one experiences can differ from patient to patient. Hot tub folliculitis, which is caused by a germ, has a reputation for being an excruciating form of folliculitis.
When itching occurs due to folliculitis, it can be something that happens occasionally or as a recurring problem. The severity of the itching can be mild or unbearable. Itchy skin may or may not be present in all cases of folliculitis. For some patients, however, it can be the worst symptom. Patients with eosinophilic folliculitis, a type that commonly affects the scalp, face, neck, and trunk, typically describe the itch as quite intense. Diffuse folliculitis, which can be referred to as swimmer's itch, is known for causing severe itching as well.
Another type associated with itching is pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy (PFP). This type sometimes causes itching and bumps on the torsos of pregnant women. It is vital to note that while these forms of folliculitis have been linked to severe itching, all types have at least some degree of itching. While it is not as unpleasant as severe itching, mild itching can still be an early warning sign of folliculitis.
Large Swollen Bumps
When folliculitis is severe, it can cause large swollen bumps to appear as abscesses or other lesions. Red bumps that seem to protrude from the surface of the skin are often a sign of folliculitis. Sometimes it can manifest as a single bump, while other times, there may be a series of large swollen bumps. When the bumps are large and swollen, patients will deal with an aching or burning pain. They may be easily mistaken for other skin conditions such as pimples, carbuncles, boils, and cysts. These bumps can seemingly appear overnight or gradually grow over a few days. As folliculitis can sometimes occur in areas where individuals shave, these bumps can become even more swollen if they are further irritated by a razor.
Clusters Of Small Bumps
A classic warning sign of folliculitis is the sudden and often unexplainable appearance of bumps in clusters. The bumps can be filled with fluid, though they are not always. In some cases, they may itch. They are normally one millimeter wide, which is about the size of the tip of a sharpened pencil. However, they can sometimes increase in size. The cluster can also expand if the patient's folliculitis increases in severity. The bumps are typically either red, white, or yellow.
Pityrosporum folliculitis is one type of folliculitis that has been strongly associated with this symptom, although any form can cause clusters of small bumps. Malassezia, a type of fungus, normally causes it. It is often mistaken for acne when it appears on the face. Sweating can worsen this type of folliculitis, and it can appear on any other area of the body as well.