Folliculitis - Topic Overview
How is it treated?
Mild folliculitis usually heals
on its own in about 2 weeks. You can take care of yourself at home with:
- Warm compresses made with saltwater or Burow's solution. These may ease itching and help healing. To make a warm compress, soak a hand towel in warm water that you have added salt or Burow's solution to. Wring out the excess water, and place the towel on the affected skin.
- Medicated shampoo. It can
be used to treat folliculitis on the scalp or beard.
the inflammation gets worse or doesn't go away, you may need to see your doctor. He or she may prescribe medicine, such as an antibiotic.
Call your doctor if you have folliculitis and:
- It spreads or keeps coming
- You have a fever over
101 °F (38 °C).
affected area becomes red, swollen, warm, or more painful.
If the inflammation doesn't go away or keeps coming back,
laser hair removal may be an option. Laser treatment destroys the hair
follicles, so they can't get inflamed.
How can you prevent folliculitis?
There are many
things you can do to prevent folliculitis or keep it from spreading.
- Bathe or shower daily with a mild
soap. Also, bathe or shower after you exercise and after you work
- Avoid sharing towels, washcloths, or other
personal items. If you have folliculitis, use a clean washcloth and towel each
time you bathe.
- Don't scratch the bumps.
- Avoid shaving the bumps. If
you must shave, change the razor blade each time.
- Avoid using oils on your skin. Oils can trap bacteria in the
pores of your skin and can cause folliculitis.
- After you use public hot tubs or spas, shower right away
with soap. If you own your own hot tub, follow the manufacturer's
instructions for keeping it clean.