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What happens if something bad gets in my hair follicle?

ANSWER

If bacteria, a virus, or fungus gets into a hair follicle, it can cause an infection called folliculitis. It may look and feel like a pimple, but these sores can be crusty and scabby as well.

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Contact dermatitis," "Folliculitis," "Ringworm (Scalp)."

UpToDate: "Approach to the patient with a scalp disorder," "Overview of benign lesions of the skin," "Seborrheic dermatitis in adolescents and adults."

Cleveland Clinic: "Sebaceous Cysts," "Do You Have an Itchy Scalp? 5 Common Problems and Fixes."

American Academy of Dermatology: "Head Lice: Diagnosis and Treatment," "Scalp Psoriasis: Signs and Symptoms," "Scalp Psoriasis: Diagnosis and Treatment," "Seborrheic Dermatitis: Diagnosis and Treatment."  

CDC: "Head Lice: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)," "Treatment for Ringworm."

American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: "Fungus Infections."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Tinea infections."

KidsHealth: "Chickenpox."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS): "What Is Pemphigus?"

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on May 2, 2019

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Contact dermatitis," "Folliculitis," "Ringworm (Scalp)."

UpToDate: "Approach to the patient with a scalp disorder," "Overview of benign lesions of the skin," "Seborrheic dermatitis in adolescents and adults."

Cleveland Clinic: "Sebaceous Cysts," "Do You Have an Itchy Scalp? 5 Common Problems and Fixes."

American Academy of Dermatology: "Head Lice: Diagnosis and Treatment," "Scalp Psoriasis: Signs and Symptoms," "Scalp Psoriasis: Diagnosis and Treatment," "Seborrheic Dermatitis: Diagnosis and Treatment."  

CDC: "Head Lice: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)," "Treatment for Ringworm."

American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: "Fungus Infections."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Tinea infections."

KidsHealth: "Chickenpox."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS): "What Is Pemphigus?"

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on May 2, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

How do I get rid of folliculitis?

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