Folliculitis is a skin condition that presents as red, swollen, and itchy bumps that can also become pus-filled pustules because of their severity. Typically, folliculitis is caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria which invades hair follicles and infects the area, leading to bumps and redness. However, folliculitis can also be caused by the herpes simplex virus, parasites, poor hygienic practices, improper shaving and hair removal techniques, and allergic reactions to various stimuli.
Folliculitis can present as mild to severe cases. Mild folliculitis can clear out within a few days and lead to minimal scarring. However, severe folliculitis can cause scarring and permanent hair loss if left untreated. In addition, the condition can manifest on the face, scalp, arms, legs, buttocks, and genital areas and cause embarrassment.
Health experts categorize folliculitis as either superficial or deep. People suffering from superficial folliculitis have problems with only a part of the follicle. Those with deep folliculitis have issues with the entire hair follicle, which is pretty severe in most cases. Depending on the condition’s underlying cause, doctors can recommend various treatment pathways and options.
Here are some of the treatment options for folliculitis.
A warm compress is an accepted method of applying heat to a specific body part. A warm compress can be in the form of microwaveable pads; a towel dipped in warm water, or electrical or chemical pads. Some alternative methods include using uncooked rice, warmed potatoes, or hard-boiled eggs. Those who wish to use warm compresses shouldn’t use materials that are too hot to the touch as they can burn instead of promoting wellness.
The most common compress is a clean washcloth dipped in warm water with at least a teaspoon of salt for every two cups. Wring the excess water and place the towel over the irritated area for about 5 to 10 minutes. Warm compress works against folliculitis because it dilates blood vessels and promotes blood flow to the irritated area. The heat also helps relax the tight muscles and helps ease pain and irritation.
The warm compress also draws out pus and blood from the damaged hair follicle, thereby hastening the drainage process. In addition, the increased pressure due to the temperature draws out the infected blood and pus and speeds up the healing process.