Swollen hair follicle is caused by folliculitis which is an inflammation of the hair follicles. Folliculitis can affect any part of the body that has hair. However, the condition is most common on the legs, arms, buttocks, back, and the beard area. Folliculitis also affects other parts of the body like the on the scalp, groin, thigh, and the pubic area. Therefore, it is very important to always look for the causes of inflamed hair follicles and have the treatment in good time.
It is a very common condition skin disorder that appear as pinpoint red bumps, each bump grows on a hair follicle. It is accompanied by a small dot of pus at the top. The disorder affects individuals of all ages from babies, adults and the aged. However, the condition is seen in in otherwise healthy people. The condition is curable but it clears on its own without treatment.
What is an inflamed hair follicle?
Inflamed hair follicle is a very common condition where the hair follicles become inflamed. This condition normal occur as a result of bacteria or fungal infection. It first comes out as red bumps or white headed pimples around the hair follicles. The infection can turn into crusty sores which do not cure.
Inflamed hair follicle can appear anywhere on the skin with the exception of the palms of the hand and soles of the feet. The rash may appear as pimples that come to white tips on the face, the chest, on the back, on arms, on the legs, on the buttocks and on the head.
Causes of swollen hair follicles?
According to MayoClinic.com, “folliculitis develops when bacteria enters one or more hair follicles. Folliculitis first develops as a red bump around the hair follicle. If left untreated, the infection can worsen, causing inflammation, pain and weeping. Treating the infected hair follicles requires lifestyle changes and products to resolve the infection, reduce the inflammation and calm the skin.”
Swollen hair follicles are caused by a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. This bacteria often causes bacterial the hair follicles to swell. It is important for one to have idea on what causes the swelling of hair follicles. This will help get rid of inflamed hair follicle very fast. Below are the major causes of swollen hair follicles:
- Body with weakened immune system
- Causes from skin injuries caused by shaving
- Causes from tight clothing that irritate the skin
- Failure to take shower after an intense sweating
- Heat and sweat from wearing rubber gloves
- Skin conditions like acne and dermatitis
- Obese people are also at a higher risk of hair follicle
Types of folliculitis
Folliculitis is categorized into two: Superficial folliculitis which normally affects the upper portion of hair follicle and deep folliculitis which involves the whole hair follicle. Superficial folliculitis can also affect the inner parts of the skin.
Types of superficial folliculitis
Below are the types of superficial folliculitis:
1. Staphylococcal folliculitis
It is caused by a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus and is the most common type of folliculitis. It is a bacterial agent that resides on the human skin and has easy access to infect cults or open wounds. It is characterized by white, itchy, pus containing bumps that may occur anywhere on the body
2. Bacterial folliculitis.
It is a very common type of Staphylococcal folliculitis and is marked by itchy, white, pus-filled bumps. When bacterial folliculitis affects a man’s beard area, its called barber’s itch. It occurs when hair follicles become infected with bacteria, usually Staphylococcus aureus. Staph bacteria live on the skin all the time. But they generally cause problems only when they enter your body through a cut or other wound.
3. Hot tub folliculitis.
This type is caused by pseudomonas bacteria. One can be exposed to these bacteria in many places, including hot tubs and heated pools in which the chlorine and pH levels aren’t well-regulated. You may develop a rash of red, round, itchy bumps one to four days after exposure. These may later develop into small pus-filled blisters.
4. Barber’s itch.
This is an inflammation caused by ingrowing hairs. It mainly affects black men who shave and is most noticeable on the face and neck. People who get bikini waxes may develop barber’s itch in the groin area. This condition may leave dark raised scars (keloids).
5. Pityrosporum folliculitis.
This infection is very common in teens and adult men. It’s caused by a yeast infection and produces chronic, red, itchy pustules on the back and chest and sometimes on the neck, shoulders, upper arms and face.
Categories of deep folliculitis
Deep folliculitis, where the whole hair follicle is involved, comes in various forms:
This one affects men who have begun to shave. At first, small pustules appear on the upper lip, chin and jaw. They become more prevalent over days and weeks as shaving continues. Severe sycosis barbae may cause scarring.
2. Gram-negative folliculitis.
This type of deep folliculitis develop due to the prolonged use of antibiotic therapy for acne. Antibiotics alter the normal balance of bacteria in the nose. This leads to an overgrowth of harmful organisms called gram-negative bacteria. In most people, this doesn’t cause problems, and the bacteria in the nose return to normal once antibiotics are stopped. In a few people, the gram-negative bacteria spread to the skin around the nose and mouth. This can cause new, severe acne.
3. Boils and carbuncles.
These occur when hair follicles become deeply infected with staph bacteria. A boil usually appears suddenly as a painful pink or red bump. The surrounding skin also may be red and swollen. The bump then fills with pus and grows larger and more painful before it finally ruptures and drains. Small boils usually heal without scarring. A large boil may leave a scar.
4. A carbuncle is a cluster of boils.
It usually appears on the back of the neck, shoulders, back or thighs. A carbuncle causes a deeper and more severe infection than does a single boil. As a result, it develops and heals more slowly and is likely to leave a scar.
5. Eosinophilic folliculitis.
This type mainly affects people with HIV/AIDS. Symptoms include intense itching and recurring patches of inflamed, pus-filled sores on the scalp, face, neck and upper chest. The sores usually spread and often leave areas of darker than normal skin (hyperpigmentation) when they heal. The exact cause of eosinophilic folliculitis isn’t known. But it may involve the same yeast-like fungus responsible for pityrosporum folliculitis.
Swollen hair follicles on scalp, pubic area, groin
Inflamed hair follicle can appear anywhere on the skin with the exception of the palms of the hand and soles of the feet. The rash may appear as pimples that come to white tips on the face, the chest, on the back, on arms, on the legs, on the buttocks and on the head. It can also cause swelling of hair follicles on the scalp, pubic area and on the groin.
Swollen hair follicles on the groin
Swollen hair follicles in the groin comes as a result of genital folliculitis which is an inflammation of hair follicles around the genital area. Genital folliculitis is caused by Staphylococcus aureus and it mainly occurs in the groin. In most cases, genital folliculitis is normally caused by bacteria or a virus but it can also be as a result of damage to the hair follicles which leads to infection and subsequently genital folliculitis.
Swollen hair follicles on the scalp
On the other hand, swollen hair follicles on the scalp are caused by scalp folliculitis. It is an inflammatory disorder of the hair follicles of the scalp. Scalp folliculitis normally manifest itself in small itchy pustules on the scalp.
Swollen hair follicles on the pubic area
Swollen hair follicles in the pubic area in normally caused by ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs refers to hairs that curl back and grow back into the skin. They produce raised red spots, which can sometimes become infected and turn into painful, pus-filled sores.
Ingrown hairs can be itchy and embarrassing, but they often go away on their own without doing anything. The hair follicles of ingrown hairs can sometimes become infected and inflamed. This is known as folliculitis. This causes hair follicles to swell into pus-filled spots in the pubic area.
Symptoms of hair follicle inflammation
What are the most common symptoms of hair follicle inflammation? It is good to know the signs and symptoms of hair follicle inflammation. When the symptoms take long without clearing, it is advisable to visit the doctor.
Inflamed hair follicles usually looks like red pimples with a hair in the center of each one. The pimples may have pus in them, and they may itch or burn. When the pimples break open, they may drain pus, blood, or both.
Below are other symptoms of hair follicle inflammation:
- Presence of pimples or pus-filled bumps that crust over; they can be yellow, white, and red
- A large swollen mass or bump
- Having an Inflamed and red skin
- Feeling pain or tenderness
- Having a burning, swelling, soreness, or itchy skin
Treatments of hair follicle inflammation
Hair follicle inflammation is a very embarrassing skin disorder. It causes itching and an individual may become unsettled. There it wise to seek treatment whenever the symptoms begin to show up. Below are some of the major treatments that can be used in treatment of hair follicle inflammation:
Use warm compress to treat hair follicle inflammation
Warm compresses can be used to get rid of inflamed hair follicles. Warm compress may ease and help healing. To make warm compress for soothing a swollen hair follicle,
- Soak a hand towel in warm water.
- Wring out the excess water
- The place the towel on the affected skin.
Use medicated shampoos.
Medicated shampoos are effective in the treatment of inflamed hair follicles. It can be used to treat folliculitis on the scalp or beard.
Use of laser hair removal
If the hair follicle inflammation becomes chronic and persistent, laser hair removal may be used. Laser hair treatment destroys inflamed hair follicles and they cannot keep on coming back.
Visit a doctor for treatment of hair follicle inflammation
If 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. You need to contact the doctor in case of the following:
- If it spreads or keeps coming back.
- When you have a fever over 101°F (38°C).
- When the affected area becomes red, swollen, warm, or more painful.
How prevent hair follicle inflammation
There are many practices that can be put in place to prevent inflammation of hair follicle or keep it from spreading.
- Bathe or shower daily with a mild soap. Avoid sharing towels, washcloths, or other personal items.
- Avoid scratching of bumps.
- By avoiding shaving of bumps. If it is a must, 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 inflammation of hair follicles.
- After you use public hot tubs or spas, shower right away with soap.
Before seeking medication from a doctor, it is always good to try the natural home remedies. Inflamed hair follicles can be treated at home by the use of naturally available remedies like coconut oil, aloe Vera, neem, etc. These remedies are readily available and very effective. Below are the most commonly used and effective remedies to use in the treatment of inflamed hair follicles:
1. How to use Coconut oil to treat inflamed hair follicles
Coconut oil is very effective when it comes to treatment of skin disorders. It contains important compounds that are very useful for the skin. These compound include, capric acid and lauric acid. These two acids are normally converted into monocaprin and monolaurin which help in the protection of the skin.
2. Neem oil remedy for inflamed hair follicles
Neem oil contains antiseptic and antifungal properties. Neem oil is made from the seeds and fruit of an evergreen tree called Azadirachta indica. Neem is used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including folliculitis. Neem oil is very effective natural remedy for the treatment of inflamed hair follicles. The oil can be used or boil the neem leaves and then use it. However, for effectiveness and quick recovery from inflamed hair follicles, it is advisable to use it two to three time in a day.
3. Use Aloe Vera to treat inflamed hair follicles
Aloe Vera is a natural home remedy used in the treatment of inflamed hair follicles. It contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve the burning and itching associated with folliculitis. It also allows the skin to heal naturally. Aloe Vera gel or juice from the inner fillet is the best to treat skin conditions, and it should be applied on the infected skin for about 15 minutes.
4. Use of Garlic in the treatment of inflamed hair follicles
Garlic is normally considered one of the better antibacterial natural home remedies. Garlic contains sulfur compounds that have powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties that help treat various skin conditions, inflamed hair follicles. Garlic also contains vitamin C and other anti-inflammatory compounds that inhibit the enzymes cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase, which contribute to inflammation. To help treat hair follicle inflammation, eat three or four garlic cloves daily, or use garlic supplementation capsules for a higher potency.
5. Turmeric as a home remedy for hair follicle inflammation
Turmeric is one of the most commonly used natural home remedy. It contains the strong anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin that has been demonstrated to treat skin disorders like hair follicle inflammation. To use turmeric for swollen hair follicles, follow the steps below:
- Dissolve one teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of water,
- Then consume twice daily for fast results.
6. How to use vinegar as hair follicle inflammation remedy
Vinegar is used to decrease the occurrence of rashes from folliculitis. Both apple cider vinegar and white vinegar are often used to help relieve hair follicle inflammation. Apple cider vinegar in particular contains antibacterial, antiseptic, and antiviral properties. Here’s how to get rid of a swollen hair follicle with this remedy.
- Combine one part of either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in two parts of water (the water should be at room temperature).
- Use a clean cloth and apply it to your irritated skin for five to 10 minutes.
7. Using Witch hazel to treat inflamed hair follicles
Witch hazel is a natural remedy used in treating inflamed hair follicles. Native Americans have long recognized witch hazel as a treatment for skin irritations. Witch hazel contains astringent properties like tannins that help relieve the pain and itching associated with inflammation of hair follicles.
8. Use oil of oregano to treat inflamed hair follicles
Oil of oregano is a natural remedy used in the treatment of inflamed hair follicles and other skin problems. It contains potent antibacterial properties such as carvacrol and terpenes. It also has thymol, which works as a natural fungicide with antiseptic properties.
It is best used on the skin when combined with carrier oils like sweet almond, jojoba, or grapeseed oil. However, oil of oregano can cause irritation and therefore should not be used on sensitive skins.
9. Treatment with essential oils
Essential oils possess antibacterial and antiseptic properties. These properties makes it an effective home remedy for treating inflamed hair follicles. Moreover, some essential oils help skin rashes clear up faster when used on a regular basis. For effective use, follow the steps below:
- Mix a few drops on essential oils in an equal amount of water.
- When you apply the essential oil combination three to four times daily
The inflamed hair follicles will disappear in less than a week. Natural essential oils include thyme, lavender, tea tree oil, lemon, geranium, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, cinnamon, and bergamot.
10. Use of homeopathic remedies
Homeopathic remedies are also considered effective in the treatment of inflamed hair follicles. Certain homeopathic remedies that you should be used in getting rid inflamed hair follicles are: pyrogenium, graphites, thuja, Sulphur iodatum, hydrastis, arsenicum album, sulphuricum acidum, anthracinum, erysipelas, hepar sulphuris, lachesis, carbo vegetabilis, secale cornutum, and tarantula cubensis.
It is a good idea to consult with a homeopath that will help select the most appropriate remedy for you.
Other remedies for inflamed hair follicles
There other bonus remedies that can be used to get rid of inflamed hair follicles. This include:
By increasing your water intake to get rid of inflamed hair follicles
It is high advisable for an individual to drink eight to 10 glasses of filtered water daily. Drinking water helps to stimulate the immune system and prevent further infection.
Use of traditional Chinese medicine
In traditional Chinese medicine, astragalus root is used in combination with other herbs for spleen insufficiency, especially when diarrhea is also present during hair follicle inflammation. Other effective remedies include Echinacea, goldenseal, and cleavers.
Hot water compress to treat inflamed hair follicles
A hot water compress will also ease itching and reduce inflammation around the swollen hair follicles.
Change bed sheets frequently
Hygiene is very important when it comes to inflamed hair follicles. It is therefore advisable to change bed sheets frequently.