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Folliculitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Everything You Need to Know About Folliculitis

folliculitis | up close photo of folliculitis

Folliculitis is a painful condition that can occur wherever hair grows on your body. It is especially common in zones that experience a lot of friction. This includes the neck, armpits, buttocks and thighs. Some people even experience folliculitis on the scalp. How do you know if you have folliculitis? You may confuse this condition for acne or a rash at first. Most people see small bumps. Here are the common symptoms that often point to folliculitis:

  • Puss
  • Soreness
  • Itching
  • Swelling

Folliculitis can affect one hair follicle at a time or cover an entire area of your skin. It usually appears as small bumps. Many people are embarrassed by this condition because red bumps can be seen when they raise their arms, expose their necks or wear clothing that shows their legs. We’ve diagnosed and treated this condition for many of our patients here at Georgia Dermatology Center in Cumming. Alexander Gross, M.D. and our entire staff are here to help you address the red, painful bumps that are making you feel insecure about your skin.

The Causes of Folliculitis

folliculitis | medical illustration showing inflamed hair shaftWhile folliculitis is common, it is still a serious condition that is easily spread. People typically develop this condition as a result of staph bacteria or fungi. It is possible to contract both of these things from someone who is living with an infection. In addition, personal items like soap, towels and clothing that are infected can also spread bacteria and fungi. It is even possible to pick up infections in public places like gyms, pools and spas. A person with a weakened immune system is at a higher risk for developing folliculitis. Cuts that occur from shaving can also increase the odds. In addition, some personal habits can also increase the odds of the developing the condition. These habits include wearing tight clothing that irritates the skin and not showering after sweating excessively.

How can you know if you have folliculitis? This is not something that you can diagnose on your own. In fact, it is difficult for trained doctors to diagnose this condition simply based on appearances. It is possible that a bump may need to be removed and tested to create a definitive diagnosis.

Treatment Options for Folliculitis

What are the treatment options for folliculitis? It is important to seek treatment to determine just how serious your case of folliculitis may be. Monitoring may be all that’s needed if a case is mild. However, cases that are severe or that last for a long time may require some medical intervention. There are a number of oral and topical medications that are prescribed for the treatment of folliculitis. These medications can help with treating the cause of the infection and relieving any pain or itching that you’re experiencing. You may even want to opt for laser hair removal if you experience this condition on a persistent basis and it is disruptive to your life.

Why Getting Treatment Is Important

Symptoms that aren’t going away could lead to bigger problems. Some people experience painful boils that form under their skin when folliculitis goes untreated. It is possible for permanent scars or dark patches to form on the skin. In addition, you could experience damaged hair follicles that lead to permanent hair loss. Alexander Gross, M.D. and the team here at Georgia Dermatology Center are happy to help you address and treat the symptoms of folliculitis. We can answer any questions you have and help you to get a diagnosis. Our office offers a variety of treatments for this condition. Our office in Cumming serves patients from Milton, Alpharetta, Gainesville, Suwanee, Sandy Springs, Roswell and the rest of the communities in the Atlanta area. Call us today to book a consultation.

All of the information provided here is intended to be used for general purposes only. None of the content provided is intended to serve as a formal medical diagnosis or to be used as a replacement for seeking proper medical attention. Seek medical care immediately if you are experiencing red bumps that are accompanied by a burning sensation, oozing or a high fever. You can call Georgia Dermatology Center at our office here in Cumming during business hours if you’re located in the Atlanta area and you’d like to book a general consultation with Alexander Gross, M.D.

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