Scalp folliculitis is one of the many versions of folliculitis that are present all over the world. After hot tub folliculitis, it is the most common type of folliculitis, affecting almost a quarter of those diagnosed with any kind of skin disease.
Scalp folliculitis has a whole palette of non – medical names, describing either its origin or its placement. Therefore, it is also called scalp acne or Barber’s Itch (from the Latin name of the bacteria that causes it, Tinea verrucosum), to name only the most well known of these alternative appellatives.
This skin condition can affect pretty much anyone, unfortunately. There are no safe bets when talking about scalp folliculitis: men and women, young or old, black or white, healthy or not, everyone seems to be evenly affected by it. One interesting tidbit about it is that, while it is called scalp folliculitis, it can actually manifest itself on whatever part of your body contains hair follicles, including your face, arms, armpits, legs and even your back.
If you pay very close attention to your body, you might actually notice scalp folliculitis in its early stages. However, that is unlikely to happen, since it usually shows up on the skin of your scalp, beneath the hair. Now, if you are balding already, seeing the first signs should not be hard, but if you still have all your hair, you will surely miss it. Most people do not even know what to look for, since they probably have had it for most of their life.
If you are one of those that have recently been infected with Tinea verrucosum, this is what should tell you if you are developing folliculitis or not: the appearance of small pustules, white – yellowish in color, surrounded by narrow red – circle blisters is a sure sign of scalp folliculitis. Also, if the area surrounding your hairline is itchy or has a different consistence than what you are used to, if it changes color, turning slightly red and blotchy, it might mean that you have been attacked by the sneaky pathogen agent.
Now, the fact that your follicles have been clogged by this bacterium does not mean that the hair cannot develop anymore. It can, but it will never look the same as it did before and, ultimately, it will simply shrivel, lose its vitality and stop growing completely. This skin condition leads, just like any other kind of folliculitis, to a distant, but sure baldness.
Keep in mind that no matter how bad they look or how much they might hurt, your pustules should never be tampered with. They can leak either clean sebum, meaning that your condition is in its early stages, or bloodstained pus, in more severe cases. Some people develop some very serious and sometimes highly dangerous skin infections from this innocent type of folliculitis, like boils and such, mainly due to a low immunity or other adjourning diseases. In some very rare cases, Tinea verrucosum is so persistent and drug – resistant that it can pierce right through your hair follicles and enter your blood stream, invading the your inner systems, that know almost nothing about such a bacterium and have no means to defend themselves.
Scalp Folliculitis Prevention and Treatment
Besides the well known Tinea bacterium, there are other bacteria out there that can lead to folliculitis: Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus bacterium (this bacterium is to blame for a large number of eye and nose infections, as well). Also, it can be caused by certain species of fungi.
To avoid the irritation of your folliculitis, you should take into consideration the following rules:
- Avoid public hot tubs or other communal bathing places.
- Make sure the water from your personal pool or hot tub is well circulated and over chlorinated at all times.
- Do not wear tight clothes or clothes that do not allow your skin to “breathe”, since every kind of bacteria or fungi loves heat and humidity.
- Poor hygiene guarantees that your folliculitis will surely make reappearances, nastier and more painful than before.
The treatment of scalp folliculitis should not be postponed. You should visit your attending physician immediately, if only to make sure that your will not go bald. He or she will perform a series of tests, uncovering if the cause of your problem is fungal or bacterial. Afterwards, the medical doctor will recommend a treatment that should contain a cream, applied topically every day, and, in severe cases, oral antibiotics, such as bacitracin, neomycin or mycitracin.
Btw, here is the list of 13 natural remedies for folliculitis that you should know.