For those of you that are familiar with frequent shaving, you know how easy it is to get irritation or painful ingrown hairs. But sometimes shaving and waxing can lead to a more troublesome condition known as folliculitis. Folliculitis is caused by an infection of the hair follicles by bacteria, viruses or fungi; with the most common type of infection caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. The result from this infection? Itchy and or painful bumps in and around your hair follicles.
There are several types of folliculitis that show up in different ways on the body. The most common categories include:
Superficial folliculitis: This type of infection affects the upper part of the hair follicle and can cause clusters of red bumps, pus-filled blisters, red and/or inflamed skin, as well as itchiness or tenderness.
Deep folliculitis: This is more serious type of folliculitis that starts deeper in the skin surrounding the hair follicle and thus can infect the whole hair follicle. Deep folliculitis can manifest as a large swollen bump and pus-filled blisters and can cause pain and possible scarring once the infection has disappeared.
Folliculitis occurs in damaged follicles, and while you have the greatest amount of follicles on your head, the condition can occur virtually anywhere. The most common causes of this type of infection are due to shaving, friction from tight clothing, excessive sweating, skin conditions causing inflammation (like acne), skin injuries, and unbreathable materials on your skin (such as adhesive tape).
If you are showing symptoms of severe folliculitis, you need to make an appointment with a board certified dermatologist; because ignoring the problem could lead to scarring and permanent hair loss.