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Saturday, June 17, 2017
What Causes Folliculitis?
Folliculitis is characterized by inflammation of hair follicles. This can be due to an infection by viruses, fungi, bacteria, or parasites. Skin irritation caused by chemicals and friction, say, by shaving against the direction of hair growth, can also cause this condition. So can certain moisturizers or ointments that block hair follicles, medication such as corticosteroids, and skin disorders like lichen planus and folliculitis decalvans. Compromised immunity is a trigger too.
6 Possible Causes Of Folliculitis
1. InfectionVarious viruses, fungi, bacteria, and parasites can infect you and cause folliculitis.
BacteriaThe Staphylococcus aureus bacteria are usually responsible for bacterial folliculitis. The bacteria can infect hairy areas like the beard in a condition called folliculitis barbae. This is more common among men who shave, with contaminated shaving equipment leading to infection. Also, reinfection is not uncommon, particularly among men who have conditions like hay fever, sinusitis, or nasal discharge. This happens when bacteria that live in the nose infect hair follicles.2
A variety of folliculitis known as hot tub folliculitis, which usually develops on the trunk, is caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These bacteria are usually found in spas or hot tubs that have not been properly sanitized.
A rare kind of folliculitis known as gram-negative folliculitis, caused by gram negative bacteria which affect the face, usually develops after antibiotics are used to treat acne.3
VirusesThe herpes simplex virus, which causes herpes or cold sores, can sometimes cause folliculitis too. It is usually seen in men who suffer from recurrent facial herpes infections and who use razors.
Herpes zoster, the virus that causes shingles, can also cause folliculitis.
Another virus known as Molluscum contagiosum, which is commonly found in children, can cause this condition. You usually see papules clustered around a body fold in this case.
FungiYeasts, which are a kind of fungi, can cause folliculitis. The most common yeast that causes folliculitis is known as Malassezia, causing an acne-like itch rash on the chest or back of young adults. Meanwhile, another yeast called Candida albicans causes the development of folliculitis in the folds of your skin or beard.
Ringworm of the scalp (Tinea capitis), which is the result of a fungal infection, generally causes hair loss and scaly skin. Sometimes, it can lead to folliculitis too.