Follicles are the roots of the hair. It is where hair starts to grow. Every strand of hair in the body has a follicle. But even follicles are not free from the risk of infection. Due to certain hygiene practices and the introduction of microorganisms into the follicles, infection can set in, causing folliculitis.
Folliculitis can occur anywhere in the body where a hair follicle is present. Common locations for folliculitis include the neck, scalp, axilla, beard area, upper lip, groin, and the genital.
This is a special form of folliculitis that affects mainly the groin or the genital area of both men and women. The causative agent is the same for all types of folliculitis, staphylococcus aureus.
- This type of folliculitis is difficult to treat because of its location.
- The area is also prone to infection because of its warm and dark environment.
- Lesions in this area may or may not be filled with pus.
- This is not a sexually transmitted disease but it can be painful making sexual intercourse difficult to do.
Genital Folliculitis Causes
The infection of the follicles is commonly caused by the bacteria staphylococcus aureus.
- Other causes include virus, fungi, and even noninfectious agents.
- Folliculitis always starts from an irritation such as an insect bite, friction from tight clothing, obstruction of the follicle, and improper shaving.
- A special bacterium, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, causes a unique type of folliculitis called “hot tub folliculitis” because this can be acquired when body parts come into contact with improperly cleaned hot tubs. Common areas affected include hips, buttocks, thighs and legs.
- Noninfectious causes include excessive sweating, tight clothing, surgical wounds, and severe acne.
Genital Folliculitis Treatment
Treatment of folliculitis would depend on the cause identified. Before treating the folliculitis, a culture and sensitivity test may be done from the sample taken to establish which bacterial agents the causative factor responds greatly to.
- Antiseptic or antibacterial treatment is the first-line treatment for all types of folliculitis. Common antibacterial used include topical medications mupirocin, neomycin, and bacitrancin with polymyxin B.
- Oral antibiotics are also administered especially for certain types of folliculitis where topical agents are not recommended. Common oral antibiotics used include flucloxacillin and dicloxacillin.
- Proper hygiene. Sometimes certain forms of folliculitis respond well to home remedies such as cleaning the affected area with soap and water.
- Cleansing with antiseptic cleanser also helps treat folliculitis.
- Application of moist heat compresses also helps open up blood vessels and promote spontaneous eruption and discharge of pus from the follicles.