Folliculitis

Folliculitis:  A bacterial infection of the hair follicle.  The infection may be superficial or deep .  Folliculitis causes pustule formation.  Folliculitis may also lead to the development of furuncles (Furunculosis), commonly called boils, or carbuncles (Carbunculosis), usually caused by Staphylococcus aureus.  It is exacerbated by irritation, pressure, friction, or perspiration.  Prognosis depends on the infection's severity and on the patient's conditions and ability to resist infection.

Cause:  Most common bacteria is staphylococcus aureus.  Risk factors include poor personal hygiene, debilitation, diabetes, an infected wound elsewhere on the body, exposure to chemicals (cutting oils), and management of skin lesions with tar or with occlusive therapy, using steroids.

Symptoms:

In folliculitis:  pustules usually appear on the scalp, arms, and legs in children; on the faces of bearded men (sycosis barbae); and on the eyelids (sties).

Pain

In furunculosis:  may develop  hard painful nodules (furuncles).  Nodules commonly appear on the neck, face, axillae, and buttocks.  As they become enlarge after several days, they rupture, discharging pus and necrotic material.

Pain

Erythema and edema may persist for several weeks.

In carbunculosis:  the patient develops extremely painful deep abscesses.  These drain through multiple openings onto the skin surface, usually around several hair follicles.

Fever

Malaise

Treatment:

Make sure the infected area is clean thoroughly with soap and water before applying medication.
With all medications use as prescribed by your doctor.

Topical antibiotics such as:  bacitracin and polymyxinb

For recurrent infection:  systemic antibiotics.

Furuncles may also require incision and drainage of ripe lesions after application of hot, wet compresses, and topical antibiotics after drainage.  (consult with your doctor)

Carbunculosis requires systemic antibiotics.

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