Folliculitis. What it is, causes, effects, treatment…
Many doubts arise when we enter the world of dermatological problems – even more so when we hear medical terms like the topic of this article: folliculitis. In this article, we’ll explain the main factors related to folliculitis to answer your questions about the problem, its causes, effects, and possible solutions.
What is folliculitis?
Folliculitis is inflammation of a hair follicle. It’s a very common situation that can appear on almost any part of the body.
It becomes noticeable when the famous white pimple appears. It also frequently appears after shaving and may or may not be associated with the appearance of pus.
On the scalp – that is, after a hair transplant – it can appear both in the donor area (the neck and sides of the head) and in the recipient area (usually the upper part of the head). This is because inflammatory phenomena occur on the scalp following the procedure.
In the recipient area, the transplanted follicular units begin to produce new hair, and follicular inflammation may appear with the growth of new hair (just like with hair removal).
In the donor area, the hair around the extraction site may experience this. After a transplant, telogen effluvium (temporary hair loss) may occur around the extraction area; when this hair grows back, it may be ingrown and lead to folliculitis.
In general, folliculitis is considered an acne-like lesion caused by wax, heat, and sweating. It can also appear after going to swimming pools due to a bacterial skin infection if the water is not properly treated.
As a rule, folliculitis has no particular consequences, but in more serious cases, it can damage the hair follicle. If not treated properly, it can lead to more complicated infections. However, as mentioned, occasional folliculitis is a benign condition that’s easy to address.
How to protect yourself from this problem
With regard to hair transplants, this protection is done with prophylactic antibiotics. The antibiotic is generally used for the first four days. However, folliculitis may appear a little later, and this will require a clinical reassessment and the appropriate procedure.
Even so, the benefit of a hair transplant outweighs this rare occurrence – even more so because hair is important for protecting the scalp and head on a daily basis from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.
In situations other than hair transplants, it’s recommended to avoid whatever procedure that leads to it, such as waxing or caring for skin before and a few days after exfoliation.
What is the solution for folliculitis?
A mild exfoliation may be necessary to treat folliculitis, and sometimes topical and/or systemic antibiotics have to be used. In topical cream, the most commonly used active ingredients are fusidic acid and mupirocin. In oral treatments, the most commonly used active ingredient is amoxicillin with cloxacillin or azithromycin, to name a few. All of these medications require medical prescriptions and should only be taken under medical supervision.
Folliculitis Decalvans is a subtype of folliculitis that can lead to scarring alopecia. In addition, it usually appears in people who are genetically predisposed and for whom the cause has not been determined. On the other hand, it has been proven that a hair transplant does not cause it.
It is possible that other skin infections may occur that can be confused with folliculitis, especially at an early stage. If signs and symptoms persist, they should be re-evaluated by your doctor.
In fact, when a skin problem arises, the best recommendation is to look for a specialist to evaluate the problem and determine the best solution. If you have folliculitis after a hair transplant, your clinical team will be able to help you address this problem.