Folliculitis: What it is and and what you can do about it.
What is Folliculitis.
Definition: An infection of the hair follicle clogged or trapped with bacteria, causing inflammation, irritation or infection with Staphylococcus (staph) aureus.
Staph lives on the skin’s surface, but getting into the bloodstream through a cut or abrasion on the skin can become problematic.
Folliculitis can be a prickly situation. Most of us have experienced folliculitis in one form or another. Razor burn is one of the most common types after shaving, but this can occur anywhere on the body where hair grows. Think, scalp, arms, legs, armpits, pubic area, legs, arms - you get the idea.
What causes folliculitis?
The two primary types of folliculitis are:
Superficial Folliculitis is when part of the follicle is damaged.
- Bacterial folliculitis is most common as small white bumps with pus and infected with Staphylococcus bacteria. Staph lives on the skin but can cause an infection when it enters the body through a wound.
- Hot tub folliculitis can cause red itchy bumps from hot tubs with unbalanced chlorine and ph level.
- Razor bumps are skin irritation caused by ingrown hair. They present themselves as dark-coloured razor bumps from shaving too close or going over the area too often with a dull razor.
- Pityrosporum folliculitis produces red itchy pus-filled bumps found on the skin caused by a yeast infection.
Deep Folliculitis is when the entire follicle is damaged.
- Sycosis barbae affects those who’ve just begun to shave.
- Gram-negative folliculitis develops after long-term antibiotic treatment for acne.
- Boils and carbuncles ( a cluster of boils) occur hair follicles become deeply infected with staph bacteria and appear as painful red bumps or carbuncles.
Hair removal, such as waxing, shaving, and sugaring, are the main culprits, but wearing clothes that rub against your skin can also irritate hair follicles. Then there’s sweat, oil, makeup, and soaking in hot tubs that can clog follicles, leading to inflammation and infection.
Some sources also cite that diet and lifestyle play a factor in the acne-looking bumps that appear on your skin. For example, a diet high in carbohydrates can spike glucose levels and increase the oil-producing hormones on your skin. Therefore, maintaining a diet low in sugars and processed foods can help to alleviate the issue.
Folliculitis can be a one-time thing, recurrent or even chronic, so treatment will depend on the severity of the condition, including using creams or antibiotics for staph infection.
But, let’s not beat around the bush. In this article, we’re going to cover folliculitis caused by hair removal.
How do I prevent painful and unsightly razor bumps?
Prep your skin.
To avoid those red bumps along the bikini line, face, neck or legs, ALWAYS exfoliate. Exfoliation lifts dead skin cells and impurities to unclog pores and helps prevent ingrown hairs.
Dry brushing is an effective way to remove dead skin cells before hair removal. Use a brush made of soft natural or synthetic bristles. The Fur Daily Sisal Body Brush is made with natural fibres and can be used for dry exfoliation and in the shower for cleansing. (Not recommended for use on the face.)
The Daily Sisal Body Brush is a rigorous textured cleansing tool used for deep exfoliation with a dual effect of dry brushing and wet cleansing made from natural fibres.
Always dry brush before getting into the shower. Start from your feet and work your way up over your entire body using light circular motions toward your heart centre. This technique not only exfoliates but increases circulation and blood flow to the surface of your skin, stimulating hair follicles. Avoid using hot temperatures, or it may irritate the skin.
If dry brushing isn’t your thing, Bushbalm Nude Exfoliating Scrub might be more your jam. This 100% natural multi-purpose sugar body scrub infused with tea tree oil exfoliates, moisturizes, softens the skin and prevents that chicken skin appearance.
Nude Exfoliating Scrub contains tea tree oil to help treat and prevent ingrown hairs and the natural fragrance-free scrub will work hard to exfoliate your skin. For best results use this scrub 2-3 times a week in the shower.
Using a shaving cream or shaving balm creates a buffer between your razor and skin, preventing that fiery after-burn. It also softens the hair for a more comfortable shave. Fur Shave Cream protects and soothes, is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and can be used anywhere you shave, as often as you need.
Shave in the direction of hair growth. Going against the grain can ultimately give you a closer shave but isn’t recommended for those with sensitive skin or prone to ingrown hair. Be sure to use a sharp blade and rinse between strokes. Never share razor blades to avoid cross-contamination of the staph bacteria, which could cause infection.
Upgrade your grooming routine with this featherlight, no-foam shave cream featuring a whipped texture and a soft satin finish for fewer ingrowns, bumps, and irritation. This moisturizing formula is made for anywhere and everywhere, including your pubic area, underarms, chest, legs, and face.
Moisturize for healthy skin
Like any skincare routine, applying a good moisturizer helps keep your skin conditioned, hydrated, and protected. Fur Stubble Cream hydrates the skin, softens the hair, and keeps follicles clear, preventing ingrown.
Fur Stubble Cream can be used anywhere and everywhere you need a little extra moisture, or anywhere you're prone to razor bumps.
What can I do about ingrown hairs and dark spots caused by scarring?
Have no worries. Relief is close at hand.
Sometimes we skip a step, or irritation is simply unavoidable due to clothing and hot weather friction. So what can we do to alleviate the inflammation of that painful little bump that feels like Mount St. Helens about to erupt at any moment?
Don’t pick at it. It’s tempting to pick at it and pop the blister, but that can lead to infection and dark scarring. Folliculitis can be a delicate situation and must be dealt with gently, especially in areas where the skin is more sensitive.
First, apply a warm compress to relieve discomfort and drain any bumps of fluid in the area if necessary.
Wear loose clothing and keep the area clean. Allow the skin to breathe and avoid friction from tight clothing.
Apply a treatment twice a day, such as Bushbalm Sweet Escape Ingrown Treatment Oil with tea tree and copaiba oil which soothes, calms and nourishes the skin. Tea tree oil is a multi-functional essential oil known for its antiseptic properties and helps with wound healing and soothing inflammation. Copaiba oil also promotes wound healing and reduces inflammation, and also delivers pain relief to the wound.
Sweet Escape is a 100% natural, anti-inflammatory, vegan, and non-comedogenic skincare product that naturally treats and prevents ingrown hairs, and hydrates skin. It has a soft and sweet aroma of tangerine and vanilla, similar to a creamsicle.
For those dark spots that linger as reminders, Bushbalm Bermuda Oil Dark Spot Treatment can diminish hyperpigmentation and dark spots found anywhere on the body. A unique blend of essential and carrier oils breaks up the melanin pigments that cause uneven skin tones and leave smooth, soft skin.
Whether they are dark spots, hyperpigmentation, acne, scars from previous ingrown hairs, or even sunspots, we all have experienced dark spots on the body. While this is completely normal, it can be very frustrating which is why we created Bermuda Oil.
Most importantly, give your skin a break. No shaving, waxing or any other form of hair removal until it’s healed. Following the steps outlined above will help eliminate future razor burn and bumpy skin caused by other forms of hair removal.
Bye-bye, bumpy skin. Hello, smooth, healthy skin.