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8 Ways of Dealing With Folliculitis at Home

Ways of Dealing With Folliculitis at Home

Folliculitis is a common skin condition also known as inflammation of hair follicles. For those who suffer from it, folliculitis can be both irritating and a challenge to manage. The condition involves an infection and irritation of hair follicles. Most cases can be traced to a bacteria or fungus that has managed to get inside the skin pore of the follicle and cause an infection.

Many folliculitis cases go away in a short time, a few days at the most. However, some patients with allergies or extreme sensitivity can take longer or need an antibiotic for healing. While the condition won’t spread from one person to another, it can expand on the patient already suffering from folliculitis. Folliculitis can appear in any place where hair grows, such as armpits, beards, or on the legs.

Fortunately, many folliculitis home treatment options can be applied, directly killing off the root cause and helping alleviate the irritation symptoms.

Water and Soap

One of the most basic methods of solving folliculitis involves killing off the bacteria or fungus causing the issue. Soap and water are very effective in this regard. Be sure to use hot water and clean towels. Also, wash towels and clothing from the patient in the washing machine, separate from any other clothing.

Go With Loose Clothing

Folliculitis is a common problem with people who regularly wear tight-fitting clothing. The restriction frequently creates a breeding ground for issues, especially with trapped moisture. Switching to loose clothing will cut down this factor and allow ventilation, which reduces moisture buildup. You may want to rethink those yoga pants. 

Warm Saltwater Compresses

Folliculitis can frequently generate hot swelling and irritation. A warm compress with a clean hand towel soaked and strained in saltwater can kill off topical bacteria and fungus and help the irritated skin relax, providing relief. Repeat with clean towels and wash the used ones separately right after.

Aloe Vera Application

Long known as a natural healing solution, aloe vera applied topically to an irritated follicle site can help the skin repair as well as kill off some types of bacteria. The double-benefit has made aloe vera a regular go-to remedy for all types of skin situations, including folliculitis.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Remember the bubbly stuff mom would put on a wound to disinfect it? It works just as well for folliculitis. The chemical mix will immediately kill off bacteria and fungus, and the excess can be wiped off with disposable towels. You can repeat applications of hydrogen peroxide. 

General Antibiotic Creams

If bacteria cause folliculitis, over-the-counter antibiotic cream can be a helpful solution. The same benefit it provides for a cut can work on a folliculitis bacterial infection. However, apply only to the affected area and use sparingly. Too much can damage helpful bacteria on the skin as well.

Wet Wrapping

Contrary to common belief, skin does not heal better when dried out. Instead, wounds and irritation heal better with moisture. Wet wrapping is a process of taking cotton wraps soaked in sterile water, applying them to a site, and wrapping them with dry bandages to keep them in place for several hours (usually eight). The cooling effect and moisture help the skin heal faster, and it ramps up the body’s defenses in the skin.

Essential Oils

Various topical oils applied to an irritated site can help as well. Tea tree oil is a favorite, but others like cinnamon, clove, lemon, and chamomile may also help. These essential oils generally have an anti-bacterial nature, which can help kill the infection.

All of the above can be applied at home with little or no cost, and the solutions have been proven to be effective with folliculitis cases. However, if your symptoms worsen or last more than five days, seeing a doctor is advised. You can request an appointment with Valley Skin Institute and ask about our line of medical skincare products that might help with your folliculitis.


Dr. Leslie Storey | Valley Skin Institute

Dr. Leslie Storey is a board-certified physician specializing in medical and surgical dermatology. Her mission is to find and remove skin cancer, which she does more than 2,000 times a year. An expert in Mohs Surgery, Dr. Storey’s patients often comment that they are amazed at how minimal their scar is after they have healed from surgery. If you notice anything suspicious on your skin, request an appointment with Dr. Storey to have it checked out.

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