You may have experienced folliculitis if you've ever noticed tender bumps on the skin, particularly after shaving or waxing. Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicle or root that can occur anywhere on your body. Severe infections can lead to permanent hair loss and scarring, or dark, hyperpigmented spots on the skin. Folliculitis usually stems from a bacterial or fungal infection and may cause small, pus-filled bumps that can be itchy and painful. Consult your doctor for treatment of the infection and skin scarring.
Consult your doctor or dermatologist about treatment for folliculitis. Your doctor may prescribe an oral or topical skin antibiotic. Follow the exact dosage for your antibiotics and continue the medication until it is completed. Avoid shaving, scrubbing or scratching the infected area until it heals. If you must shave, use a clean, disinfected razor blade on the area of infection and do not use it elsewhere on your face or body.
Apply a wet compress soaked in a mixture of white vinegar and water to the infected area. Other alternative treatments include applying a wet compress with a few drops of tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil. The oils have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to treat minor superficial infections on the skin. Consult your doctor before trying these remedies.
Treat folliculitis scars with skin chemical peels and lightening creams. Your dermatologist can prescribe these treatments. A chemical peel can be applied in a doctor's office once or twice a month. Prescription lightening creams for hyperpigmentation or darkened areas are applied as spot treatment on the skin to reduce the appearance of scarring.
Exfoliate healed folliculitis scars to even out skin discoloration and pitting. Try gentle homemade scrubs containing baking soda or finely ground salt. Add a teaspoon of baking soda or salt to your regular cleanser and gently massage into the skin to exfoliate. Continue exfoliating regularly over several months to see gradual improvement.
Things You'll Need
Prescription scar-lightening cream
Tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil
Baking soda or finely ground salt
Prevent folliculitis by shaving in the same direction as the hair growth, using shaving cream and warm water to soften the hair before shaving and astringent toners or aftershave after shaving and waxing. It is also important to gently exfoliate after waxing to avoid dead-skin buildup in the hair follicles.
Folliculitis scars should not be treated until the infection has completely healed. Do not apply scar-treatment cream on broken skin or infected skin bumps. This can cause skin burning and inflammation. Apply skin-lightening creams as prescribed as they can cause skin irritation and redness. It is important to wear sunscreen on all exposed skin, particularly when using these medicated creams.