What Is an Infected Hair Follicle?


Quick Answer

An infected hair follicle, also known as folliculitis, occurs whenever a hair follicle becomes inflamed due to a fungal infection or bacteria, according to Mayo Clinic. The infection starts out as small white pimple or red bump that can progress into a sore that doesn't heal.

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Full Answer

Examples of different kinds of infected hair follicles include razor bumps, hot tub rash and barber's itch, notes Mayo Clinic. Razor bumps break out along the jaw, chin and upper lip and can become more pronounced over time as shaving continues. A hot tub rash can occur whenever the pH levels in a heated pool or hot tub aren't properly regulated. The rash may not develop until one to four days after the individual has been in the hot tub or pool. Barber's itch is caused by a combination of shaving and ingrown hairs and is more common in African-American men.

Examples of deep folliculitis include gram-negative folliculitis, carbuncles, boils and eosinophilic folliculitis, according to Mayo Clinic. Gram-negative folliculitis can occur with extended antibiotic therapy for acne due to the antibiotics changing the normal amount of bacteria in the nose. Carbuncles and boils are the result of staph bacteria. An individual should seek medical attention for folliculitis if symptoms don't clear up after a few days or if the infection is widespread.

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