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How can you treat an infected hair follicle?

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Treatment for an infected hair follicle depends on both the source of the infection and how deep it is, and can include medications such as shampoos, pills and creams, as well as minor surgery and laser hair removal, explains Mayo Clinic. Home care is often effective for minor infections, and can include warm compresses, soothing lotions, regular cleaning and non-prescription antibiotics.

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Superficial infections of hair follicles include bacterial folliculitis, pitysporum and hot tub folliculitus, states Mayo Clinic. Bacterial folliculitis causes white, itchy, pus-filled bumps, and is common in areas that people shave regularly. A yeast infection of the skin causes pityrosporum and produces chronic itchy pustules, and is most common on the back and chest, although it also appears on the face, shoulders, neck and upper arms. Pseudomonas bacteria cause hot tub folliculitis and produce a rash of round red itchy bumps that may develop into pustules.

A deep infection of a hair follicle involves the whole follicle and includes gram-negative folliculitis, boils and sycosis barbae, explains Mayo Clinic. Gram-negative folliculitis results from an imbalance in the types of bacteria on the skin, generally from antibiotic acne treatment. Boils are deep infections of staph bacteria and are painful bumps filled with pus. Sycosis barbae is a type of infection that affects men when they begin shaving, and grows worse as they continue.

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