Q:

What is a good home remedy for an infected hair follicle?

A:

Quick Answer

While most infected hair follicles heal in about two weeks, WebMD indicates warm compresses with salt water or Burow's solution often help to relieve the itching and speed healing. Drugstores sell Burow's solution, a 5 percent aluminum subacetate aqueous solution, without a prescription.

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Full Answer

If the infection continues, use of an over-the-counter antibiotic lotion or cream is sometimes beneficial, according to Mayo Clinic. Washing the area around the hair with an antibacterial soap is another way to keep the infection from spreading. If itching is a problem, application of an oatmeal lotion or hydrocortisone cream is often beneficial.

If the infection occurs in an area that requires shaving, use of an electric razor helps to minimize the irritation to the skin, although patients should avoid shaving the area around an infected follicle when possible. If the infected hair follicle is in the beard or hair, WebMD recommends use of a medicated shampoo. Doctors prescribe oral antibiotics to help the body to fight the infection. If the infection is not getting better, spreads to other follicles or becomes more painful or if the patient experiences a fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit, a doctor should examine the follicle. Laser hair removal is sometimes beneficial for recurrent infections as it destroys the follicle.

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