‘Folliculitis, Tinea Barbae, and Barber’s Itch
Folliculitis is a skin disorder which is an infection that happens on the hair follicles of the skin. Folliculitis is also known as tinea barbae, pseudofolliculitis barbae and the popular barber’s itch. It may seem like not a very important matter, but severe cases with this kind of skin disorder may cause scarring and hair loss not to mention that even the mild cases can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. There are some cases when the folliculitis infection is caused by bacteria that are called staphylococcus.
The tiny pockets or pores where each of our hair grows are called hair follicles and folliculitis occurs when pimples, small and white-headed made appearances around the hair follicles. Some of the infections are only superficial but they may also become occasionally painful and may itch every now and then. When folliculitis is only superficial, often enough it tends to clear and disappear by itself in a matter of days. But when folliculitis is recurring and deeply infected, immediate medical treatment is already needed.
The common causes of folliculitis are damages to the hair follicles. It usually starts when the hair follicles are damage through shaving, friction from clothing and blockage. Other damages to the hair follicles that may cause folliculitis are acne, excessive perspiration, dermatitis, adhesive tapes and plastic dressing used to the skin and exposure to pitch, creosote and coal tar. The symptoms of folliculitis are usually common to most skin conditions. There will be a rash and the area of the infected skin will be reddened accompanied by itching. Pustules or pimples will be seen located around an infected hair follicle.
Although folliculitis is known to be related to tinea barbae, pseudofolliculitis barbae, and barber’s itch, their characteristics of infection differ from each other. Tinea barbae is a hair follicle infection which is slightly similar to barber’s itch but the difference between the two is the infection of tinea barbae is caused a fungus. On the other hand pseudofolliculitis is an infection that is caused by inflammation of the skin which is caused by hair curving back to the epidermis especially with curly hairs that was cut very short. The last one is the infamous barber’s itch, an infection which is caused by staphylococcus bacteria that occurs in the hair follicles. The condition is greatly aggravated by shaving which usually happens to the bearded area of the face and the upper lip.
Hair follicle infections can be prevented from occurring. There are techniques that will help you from ever having a folliculitis condition. You can practice following techniques like, avoid shaving the infected area as much as possible, avoid getting a reinfection from contaminated washcloths and other clothing and always minimize friction from clothing. If the infection is persistent you can control them by topical antibiotics, antifungal creams, oral antibiotic and other related medications.
With mild cases of folliculitis, the condition usually clears up with minimum to no treatment at all. But in cases where the skin condition is not improving in the span of two to three days and the infection may seem to be spreading or often recurring, it’s time to see a doctor that specializes with this kind of diseases or a dermatologist.