Folliculitis (cont.)

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What else could folliculitis look like?

There are a large number of exotic conditions that may involve inflammation of the hair follicles. It takes an expert to distinguish these. If the condition does not resolve spontaneously, it is wise to visit your doctor.

What are common types of folliculitis?

Steroid folliculitis

Systemically administered or topically applied steroids (cortisone medications) are a well-known cause of folliculitis.

Cutting oil folliculitis

Machinists exposed to insoluble cutting oils that are use to decrease the friction between machine tools and metal parts can develop a folliculitis on the exposed skin.

Staphylococcal folliculitis

Staphylococci are bacteria that commonly inhabit the skin. One species, S. aureus, is a frequent cause of folliculitis. Occasionally, this organism may be insensitive to a number of commonly used antibiotics (such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA). In this situation, it is very important that a culture of the organism with sensitivities be performed so the ideal antibiotic is selected.

What is hot tub folliculitis or Jacuzzi folliculitis?

Hot tub folliculitis is caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This condition is likely to occur from bathing in poorly maintained hot tubs. It is most common on the back and causes scattered pinpoint, small red to purple bumps all over the torso. These may be very itchy or have no symptoms at all. Typically, there is a history of sitting for one to three hours in a hot tub days prior to the start of the bumps. It is good practice to rinse off the skin in a shower after this sort of bathing.

The hot tub should be tested and possibly treated by trained pool and spa personnel for bacterial overgrowth. Affected patients may be more prone to recurrences in the future and should be cautious about hot tub use. Although this condition often resolves without treatment, it may be useful to rinse the skin with dilute vinegar.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/2/2012

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