Why Does Folliculitis Happen to Patients?

man shaving with razor

Story at-a-glance -

  • Folliculitis may be caused by a plethora of triggers, whether through inadvertent skin trauma or through a bacterial infection
  • If you’re currently suffering or you know someone who is suffering from folliculitis, here are some of the possible causes for this problem

Folliculitis may be triggered by various external and internal factors, some of which are still unclear to researchers. However, the good news is that some of the causes have been pinpointed, which may improve the quality of the treatments given to patients.

What Causes Folliculitis?

Folliculitis may be caused by a plethora of triggers, whether through inadvertent skin trauma or through a bacterial infection. If you're currently suffering or you know someone who is suffering from folliculitis, here are some of the possible causes for this problem:

  • Viral, fungal or bacterial infection. This is the most common cause of folliculitis. There are numerous bacteria and viruses that can infect the hair follicles, and they can be acquired from numerous places, including public baths and heated pools.1
  • Having a close shave. More commonly known as razor bumps, this condition may be triggered when the blade runs too close to the skin, damaging the top part of the hair follicle. This can then cause both inflammation and itchiness.2
  • Chemicals. Numerous harsh chemicals like corticosteroids in skin products may irritate the skin. Topically applying these chemicals may cause the hair follicles to get blocked and inflamed.3

What Are the Risk Factors for Folliculitis?

Folliculitis can affect a significant percentage of the population, depending on numerous factors. If you're planning on taking precautions to prevent folliculitis, here are some of the risk factors that you should look out for:

Frequent shaving. The thickness and the speed of hair growth dictates how many times people need to shave. While shaving may be a normal grooming practice for men, the constant contact of the blade with the skin may cause your follicles to become irritated or infected.4

This risk may also be amplified if you have naturally thick and curly hair, as you have a higher chance of getting ingrown hair because of the normal curve of the hair. After shaving, the tip of the hair may reenter the skin upon regrowth. These infected hair follicles usually indicate pseudofolliculitis or razor bumps.5

Tight clothing. If you're fond of wearing tight clothing, you may have a heightened risk of getting folliculitis because your skin is constantly under pressure. The close proximity of your clothes to your skin also causes a lot of friction, irritating the skin further.6

Use of/exposure to pore-clogging materials. Constant exposure to chemicals or substances may heighten your risk of folliculitis as these materials can make their way into the opening of the follicle. Some of the most common examples of these materials include moisturizers, lotions and other chemical-based skin products. Constant exposure to tar and engine oil may also trigger folliculitis.7

Obesity. Obese people suffer from excessive sweating, increased sebum production and skin friction due to the skin folds they have. These factors may lead to yeast and other bacteria to multiply at an increased rate.8

Weakened immunity. Patients who suffer from conditions that lower immune function may suffer from folliculitis as the body is unable to mediate the bacteria or virus on the skin, causing an overabundance of these microorganisms. This heightens your risk of infections.9

Some of the most common conditions that may trigger folliculitis include HIV, diabetes, hepatitis and cancer.10

MORE ABOUT FOLLICULITIS

Folliculitis: Introduction

What Is Folliculitis?

Folliculitis Symptoms

Folliculitis Causes

Folliculitis Types

Folliculitis Treatment

Folliculitis Prevention

Folliculitis Diet

Folliculitis FAQ

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