Look Out for These Folliculitis Symptoms

itchy skin

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  • Folliculitis may be easy to diagnose depending on the appearance of the pustules and bumps that appear on the skin
  • However, there are other symptoms of folliculitis that you should look out for, especially if you’re unsure whether you have this skin condition

The principal symptom of folliculitis is the appearance of small red bumps on the surface of the skin where the openings of the hair follicles are. Upon closer inspection, these red bumps may look like small pimples, with pinkish skin surrounding a pus-filled head.

However, there are other symptoms of folliculitis that you should look out for, especially if you’re  unsure whether you have this skin condition. These include:

  • Itching: Patients who develop folliculitis may feel intense itchiness once the bumps show their heads.   While the bumps may become extremely itchy, do your best not to scratch them.1
  • Crusty sores: Folliculitis bumps may pop and start leaking pus. The bumps then start appearing crusty.2 As much as possible, don’t pop the bumps as this may slow down the healing time.
  • Pain and tenderness: The inflamed bumps usually cause a considerable amount of discomfort for patients, especially if the infection has made its way to the deeper layers of the skin. The bumps may become painful to the touch as well.3
  • Low-grade fever: In some cases, folliculitis may cause a low-grade fever and headache.4

A special type of folliculitis called pseudomonas folliculitis may also cause a variety of other symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, sore eyes and abdominal cramps.

How Is Folliculitis Diagnosed?

Folliculitis may be easy to diagnose depending on the appearance of the pustules and bumps that appear on the skin. However, because of the wide array of skin conditions that share similar symptoms, it would be best to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis, especially if the bumps are starting to spread or if they’re getting relatively worse.

Upon consultation, your physician may do a physical exam and examine the irritated skin. A medical history may be required to check for previous flare-ups of folliculitis. For severe cases, a doctor may swab or deroof the bumps to collect the pus. This is then forwarded for laboratory testing to determine what type of bacteria, virus or fungi caused the infection.

When Should You Seek Medical Help for Folliculitis?

While folliculitis may be common and easy to deal with, there are a handful of cases that warrant immediate medical attention. If you observe the following changes in your condition, it is best that you consult a healthcare practitioner as soon as possible:5

  • Fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Spreading rash
  • Swelling and pain is getting worse
  • Foul-smelling bumps
  • Recurring rashes

In rare cases, your lymph nodes may also become inflamed, suggesting that your folliculitis has advanced to a systemic infection. You may then experience pain in your armpits and breasts.6 This is more likely to happen to immunocompromised patients.7

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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