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Folliculitis is a skin infection that occurs when hair follicles become infected, most typically with Staphylococcus aureus or another type of bacteria or fungus. Folliculitis tends to develop in areas such as the neck, axilla (armpit) or groin area. Depending on the type of infection, the signs and symptoms may vary and include:

- A rash
- Pimples or pustules around one or more hair follicles
- Itchiness
- Pain  

What Causes Folliculitis?  

Follicles are found everywhere on the body except for the palms, soles and mucous membranes, such as your lips. Damaged follicles are susceptible to infection and while anyone can develop folliculitis, individuals with a reduced ability to fight infection (diabetes, for example) may be more susceptible. Acne, dermatitis, topical steroid therapy, being overweight and exposure to hot water, such as a hot tub or a heated swimming pool may increase your risk of developing folliculitis.

Folliculitis may also result from:

- Friction caused by shaving or tight clothing
- Excessive perspiration
- Skin injuries due to abrasions or surgical wounds  

Folliculitis Treatment  

A mild case of folliculitis will often clear up on its own. However, if an infection is involved and doesn't improve you may need to seek medical attention. Antibiotics or antifungal medication may be necessary. If you have a recurring case of folliculitis, you should also seek medical attention.

Here are some thing you can do at home for mild cases:

- Warm, moist compresses can help to relieve discomfort
- Soothe itchy skin with hydrocortisone cream, pramoxine ([Link Removed]or an oatmeal bath or lotion
- Keep washcloths and towels away from other individuals and change them regularly to prevent reinfection.
- Don't shave irritated skin.  

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
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