Scalp folliculitis is an inflammatory condition of hair follicles in the scalp. Folliculitis is mainly caused by bacteria, viruses, fungus and chemical irritants. The characteristic lesions of scalp folliculitis are filled with pus with severe itching. Numerous hair follicles are affected at the same time. In majority of cases, frontal hairline is affected, but the annoying condition can spread all over scalp if not treated.
Folliculitis in scalp is mainly caused by staphylococcus bacteria. Poor hair care, unhygienic condition and people suffering from diabetes are at greater risk of suffering from scalp follculitis.The lesions respond well to warm compresses, antiseptic hair wash and antibacterial ointment.
Causes Of Scalp Folliculitis
The exact reason of folliculitis in scalp and other hairy areas such as axilla, thigh and face is not very well understood, however it is believed to be an inflammatory reaction to pathogenic organism present on the skin surface. Infectious organisms such as staphylococcus aureus are mainly responsible for it. The other organisms from fungal and viral family such as Candida and herpes simplex virus may also cause infection in scalp hair follicles.
There are number of organism on skin surface but they are harmless.Once they enter into the hair follicle and under the skin due to cuts and scratches or broken skin, they become infectious. Poor scalp hygiene, excessive perspiration, use of chemical dyes and irritants can lead to severe itching and scratching. This may lead to cuts and scratches on scalp skin. It provides an entry for microorganisms to enter into the follicles and trigger infection.
Persons suffering from diabetes are also susceptible to this annoying condition. Scalp folliculitis can spread from an infected person to another non infected person by sharing combs, hats and hair care products.
Symptoms Of Scalp Folliculitis
Foliculitis on scalp is apparent and a dermatologist can quickly recognize the infection. The condition in majority of cases is present on the frontal hairline, however sometimes it may be present on posterior region of scalp or all over the scalp.
Folloculitis has characteristic lesions. They are pus filled small lesions with hair projecting from the center. Pus and blood may ooze out when pressed. Folliculitis on scalp causes severe itching. They are painful. In mild cases, the rash resolves without much complication. However, in case if the infection is deep seated, it may leave behind scars once the condition heals.
There are several follicles involved at the same time. Depending on the severity, patient may also suffer from loss of hair. Lymph nodes in the region of neck may become tender and enlarged.
Home Remedies To Treat Scalp Folliculitis
Foliculitis on scalp is a painful and itchy condition. If the condition is in its mild form, it can be treated at home. But if folliculitis is deep seated, the patient may require conventional medications such as oral anti biotic, antibacterial ointment etc.
Here are few home measures which may enhance healing process.
- Maintaining good skin hygiene is necessary for healing of lesions.
- Wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Always use warm water to wash your hair. Avoid using hot water as this may increase oil production and consequently irritate infected hair follicles.
- Do not scrub or massage your scalp. Avoid using a sharp toothed comb and do not dig the comb in scalp.
- You can use anti fungal shampoos which may help to alleviate itching.
- You can add few drops of tea tree oil in mild shampoo. Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial properties. It helps to remove bacteria and other pathogens from scalp.
- Control your diabetes if your blood sugar is high.
- Avoid sharing personal combs and hats with other people.
- Avoid using hair dyes if you have a previous history of scalp folliculitis.