Candidiasis is the most common fungal infection in human body. The causative organism is called Candida albicans. In candida folliculitis, the organism invades the hair follicle.
In normal circumstances, just like other organisms, small amount of Candida is found on the skin surface. But they do not cause any symptoms. This yeast like fungus likes to live in warm and moist climate. Folliculitis results when the fungus finds an entry into the hair follicle.
The infection appears as small white pus filled bumps. In severe cases the patient may lose hair from the affected area.Most cases of candida folliculitis, there is severe itching sensation and in rare cases the lesion is painful.
Causes Of Candida Folliculitis
As said earlier, the yeast like Candida fungus survives and multiplies in moist and warm areas. This fungus is present on skin surface, inside the intestine, in the skin folds, in the inner side of the thigh, in genital area and groin, in neck and underarms.
Obese people suffer from Candida folliculitis most as they have plenty of skin folds which remain moist all the time. When this area becomes irritated due to scratching, chaffing, or even shaving the skin may get damaged and break.Candida now finds an entry and leads to several symptoms.
People who are at a greater risk include those who have immune compromised state, for example; patient suffering from cancer, a HIV patient, infants and elderly individuals, drug addicts etc.
Candida Folliculitis Symptoms
The most common site of Candida infection is skin folds, or areas which remain moist and warm all the time. These areas include groin, underarm, neck etc.
- Small pus filled pimple like bumps develop around the hair follicle. They may crust over.
- The surrounding skin becomes red and inflamed.
- Itching and tenderness is common in this area.
- When the infection remains for long time, it can destroy the hair follicle, leading to hair loss from that area.
- If there is scarring, then there is permanent baldness in that site.
- Often when Candida folliculitis is in larger area, there may be other associated systemic symptoms such as fever, malaise, infection in stomach etc. Such cases are very less in amount.
Treatment Options For Candida Folliculitis
Prevention is always better than cure. It is possible to prevent candida folliculitis infection. In order to do this the patient should follow good hygienic practice. The area should be kept clean and dry.
- Those suffering from diabetes or any such disease, where the immunity becomes low, should adopt methods and ways to increase the immune status. Controlling of diabetes is important for all diabetics who suffer from Candida folliculitis.
- Topical application of anti-fungal cream and ointment is found effective.
- When only topical application is insufficient for complete cure, oral anti-fungal medicines are also prescribed by doctors.
Home remedies which are found effective in treating the disease include, tea tree oil and vinegar. Vinegar can be applied locally by diluting it in water. Tea tree oil should be applied by diluting it with carrier oil.