Folliculitis is the medical term for inflammation of the hair follicles, which is usually due to an infection with staphylococcus bacteria or a fungus. Folliculitis can occur on the scalp, as well as the arms, in the armpits, or on the legs. Chronic skin conditions such as eczema or dermatitis can put you at risk for folliculitis, as can diabetes, tight clothing, living in unsanitary conditions, and heat and humidity.
Basic treatments for folliculitis may include:
- Over-the-counter antibiotic ointments applied topically to the affected area (if the area is large, an oral antibiotic may be recommended).
- Frequent shampooing to prevent recurrence. Look for shampoo made with tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), an effective germicidal and antibacterial agent which can also used to treat fungal infections of the skin.
If folliculitis is a recurring problem, I recommend considering:
- Hypnotherapy. Clinical hypnosis can be very effective for addressing skin conditions - look for a hypnotherapist with experience in dealing with these disorders.
- Supplementing your diet with GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). This essential fatty acid is hard to come by in the diet - the best sources are evening primrose oil and black currant oil.
- Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, fortified eggs, freshly ground flaxseeds or walnuts, are all good dietary sources.
Learn more about folliculitis.