Folliculitis is a condition recognised by a raised number of rashes and inflamed hair follicles. It can occur anywhere around your body but the most common site for the outbreak of this condition is your buttocks. If you start noticing it’s signs and symptoms on your skin, most probably you can control this infection just by regularly cleaning that area and by putting warm compress on your skin. Further outbreaks could be prevented by wearing loose fitting clothes, avoiding swimming in dirty water and by taking shower whenever your body gets sweaty. If this method does not work for you then you have to consult a dermatologist as only a doctor could provide you with a number of professional treatments and medications for the recovery of this infection.
Here are some scientifically proven ways which could save you from getting yourself into more complicated and worse skin conditions.
- Wear loose-fitting underwear and pants: Loose fitting clothes will let the infection air out. One of the most common causes of folliculitis is the sweat that builds up from wearing tight clothing. An active infection could become worse by wearing tight pants or underwear. It will cause more irritation and rashes on your skin. While you are in the process of treating the infection, try to opt for loose clothing. You need to keep the following points in your mind while choosing your everyday outfit.
- Breathable materials are best to wear in this condition. Use undergarments made up of materials like cotton.
- Do not wear leggings, yoga pants, tights or skinny jeans. As they all can trap the sweat and moisture on the surface of your skin.
- Try to sleep without wearing undergarments if possible. This way you can let your infection air out overnight.
2. Wash the area twice a day: Use soap and warm water for washing the infected area at least two times a day. This way you can prevent your infection from spreading, as well as it will remove the bacterias causing infection. Use a gentle soap for scrubbing your buttocks while bathing or taking shower. If you aren’t bathing, put the soap bar on a wet clean cloth and gently rub it on infected areas. Thoroughly rinse your skin to remove the remaining residue of soap.
- Avoid using antiseptics that are too harsh for your skin like rubbing alcohol. Such antiseptics could make the infection worse.
- Do not scrub hard on the infected area. This can rupture the cysts and cause more skin irritation.
3. Place a warm compress over the affected area: Use of warm compress four times a day helps in soothing the area and drains out the cysts. Take a piece of wash cloth, soak it up in warm water and place it over the affected skin for 15-20 minutes. If the cloth cools off, rewet it for another turn. Repeat this method everyday, until the infection is cleared up.
- Make sure that the water isn’t hot and it is just warm. Hot water can cause inflammation and can burn the skin.
- Always use a washcloth for this procedure. Try to clean the cloth in between the application, this will prevent the re-infection caused by bacteria on the washcloth.
- Use heating pads if you can’t remove your garments. Sitting on a heating pad will also give you a soothing effect like warm water compress.
4. Apply OTC hydrocortisone creams: Folliculitis sometimes causes itchiness that can make you uncomfortable. If you are experiencing itchy skin, apply a very thin layer of hydrocortisone cream to your infected area. Do not use an excessive amount of cream over your infection, as it could block your hair follicles and make the condition worse. Many types of hydrocortisone creams would be available at the store easily. The product comes with the instructions that need to be followed properly. You just have to pick the right product and use it accordingly.
- Taking help from a professional is also great. A pharmacist could assist you in selecting the best cream for your condition.
- Do not wrap or cover the applied cream with bandage. This will lock the dirt and sweat on your skin.
5. Take OTC pain relievers: If sitting becomes painful, you can take OTC pain relievers. When you sit on your buttocks, folliculitis might cause pain. This pain killer will reduce the painful skin condition. Just follow the correct dosage of your medicine. If it doesn’t improve the pain within 3 days, you should contact your doctor to examine the area.
6. Apply prescription-strength antibiotic cream: Your dermatologist will prescribe you stronger antibiotic cream if the OTC treatments didn’t help in treating your folliculitis. Continue the usage of antibiotic cream on an infected area until the infection clears up. Apply a thin layer of cream or do it as directed by your doctor.
7. Take oral antibiotics: If the infection is not treated by an antibiotic cream, your dermatologist will recommend you to take oral antibiotics. Take your medicine on time and be very careful with the dosage of antibiotics prescribed by a professional. Complete your antibiotic course, do not stop taking the medicine without doctor’s guidance. Oral medications sometimes cause stomach disturbance, to avoid this condition you have to take antibiotics after your snack or meal.
8. Avoid shaving the area: Shaving the infected area could make your infection even worse by increasing the itchiness and skin irritation. You need to avoid shaving over the bumps, as shaving is one of the major causes of buttocks folliculitis.
9. Avoid swimming in a dirty pool: If you want to avoid folliculitis outbreaks or if you have already developed this infection, you need to stop swimming in a dirty pool. Instead you can swim in water cleaned by chlorination. The pH of the water of your pool must be in between 7.4 to 7.6. The signs of the dirty pool are discolored water, cloudy appearance and layer of foam on the surface. Do not go swimming if the water has the appearance of dirt.
10. Visit your doctor: If your rash becomes painful, persistent or is causing fever, you need to consult your doctor ASAP(as soon as possible). If your buttocks folliculitis do not clear up within 2 weeks of basic home treatments, then it’s time to take guidance from a professional dermatologist. Some infections can only be treated by taking antibiotics either topically or orally. Do not try to start self medication. Appropriate dosage of antibiotics prescribed by the doctor could save you from further complications.