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Folliculitis: Simple And Effective Home Remedies

Folliculitis is the infection or inflammation of hair follicles characterised by red or white pus-filled pimples in the hair grown areas, especially chest, scalp, face and legs. The cause can be infections (bacterial, fungal or yeast) or non-infection such as the use of harsh chemical products, shaving, nutrient deficiency or medications.

Home remedies for folliculitis are mainly for mild cases. Sometimes the folliculitis bumps go on their own. Home remedies or natural treatment methods help soothe symptoms such as itching or pain. Take a look at these amazing home remedies for folliculitis.

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1. Regular Wash With Antibacterial Soap

Cleaning the infected area with antibacterial soap is the best way to get rid of folliculitis, especially when caused by bacteria or yeast. It helps to reduce the microbial levels and keep skin flora balanced.

What to do: If folliculitis recurs at short intervals, clean the area twice with antibacterial soap and water. Avoid sharing towels and soap.

Note: Some microbes on the skin may develop resistance against antibacterial soaps.therefore, it is better to wash regularly with normal soap and water and apply the prior only when the bumps don't disappear for days.


2. Warm Compress

Proper hygiene and simple remedies like warm compress can help get clear mild folliculitis cases. Warm compress allows bumps to open so that the pus can drain out easily without any need of popping them. It also eases the pain and itching in the affected skin area. [1]

What to do: Dip a clean cloth in warm water and squeeze out extra water. Apply it on the bumps and gently press. Do it for around 15 minutes, thrice a day.

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3. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera has the property to fight against some skin-based bacteria and fungi. As folliculitis is mainly caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a common bacterium that resides on the skin, aloe vera gel may help minimise its growth to a large extent and heal the skin faster. [2] It also soothes the skin and reduces redness and swelling.

What to do: Apply aloe vera gel to the affected area after cleaning with soap and water.


4. Garlic

The antimicrobial property of garlic is promising against multiple skin infections including folliculitis. It helps to reduce the swelling and pain of bumps up to a great extent. With less discomfort, the area heals faster. [3]

What to do: Crush at least two cloves of garlic and add a tsp of rosewater or normal water. Apply on the affected area and leave for a few minutes. Wash with water and pat dry.

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5. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil possesses both anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties help reduce the infections and swelling in the affected areas. It is a good option for recurring folliculitis. [4]

What to do: Apply tea tree oil-based shampoo or body wash. You can also add a few drops of the oil in your shampoo or body wash and apply. Consider doing a skin patch test before.

Note: Tea tree oil can cause an allergic reaction or side effects when applied directly on the skin. Therefore, consider mixing it with a carrier oil or shampoo. Also, do a patch test before to know whether your skin can tolerate it or not.


6. Turmeric

Staphylococcus aureus normally lives on the skin and maintain the skin homeostasis. When they increase in number, skin infections like folliculitis arises. Curcumin in turmeric is effective against resistant S. aureus and other microbes responsible for skin infections. [5]

What to do: Include turmeric in your every meal. Also, make a paste of half a tsp of turmeric and coconut oil or water. Apply on the affected area and leave overnight. Rinse in the morning and pat dry.

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7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is effective against several strains of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus (cause Bacterial folliculitis) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (cause Pseudomonas folliculitis). This natural remedy is cost-effective and increases the healing process.

What to do: Mix 1 tsp of vinegar with 1 tsp of water. Soak cotton balls in the mixture and apply on the affected area for 15-20 minutes.

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Other Ways

  • Practice good hygiene all the time.
  • Soak yourself in hot bathtub mixed with baking soda to ease itching and swelling.
  • Avoid using skincare products or body lotions that contain harsh chemicals
  • Avoid shaving all the time and instead prefer trimming. If shaving, use a lubricant.
  • Wash skin before shaving or waxing to avoid the entry of infections from the follicles.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes or clothes that irritate the skin.
  • Avoid wearing sweaty clothes for long.
  • Be caution about the use of random hot bathtubs or heated pools.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like towels.

Common FAQs

1. Does hydrogen peroxide kill folliculitis?

Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic easily available in cosmetic shops or pharmacy. Its disinfectant nature helps treat folliculitis up to certain levels. Caution: use it in small dose after diluting with water. Consider doing a skin patch test before.

2. Why is my folliculitis not going away?

Mild cases of folliculitis often go away on their own or with simple home remedies such as warm compress, aloe vera gel, tea tree oil and garlic. If folliculitis recurs every time or have spread in a larger area, consult a medical expert soon.

Story first published: Thursday, June 11, 2020, 12:00 [IST]
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