Folliculitis is an inflammation or infection of the hair follicles, the small openings that surround the roots of your strands of hair. It can affect one or more hair follicles, anywhere on your body that hair grows.
The thighs, buttocks, neck and armpits are most often affected because friction is common in these areas.
The bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus often cause bacterial folliculitis. It also can be caused by yeast or other types of fungus.
Some other factors that can cause folliculitis are a weakened immune system, irritation due to shaving and ingrown hair, regularly wearing tight clothing, poor hygiene and skin conditions like acne and dermatitis. People who are obese are also more likely to develop this problem.
The most common signs and symptoms of folliculitis include pimples or pus-filled bumps that crust over; a large swollen mass or bump; inflamed and red skin; pain or tenderness; and burning, swelling, or itchy skin.
Folliculitis is not a serious issue and usually goes away on its own within a week or two. But it can be irritating, painful and embarrassing, depending on the location of this condition. Severe infections can cause permanent hair loss and scarring.
There are many simple yet effective home remedies that can provide relief from the symptoms and accelerate the healing process.
1. Warm Compress
When you suffer from folliculitis, the first step you need to take is apply a warm compress on the affected area. This will help calm the irritation and reduce pain.
A warm compress will also increase circulation to the affected area, which aids the healing process.
- Boil 2 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of salt in it, then let the water cool down a bit.
- Soak a hand towel in the solution and wring out the excess water.
- Place the warm, moist towel on the affected area for 10 minutes at a time.
- Repeat 3 to 5 times a day.
Turmeric that you use in cooking is also a good remedy for folliculitis. This herb is a strong and effective natural antibiotic that works against staph bacteria, one of the main causes of this problem.
Turmeric also has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling, itching and pain.
- For topical use, mix ½ teaspoon of turmeric with enough coconut or olive oil to form a paste. Apply it on the affected area. After 1 or 2 hours, rinse off the turmeric paste and reapply. Do this until the infection is gone.
- For internal use, add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk and drink it twice daily.
- Turmeric can be taken in the form of a supplement, too. Consult your doctor for the correct dosage.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another inexpensive and easy-to-use home treatment for folliculitis is apple cider vinegar.
It contains antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral properties, which means it can deal with the cause of the problem. Plus, it is effective at reducing inflammation and itching.
- For topical use, combine 1 part of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with 2 parts of lukewarm water. Use a cotton ball to apply this solution on the irritated skin. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse it off. Apply some coconut oil to keep the area moisturized.
- For internal use, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of lukewarm water. Drink it 1 or 2 times a day.
4. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is another simple yet effective home remedy. It is effective against bacteria and fungi, hence it can deal with the root cause of the problem.
Plus, it’s nontoxic and it starts working almost immediately!
- For topical use, apply 2 or 3 drops of colloidal silver on the affected area. Cover the site with a bandage. Reapply twice daily.
- For internal use, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of colloidal silver to a glass of filtered water and drink it twice daily, preferably on an empty stomach. Continue for 1 month to destroy all the harmful bacteria and fungi within the body.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is effective at treating different skin infections, including folliculitis.
Due to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil helps clear up the infection faster when used on a regular basis. It also reduces the redness and itchiness.
- Mix 5 drops of tea tree oil in 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil. Massage this oil on the affected area and rinse it off after 1 to 2 hours. Repeat once daily.
- Alternatively, put 1 or 2 drops of tea tree oil onto a moistened cotton swab and dab it gently on the affected area. Allow it to sit for 1 hour before rinsing it off with cool water. Repeat twice daily.
Note: If you are using tea tree oil for the first time, it is highly recommended to do a patch test to rule out the possibility of an allergic reaction.
6. African Black Soap
For relief from folliculitis, you can give African black soap a try.
This natural soap contains healing ingredients like palm oil, cocoa, coconut oil, shea butter and vitamin E that also help keep the affected area moisturized. It offers quick relief from itchiness, pain and inflammation.
Not just folliculitis, it is also effective at treating acne, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and dry skin.
- Use pure, organic African black soap to wash the affected skin at least twice daily.
- If the folliculitis is on your scalp, you can use African black soap as a shampoo to wash your hair a few times a week.