Folliculitis is a common skin condition in which hair follicles become inflamed. It's usually caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. At first it may look like small red bumps or white-headed pimples around hair follicles — the tiny pockets from which each hair grows. The infection can spread and turn into nonhealing, crusty sores.
Mild cases of folliculitis often respond well to home care. The following self-care approaches may help relieve discomfort, speed healing and prevent an infection from spreading:
Apply a warm, moist washcloth or compress. Do this several times a day to relieve discomfort and help the area drain, if needed. Moisten the compress with a saltwater solution (1 teaspoon of table salt in 2 cups of water).Apply over-the-counter antibiotics. Try various nonprescription infection-fighting gels, creams and washes.Apply soothing lotions. Try relieving itchy skin with an oatmeal lotion or an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.Clean the affected skin. Gently wash the infected skin twice a day with antibacterial soap. Use a clean washcloth and towel each time and don't share your towels or washcloths. Use hot, soapy water to wash these items. And wash clothing that has touched the affected area.Protect the skin. If possible, avoid shaving. If you must shave, try an electric razor. When you're done, rinse your skin with warm water and apply moisturizer.