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Folliculitis (cont.)

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What are the causes of folliculitis?

Folliculitis can be caused by a large number of infectious organisms. Frequently folliculitis seems to be induced by irritating substances, environmental or anatomical defects, internal abnormalities and drugs. Differentiating these causes is very important if the physician is going to be able to treat the condition successfully.

How is folliculitis diagnosed?

The diagnosis of folliculitis is generally based on the appearance of the skin. In some situations, a microbial culture of the pus will help to detect a bacterial cause. It may be necessary to pull out some of the affected hairs and examine these microscopically using potassium hydroxide in order to detect fungal infections. Occasionally, a small skin biopsy may be used to help the doctor confirm the diagnosis. Infectious causes include bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Usually, no specific blood tests are needed in the diagnosis of common folliculitis.

What else could folliculitis look like?

There are a large number of exotic conditions that may involve inflammation of the hair follicles. It takes an expert to distinguish these. If the condition does not resolve spontaneously, it is wise to visit your doctor.

What are common types of folliculitis?

Steroid folliculitis

Systemically administered or topically applied steroids (cortisone medications) are a well-known cause of folliculitis.

Cutting oil folliculitis

Machinists exposed to insoluble cutting oils that are use to decrease the friction between machine tools and metal parts can develop a folliculitis on the exposed skin.

Staphylococcal folliculitis

Staphylococci are bacteria that commonly inhabit the skin. One species, S. aureus, is a frequent cause of folliculitis. Occasionally, this organism may be insensitive to a number of commonly used antibiotics (such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA). In this situation, it is very important that a culture of the organism with sensitivities be performed so the ideal antibiotic is selected.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/27/2014

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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/folliculitis/article.htm

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