Is Folliculitis Contagious?

Folliculitis is a fairly common health condition that affects both men and women. In this article, we’ll go into more detail about folliculitis, and we’ll explain its causes, symptoms, variations, treatments. We will also answer the question, “Is folliculitis contagious?”

What Is Folliculitis?

Folliculitis is a health condition that affects the skin. It's when individual hair follicles become infected and inflamed. Folliculitis usually appears as red bumps or white-headed pimples that surround the affected hair follicle. It can affect people of all ages and genders. Although folliculitis can appear on any part of the body, it most commonly develops on the face, scalp, chest, back, buttocks, and legs. Basically, folliculitis is most likely to develop anywhere on the body where there is a lot of hair, oil glands, and friction.

Folliculitis usually appears as red bumps or white-headed pimples that surround the affected hair follicle

Causes Of Folliculitis

There are two possible reasons why someone will develop folliculitis. You either have folliculitis for biological reasons or non-biological ones.

Biological reasons for folliculitis include bacterial, fungal, or viral infections of the hair follicle. Generally, if the cause of your folliculitis is bacterial, you likely have Staphylococcus Aureus This is one of the more common bacterial triggers of folliculitis.

Biological reasons for folliculitis include bacterial, fungal, or viral infections of the hair follicle

Non-biological reasons for folliculitis include anything that could cause damage to normally healthy hair follicles. This includes a variety of chemical substances, hair removal, ingrown hairs, acne, a negative reaction to certain drugs, or anything else which damages the hair follicle.

Types of Folliculitis

When talking about folliculitis, you're really talking about a group of similar but different conditions. Here are the four, main types of folliculitis you may experience.

Acne vulgaris - Acne vulgaris, also known as the common pimple, is actually a form of folliculitis. Acne usually occurs when the hair follicle is clogged with either dead skin cells or excess oil. It usually manifests as red bumps or lesions on the skin and is incredibly common among teens who are going through puberty.

Bacterial folliculitis - This is any form of folliculitis where bacteria is the cause of the condition. The most common bacterial culprit of bacterial folliculitis is the aforementioned Staphylococcus Aureus. Usually, staph bacteria live on the skin’s surface and do not cause any negative skin health effects, but sometimes it is able to enter the hair’s pore and infect the follicle.

Fungal folliculitis - Fungal folliculitis is also known as pityrosporum folliculitis.  This type of folliculitis is caused by a type of yeast called pityrosporum. Generally, doctors treat folliculitis cases as fungal infections when they’re treated unsuccessfully with antibiotics. Fungal folliculitis is especially common on the upper chest and upper back. Another sign that a patient has fungal folliculitis is that the bumps are usually pinhead-sized and uniform.

Viral folliculitis - Viral folliculitis is usually caused by the herpes simplex virus. The bumps caused by viral folliculitis tend to be tender to the touch but also they usually go away on their own without treatment after about 10 days.

There are other types of folliculitis besides these four. They include hot tub folliculitis (also known as pseudomonas folliculitis,) and razor bumps (known as pseudofolliculitis barbae.) There are also some forms of deep folliculitis which may present with more extreme symptoms such as sycosis barbae, gram-negative folliculitis, boils (also known as furuncles,) carbuncles, and eosinophilic folliculitis.

Each of these conditions has their own specific symptoms and their treatments are a little different from one another. A licensed medical doctor or dermatologist can help you better identify what specific type of folliculitis you have, as well as how to treat it to improve your skin health.

Symptoms Of Folliculitis

Since there are so many variations and types of folliculitis, it’s hard to include every, single, possible symptom you may experience with folliculitis. That being said, we can highlight some of the more common, shared symptoms that most people experience.

The most common symptoms of folliculitis include:

  • Clusters of small, red bumps
  • White-headed pimples
  • Pus-filled blisters
  • Leaking lesions
  • Burst, crusty bumps
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Large, swollen bumps or masses
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Contact your doctor if you notice that you have these symptoms and they are becoming widespread across your body. If your folliculitis is bacterial, fungal, or viral in nature, then it is important that you get a medical diagnosis and begin receiving treatment before the infection gets worse. If left untreated, folliculitis can cause other health problems besides bad skin.

Is Folliculitis Contagious?

Knowing all of this, the question still stands, "Is folliculitis contagious?"

It depends. Not all forms of folliculitis are contagious. For example, you’re not going to catch razor burn from someone because razor burn is caused by a dull blade and poor shaving habits. The same goes for acne. You cannot catch acne from a friend or family member. It is either something you develop or you don’t.

That being said, if your folliculitis is bacterial, fungal, or viral in nature, those forms of the disease can be passed from person to person. Infection-caused forms of folliculitis can spread especially quickly through skin contact, shared razors, or indirect contact in a hot tub or Jacuzzi.

So if you think you have this skin condition, it’d be best to ask your doctor if your folliculitis is contagious.

If your folliculitis is bacterial, fungal, or viral in nature, those forms of the disease can be passed from person to person

Your doctor or dermatologist can tell you if your specific case of folliculitis is contagious or not. They can also give you some treatment information so you do not risk the health of others and spread your folliculitis.

Treatments For Folliculitis

Treatments of different folliculitis conditions vary almost as widely as the symptoms do. Bacterial infections have to be treated differently than viral infections, so do follicles blocked by excess oil. A medical doctor or dermatologist can help guide you toward the best treatment and prevention options for your specific type of folliculitis.

However, there are some general treatments that doctors recommend for the most common types of folliculitis. Your doctor will probably recommend the following treatments for your folliculitis:

  • Oral or topical antibiotics
  • Antifungal creams or tablets
  • Steroids

In some extreme cases, a doctor might recommend minor surgery. This is incredibly rare and saved only for certain, extreme cases of folliculitis.

Emuaid Can Help With Your Folliculitis

Emuaid is a powerful, homeopathic topical ointment which has been shown to help patients afflicted with folliculitis. It’s great for both treatment and prevention. The ingredients in Emuaid are antibacterial and antifungal. They also encourage improved blood flow which can speed up the healing process and reduce the possibility of scarring.

Emuaid is a great, supplemental folliculitis treatment option.

Ask your doctor if Emuaid can help you today.