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Pityrosporum Folliculitis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

 

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Pityrosporum folliculitis is a common inflammatory skin disorder. It is not an infection as such; it is an overgrowth of what is normally there. It is characterized by the presence of pruriginous follicular papulae and papulae-pustules in face, upper part of the trunk, and upper limb root. Pityrosporum folliculitis is caused by infection with a yeast-like fungus, Malassezia furfur, which is similar to the fungus that causes dandruff, although the pustules closely resemble acne. The yeast overgrowth may be encouraged by external factors and by reduced resistance on the part of the host. It is more prevailing in places with hot and humid climates. The signs and symptoms of folliculitis vary, depending on the type of infection. In superficial forms of the disorder, small pimples develop around one or more hair follicles. The infection may itch or be somewhat tender, but it usually isn't painful.

Pityrosporum folliculitis is a condition where the yeast, gets into the hair follicles and multiplies drastically in number, setting up an itchy, acne-like condition usually affecting the upper trunk of a young adult. Hot tub folliculitis usually will heal by itself, but a topical cream to stop the itching could be prescribed. In severe cases an oral antibiotic will clear the infection. Barber's itch requires that the affected area not be shaved until the infection is totally cured. If the infection takes a long time to cure, oral antibiotics will speed up the process. Especially common in young and middle-aged adults, pityrosporum folliculitis produces chronic, red, itchy pustules on the back and chest and sometimes on the neck, shoulders, upper arms and face. Tinea barbae is cured with a prescribed antifungal cream. Oral antibiotics can aggravate pityrosporum folliculitis because skin-inhabitant bacteria and yeasts are normally in competition on the skin surface.

Causes of Pityrosporum folliculitis

Common causes and risk factors of Pityrosporum folliculitis:

  • Injuries to your skin such as abrasions or surgical wounds.
  • Oily emollients such as coconut oil.
  • Stress or fatigue.
  • Various inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or dermatitis.
  • Trauma to your skin from surgery.

Signs and Symptoms of Pityrosporum folliculitis

Symptoms of folliculitis are small, white-headed pimples around one or more hair follicles. You can often see the hair shaft at the centre of the lesion. Sometimes pus builds up leaving surrounding areas red and inflamed. Patients may also have tinea versicolor or seborrheic dermatitis. In these conditions an overgrowth of the same pityrosporum yeast is believed to be involved. Deep folliculitis, which affects the entire hair follicle, can cause more severe signs and symptoms, including large, painful, pus-filled pimples that may leave scars when they heal.

Sign and symptoms may include the following :

  • Small pimples develop around one or more hair follicles.
  • The infection may itch or be somewhat tender.
  • Boils and carbuncles.
  • The surrounding skin also may become reddened.

Treatment for Pityrosporum folliculitis

Sometimes folliculitis goes away on its own in two or three days, but persistent or recurring cases are likely to require treatment. Oral treatments are the most effective. The two used are Nizoral and Sporonox. One will need to wait a week or two for clearing, and recurrences are to be expected. Topical therapy is not always effective, and may be worth a try. These include Nizoral or Selsun shampoos, applied for about 10 minutes and washed off in the shower. Boils and carbuncles will heal by themselves. The doctor could puncture the boil and drain out the fluid to speed up the healing process. In severe cases of carbuncles antibiotics could be prescribed to heal and prevent the spread of infection.

Treatment may include:

  • Topical therapy is not always effective, and may be worth a try. These include Nizoral or Selsun shampoos, applied for about 10 minutes and washed off in the shower.
  • Oral treatments are the most effective. The two used are Nizoral and Sporonox. One will need to wait a week or two for clearing, and recurrences are to be expected.
  • Topical antibiotics can clear superficial localized infections. The affected area should be treated with the appropriate cream or ointment two or three times a day.
  • Oral antibiotics will be required if there is an inadequate response.