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How can recurrent folliculitis be treated?

Q: My husband is 35 years old. He gets hair follicle infection frequently on his upper thigh and perianal region. He is not taking any medicine for this. He just cleans the pus and it heals in a few days. What could be the cause and treatment?

A:Your husband could be suffering from either boils or folliculitis. Boil or furuncle is a skin disease caused by the inflammation of hair follicles, thus resulting in the localised accumulation of pus and dead tissues. Individual boils can cluster together and form an interconnected network of boils called carbuncles. In severe cases, boils may enlarge to form abscesses. Folliculitis is inflammation of one or more hair follicles. The condition may occur anywhere on the skin. The symptoms of boils are red, pus-filled lumps that are tender, warm, and painful. A yellow or white point at the centre of the lump can be seen when the boil is ready to drain or discharge pus. In a severe infection, multiple boils may develop and the patient may experience fever and swollen lymph nodes. In some people, itching may develop before the lumps begin to develop. Boils are most often found on the back, underarms, shoulders, face, lip, thighs and buttocks, but may be found elsewhere. Boils are generally caused by an infection of the hair follicles by Staph. aureus, a strain of bacteria that normally lives on the skin surface. People with immune system disorders, diabetes, poor hygiene or malnutrition (Vitamin A or E deficiency) are particularly susceptible to getting boils; however, they may also occur in healthy, hygienic individuals. Topical antiseptic treatment is adequate for most cases. Systemic antibiotics, topical antibiotics such as fusidic acid, mupirocin ointment etc can be used. Pus culture and sensitivity tests as well as blood culture & sensitivity can also be done.

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