Get Rid of Hair Bumps!


Hair Bumps and Hot Tubs – Bacterial Folliculitis

Bad news. We definitely have cooties.

Some studies have shown we may have more than 200 kinds of bacteria living on our skin. One of the most common types is staphylococcus aureus, or “staph.”

But there’s good news, too.

Yes, our skin provides a home to lots of different types of bacteria. It’s basically a germ zoo. But as creepy as that sounds, it can actually be a good thing. That’s because the bacteria living on our skin generally helps to protect us.

Most of the bacteria living on us is harmless, and some of it even defends us against harmful germs–the types that could cause infection. As long as our skin is intact, we should have a good defense. But if there are any breaks in our skin, that could mean trouble.

Any opening our skin–including scrapes, scratches, and abrasions from shaving–create a doorway for germs to get inside. Once inside, several types of infection can occur. Here, our focus is on what happens when bacteria finds its way through our skin and into our hair follicles.

Once bacteria gets into our hair follicles, inflammation of the hair follicle–also called folliculitis–can occur.

In the bacterial category, staph–which lives on our skin–is the most common cause of folliculitis. But there’s another type of bacteria that’s also a common cause. It’s called pseudomonas aeruginosa.

You don’t need to be able to pronounce pseudomonas aeruginosa. I’m trying to right now, and I think I sprained my tongue. But you might want to know where you’re most likely to get it: hot tubs. In particular, it comes from hot tubs that aren’t properly treated with chlorine or bromine–which are chemicals that are used to sanitize pools and hot tubs.

Usually, whether due to staph or psuedomonas aeruginosa (the hot tub bug), the result is a superficial rash of reddened, irritated, sometimes pus-filled hair bumps.

So, when it comes to bacterial folliculitis, we’ve talked about two of the most common culprits. But wait–there’s more…

In addition to bacteria, this skin condition can be caused by a virus, a fungus, or even parasites.

And if the infection goes deep into the hair follicle, we can wind up with some of the worst of the hair bumps: boils and carbuncles.

What exactly are boils and carbuncles?

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