Blocked hair follicles are a chronic inflammatory skin condition. They are also known as acne inversa or Hidradenitis suppurativa. Hair follicles are tunnel shaped structures in the outermost layer of skin through which hair grows.
Common affected areas
They initially begin as small painful bumps under the skin and eventually look similar to pimples. If left untreated, they can grow deeper into the skin to form pus filled boils or tender cysts. They eventually burst leaking out pus and blood. Hence, spreading to other nearby areas of the skin.
Once healing occurs, they present as thick scars which can disturb movements in certain areas and can be cosmetically unpleasant.
What causes the Blocked hair follicles?
The primary cause of this condition remains obscure. Medical researchers are conducting several studies to understand the reason for the Block hair follicles.
Factors that increase the risk of developing Blocked hair follicles:
Puberty – Blocked hair follicles post puberty is common due to hormonal changes.
Genetics – If your family has a history of Blocked hair follicles, it may increase the risk of occurrence. Genetic inheritance is the major cause of this condition. However, it does not mean the development of Blocked hair follicles is only due to genes. There are other common factors that may cause Blocked hair follicles:
- Excess heat exposure
Home remedies for Blocked hair follicles
Practice skin care routines like using only antibacterial soaps and antiseptic washes to decimate the bacteria causing Blocked hair follicles.
Avoid washcloths or loofahs to scrub the skin as they can irritate the affected area. Do not shave on acne prone areas.
Place warm compress bags for 5-10 minutes on the affected region to curb swelling and pain.
Stay away from squeezing the breakouts, as it may aggravate and leave thicker scars behind.
Wear loose clothes
Pick outfits that allow your skin to breathe and avoid rubbing against your skin.
Try to stay healthy and fit. Avoid consuming high fatty foods. Being overweight causes sweating in the body which may lead to skin irritation.
Smoking tobacco damages the hair follicles and increases the risk of developing hair loss. Therefore, you need to take strenuous measures to quit tobacco to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Prefer Indoor exercises to Outdoor exercises. Wear loose, moisture-wicking clothes during exercise that won’t chafe your skin.
Choose exercises that likely won’t be a sweat fest, such as:
- Tai chi
- Water Zumba
- Cutback on dairy
- Eat less sugar
- Avoid brewer’s yeast
- Go for gluten-free options
- Give up processed foods
Treatment for Blocked hair follicles
A dermatologist examination is required for medications to uproot the conditions of Blocked hair follicles. Above mentioned home remedies can be followed but self-treatment with medications should be avoided without a dermatologist’s consultation. Topical creams and oral medications would be prescribed initially for the treatment.
A dermatologist might recommend a patient to undergo surgery only when needed.
Following treatments are done under the supervision of dermatologist:
- Surgical drainage. This procedure cuts the lumps and drains them to provide temporary pain relief.
- Laser therapy – A laser produces a beam of light-generating heat which would destroy the damaged hair follicles. Remission is also possible in laser therapy.
Early treatment reduces the chances of getting affected by Blocked hair follicles. This can adversely disturb your daily routine activities.