Folliculitis is due to the inflammation of the pilosebaceous follicle (inflammation of the base of the hair). The follicle is located in the dermis, as it develops under the skin. The hair begins to grow in the follicle and gradually pushes its way out of the skin. A boil is an infection of the follicle; inflammation in this case is attributed to the presence of a pathogen: Staphylococcus aureus.
Boils are caused by a sensitivity of the affected area and are more common in immune-compromised individuals, diabetics or those with allergies. The role of poor hygiene is also disputed as a cause.
The presence of a boil will involve:
- the forming a lump around a hair, with a hardening at the base;
- the presence of redness and warmth around the lesion;
- over a few days, to boil will evolve to the point that it destroys the follicle, leaving a small reddish hole in its place
- In some cases, multiple boils may appear at the same place (usually the neck or back) and then take the name of carbuncles;
- repeated episodes of boils are called furunculosis.
A diagnosis is made after clinical examination. The doctor or dermatologist examines the damage. A local biopsy can also be taken. The analysis confirms the presence of Staphylococcus aureus.
Treatment will vary depending on the circumstances encountered and stage of the disease. It is not advisable to handle a boil, so as to avoid the spreading of germs. In general, treatment consists of applying a protective dressing, local disinfection and sometimes the use of antibiotic creams. Meanwhile, thorough hand hygiene is necessary.
Antibiotics are routinely used in furunculosis, coupled with doing your laundry at high temperatures (90 °) and an antiseptic daily grooming.
To prevent the occurrence of boils, simple hygiene measures may suffice. Wearing loose clothing can also help reduce the frequency of furunculosis.