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#94951 - 01/07/12 10:34 AM Which theory is true?
mumbaigirl Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
Theory 1: Once the hair follicles are destroyed (by electrolysis or laser), they can no longer can infected and thus, folliculitis will be cured.

Theory 2: Bacteria seed down the pores in folliculitis and the removal of hair won't disinfect or sterilize the pore. Pseudofolliculitis in which the hair curves and grows in forming an inflammatory bump can improve with laser or electrolysis hair removal because the hair once removed with laser or electrolysis, can't create the inflammation from being ingrown. Bacterial folliculitis does not need the hair to be an active infection.

My concern is TRUE bacterial folliculitis and NOT pseudofolliculitis. Will permanent hair removal help?

I understand laser or electrolysis treatments can't kill bacteria and I need antibiotics to kill it. But is it possible to prevent a relapse by destroying the hair follicles?

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#94952 - 01/07/12 03:29 PM Re: Which theory is true? [Re: mumbaigirl]
h56ty Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 06/03/08
Posts: 85
I believe there are a lots of different types of folliculitis so why don't you look it up on wikopedia. Anything like shaving/epilating without allowing the area to heal and settle down can every time you do this cause a build up of sores and encourage infection. Ingrowing hairs can become infected especially if you try to pick them out and fail leaving a sore. I think permanent hair removal will help because the hair is permanently removed and the pore thats left can settles down. Less hair or thinner hairs are more easily managed with a razor or epilator.


Edited by h56ty (01/07/12 03:31 PM)

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#94954 - 01/07/12 03:31 PM Re: Which theory is true? [Re: h56ty]
James W. Walker VII Online

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Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 8050
Loc: Buffalo NY, & Traveling the US...
Removal of the hairs will help as it will remove the source of the ingrown hairs, and the scratchy stubble, and give you less reason to scratch your face with fingernails full of staph.
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#94956 - 01/07/12 03:39 PM Re: Which theory is true? [Re: James W. Walker VII]
Caith721 Offline

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Registered: 11/26/10
Posts: 349
Loc: Charlotte, NC, US
For me, laser hair removal removed the source of the issue and I haven't experienced any more folliculitis in all the treated areas. It's been an immense relief for many years.
_________________________
M, 54y, average-to-light beard: brown, red, blonde, grey, white
Electrolysis of upper and lower lips and chin
Started late November 2010

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#94971 - 01/08/12 10:11 AM Re: Which theory is true? [Re: Caith721]
mumbaigirl Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
@h56ty: I've read a lot about folliculitis. I have true bacterial folliculitis- the bacterium responsible being Staphylococcus aureus. I get folliculitis even when I don't shave or wax. Thanks for your input. smile

@James: Thanks for replying. :)I don't have any ingrown hairs. I have true bacterial folliculitis on my legs and I do not keep touching my legs. Do you think electrolysis treatments will help? Have you treated people for TRUE folliculitis?

@Caith721: Thanks a ton for your input.Please help me with the following questions:

1) Was it true bacterial folliculitis? OR Pseudofolliculitis caused by in grown hairs where the bacterial infection( if present) is SECONDARY to the inflammation caused by in grown hairs?

2) Did you get it even when you were NOT shaving or waxing or using any form of hair removal?

Your input would be very much appreciated. I'd also like you to see a picture of how my folliculitis looks like.

http://dermnetnz.org/common/image.php?path=/acne/img/s/folliculitis5.jpg

As you can see, at some places there is only redness and inflammation and at some places, pus-filled bumps. Please let me know if you had something similar. Thank you.

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#94991 - 01/09/12 01:01 PM Re: Which theory is true? [Re: mumbaigirl]
Caith721 Offline

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Registered: 11/26/10
Posts: 349
Loc: Charlotte, NC, US
I endured both bacterial folliculitis and pseudofolliculitis for many years. My leg hairs grew in tightly-clustered groups of three. Whenever new hairs were erupting, they failed to break through the skin and caused ingrowns. Even non-ingrown hairs were often red, itchy, and bothersome. The worst case was when staph would colonize in the follicles causing painful cystic acne and abscesses, which happened often. All of this occurred in the complete absence of shaving, waxing, or any other form of hair removal.

The picture you linked appears to be a mild and shallow staph infection. Over-the-counter topical anti-biotic creams (neomycin/bacitracin/polymyxin) should greatly reduce these. More severe cases require a two-week course of prescription oral antibiotics like cephalexin (Keflex).
_________________________
M, 54y, average-to-light beard: brown, red, blonde, grey, white
Electrolysis of upper and lower lips and chin
Started late November 2010

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#94992 - 01/09/12 01:28 PM Re: Which theory is true? [Re: Caith721]
mumbaigirl Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
Thanks a TON for the reply! smile

Those creams do not work for me anymore. frown

I've tried oral antibiotics too but they couldn't give me permanent relief.

So I should consider laser hair removal, right? I'm thinking of getting rid of the present infection by a course of oral antibiotics and then start laser hair removal since no laser clinic would perform treatments with active infection.

One more question please:

Did you break-out after laser hair removal sessions? I see laser can cause follicular irritation too. ( I got folliculitis on my face after my 1st laser session. Didn't get if after the second session though)

Thanks again! smile




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#95015 - 01/10/12 02:20 PM Re: Which theory is true? [Re: mumbaigirl]
Caith721 Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 11/26/10
Posts: 349
Loc: Charlotte, NC, US
Other than the normal mild inflammation after laser hair removal (which resolved in a day or two as the hairs shed) I did not experience any follicular irritation, nor did I break out afterwards.
_________________________
M, 54y, average-to-light beard: brown, red, blonde, grey, white
Electrolysis of upper and lower lips and chin
Started late November 2010

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#95016 - 01/10/12 04:24 PM Re: Which theory is true? [Re: mumbaigirl]
Barbara_CPE Offline

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Registered: 10/19/05
Posts: 1102
Loc: Kansas
Originally Posted By: mumbaigirl
Theory 1: Once the hair follicles are destroyed (by electrolysis or laser), they can no longer can infected and thus, folliculitis will be cured.

Theory 2: Bacteria seed down the pores in folliculitis and the removal of hair won't disinfect or sterilize the pore. Pseudofolliculitis in which the hair curves and grows in forming an inflammatory bump can improve with laser or electrolysis hair removal because the hair once removed with laser or electrolysis, can't create the inflammation from being ingrown. Bacterial folliculitis does not need the hair to be an active infection.

My concern is TRUE bacterial folliculitis and NOT pseudofolliculitis. Will permanent hair removal help?

I understand laser or electrolysis treatments can't kill bacteria and I need antibiotics to kill it. But is it possible to prevent a relapse by destroying the hair follicles?


Not sure how much difference there is between plain ole folliculitis and pseudofolliculitis unless it is simply that the latter is caused directly by shaving and the former is not.

It is my understanding that we all carry the staph bacteria, and that under certain conditions an infection can run amok. Those conditions include a compromised immune system, which could name diabetes as well as other health conditions as a major factor.

Regarding the original question about permanent hair removal solving the problem..........the problem is that an electrologist should not treat skin that is infected. Another problem with having a chronic staph infection is that the bacteria might exist in your environment (clothing, sheets, towels, etc.) and after an electrolysis treatment you might re-expose yourself to high bacterial load items....

The really interesting thing to learn would be: Once hair is permanently gone, how much of the follicle still exists? Does lack of hair mean the follicle is gone? (I think not, but have no idea if this is TRUE.)

If the hair follicle is indeed gone, then there would be no opportunity for bacteria to invade the follicle, thus it would not be "folliculitis".
_________________________
Barbara Greathouse, CPE
Kansas Licensed since 1980
Live by the 4 Agreements: Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best.



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#95018 - 01/10/12 05:47 PM Re: Which theory is true? [Re: Barbara_CPE]
mumbaigirl Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
@Caith721: Thanks smile

@Barbara_CPE:

Pseudofolliculitis is FALSE inflammation of the hair follicle caused by IN GROWN hairs. You might see bacterial infection associated with it but it would be SECONDARY. There would have been no bacterial infection had it not been for in grown hairs.

Folliculitis on the other hand is caused PRIMARILY by bacteria seeding down the pores and causing infection.

I don't think the hair follicle is actually gone after laser or electrolysis..I'm not sure..Need more input

What I do know is I could find some people over the internet who said permanent hair removal helped them get rid of folliculitis forever. BUT I could also find some people who found permanent hair removal a complete of waste of time and money as their condition didn't improve at all. I'm VERY confused!

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