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folliculitis questions
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folliculitis questions

i was diagnosed with folliculitis almost a week ago and put on keflex.  it seems to be getting better, but i am not really sure as the area of the rash has not yet decreased.  and it still itches like crazy!  i was not happy with the info that he gave me, and it seems that dermatologists are not really concerned with the condition as it is very common.  so, i have been doing much research on the internet.  now i have some questions about conflicting info.  first, the bacteria that most commonly is the cause of the spread and inflamation (inflammation) of folliculitis is staph, right?  you have said that it is not contagious, yet other sites claim that it is.  i have read to use a different towel each day (hard for those of us who use a laundromat and don't own an abundance of towels) in order to not spread the bacteria, and that scratching will spread the rash as it is spreading the bacteria under finger nails from one body part to another.  should i change my clothes often and sleep in something different each night?  do clothes just touching the infected skin spread the infection?  also, you have said to use bacitracin, found in neosporin, as did the doctor that i saw, but he also said that greasy lotions are bad as they don't allow the follicle to breathe.  so use the neosporin or not?  and, neosporin packages warn not to use over large areas of the body, but my folliculitis is covering basically the whole of my arms and legs.  also, i know that it is cosmetic and should be the least of my worries, but i would really like to remove the hair from my legs as soon as possible.  should i shave or use a depillitory cream?  and when can i do it?  do i have to wait until the rash is all gone?  also, is scratching really that bad?  i just can't not scratch; it is so uncomfortable.  any suggestions on how to make it itch less?  and lastly, should i see a dermatologist?  it seems that this is a pretty basic infection, i have no insurance, but don't want to risk anything with my skin as i am a somewhat vain 23 year old woman.  oh, and someone else on this site asked you about scarring.  is this going to scar?  any suggestions on how to stop it from scarring (i am sure the scratching doesn't help!) and get rid of the scars if they do appear?  
thanks so much for your help!
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In general, folliculitis is not contagious.  You do not need to use a different towel each day.  Scratching does not spread it.  Don't change your clothes more than usual.  Bacitracin or neosporin are both good, even if they're ointments.  You can remove the hair anytime, including now.  Scratching makes redness last longer but is not all that bad.  You should see a dermatologist once, for definitive diagnosis and therapy.  Folliculitis generally does not scar.  Because scars will not appear, you just have to wait and the redness will go away.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
2 Comments
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I would suggest to rub an icecube on the itchy spot, it really allevates the urge. Another one I use is to leave a bottle of E45 lotion in the fridge and use cold on the itchy spot. My son who suffers from ezema says that it works.
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