Is folliculitis contagious?

Usually, folliculitis is not contagious, especially when it is commonly caused by a bacterial infection. However, there are some folliculitis caused by fungal infections, at which point it can be contagious. Bacterial folliculitis is mostly caused by Staphylococcus aureus infection. High temperature, excessive sweating, scratching, poor living habits, systemic chronic diseases, and long-term application of immunosuppressants are common triggering factors. Patients are advised to seek medical attention in a timely manner to clarify the pathogenic bacteria and follow medical advice for treatment. If the condition is mild, topical treatment is usually based on topical fusidic acid cream, mupirocin ointment or tincture of iodine, which can also be supplemented by physical therapy such as far-infrared rays or semiconductor laser. In case of multiple folliculitis and boils, oral antibiotics can be given; in case of systemic symptoms, antibiotics can be given intravenously. Antibiotics are usually cephalosporins, macrolides or quinolones, and can also be selected based on drug sensitivity tests. Fungal folliculitis is most often caused by Malassezia infection and occurs in men as well as on the chest and back of adolescents. Common causative factors include long-term use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, glucocorticoids, etc. The main clinical treatment is antifungal treatment, which can be topical ketoconazole, miconazole, etc., and oral itraconazole and other drugs are needed to assist in case of poor treatment. The patient’s clothing and daily necessities need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to prevent reinfection. Patients suffering from folliculitis should pay attention to skin cleanliness, maintain personal hygiene, prevent trauma, enhance physical fitness, avoid squeezing and scratching the skin lesions to avoid scar formation.

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