ZocdocAnswersWhy did I get folliculitis?

Question

Why did I get folliculitis?

I waxed my legs a few weeks ago and got folliculitis. Why did this happen? Will it definitely happen again if I wax again? I'm female, age 30.

Answer

Folliculitis is a bacterial infection of the base of the hair shafts, or follicles. It is usually easily treated with good skin care and a topical antibiotic cream. However, more severe cases may require oral antibiotics prescribed by your primary care doctor. Unfortunately, folliculitis after waxing is very common. Basically, what happens is that the waxing rips the hairs out at their roots and the absence of the hair root creates a small hole at the skin which allows bacteria to enter and to set up an infection. It is, unfortunately, very likely that this will happen to you again if you continue to wax, as you have already shown that your skin is susceptible to this type of infection. It might be advisable for you to consider other types of hair removal strategies. For some people, shaving results in less folliculitis, as do depilatory creams. If you wish a more permanent solution, you may want to consider laser hair removal or electrolytic hair removal. Both of these methods are well tolerated and are less like to lead to skin infections. Unfortunately, they do tend to be quite expensive. If you have further questions about your hair removal options, you should talk with your dermatologist or your primary care doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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