If you are a track runner, keeping yourself in good health is very important because track is a physical sport requiring a lot of energy and focus. If you are suffering even from seemingly insignificant skin problems such as scabs on scalp or scalp folliculitis, running can become more challenging. Most skin problems, particularly folliculitis, are usually itchy and painful. The itchiness can be hard to control and it may occur anytime. If the itching and pain occurs while you are on the track, they can easily distract you and affect your overall performance.
Whether you are a runner, a famous person or an ordinary individual, you may suffer from folliculitis, a condition characterized by irritating skin rash that can develop into fluid-filled bumps. It is a type of infection that develops when the hair follicles become clogged with dirt, oil fungus or bacteria. Folliculitis may appear in different parts of the body but it is more common in the scalp.
Risk Factors of Folliculitis
You are at risk of folliculitis if you:
- Frequent hot tubs, swimming pools or whirlpools that are not treated properly with chlorine
- Often wear tight clothing
- Take steroid creams or antibiotics for a long period of time
- Use oil-based make-up and other skin care products which may clog the follicles
- Have a wound, cut or scrape that is infected since the bacteria can spread to the surrounding hair follicles
- Are suffering from conditions that affect your body’s ability to fight infections
- Are sharing your personal items such as comb, washcloth and towels
Folliculitis initially appears like red pimples with a hair growing in the middle of each one. These pimple-like lumps may or may not have lumps in them. They are also usually itchy and painful. Folliculitis acquired after bathing in a hot tub more often appears about 72 hours after bathing. Most cases of folliculitis normally go away in about two weeks.
Treatment for Folliculitis
The following steps for personal care can be done at home to prevent folliculitis from worsening and to allow for faster healing:
- Apply warm compress on the affected area using equal parts white vinegar and warm water. This can help soothe the itching.
- If the folliculitis is on the scalp, medicated shampoos may also promote healing.
- If your condition does not improve after two weeks despite personal care, you may have to see a dermatologist who can recommend an appropriate treatment for you. Common treatment normally includes the use of antifungal pills or antibiotics.
Additionally, see your doctor at any time if your folliculitis comes with other symptoms, including:
- Fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Recurring folliculitis
- If the lumps become swollen, reddish in color, warm and more painful
Folliculitis is a non-life threatening condition and is also preventable. You can prevent it by avoiding the risk factors listed above. For track and field runners, a general knowledge on the risk factors and personal care for folliculitis is vital to avoid this condition or to recover from it quickly.