Method 1 of 3: Getting Rid of an Outbreak Download Article
- Any kind of tights, leggings, or yoga pants can trap sweat in the area.
- Breathable, cotton materials are best for undergarments.
- If possible, sleep without underwear on to let the infection air out overnight.
- Don’t scrub the area hard. This could cause irritation and rupture some of the cysts.
- Don’t use harsh antiseptics like rubbing alcohol on the area. This can make the inflammation worse.
- Always clean the washcloth in between uses. Bacteria can live on the washcloth and re-infect the area.
- Make sure the water is only warm, not hot. Hot water could burn you or inflame the area.
- If you can’t remove your pants to apply the compress, then try sitting on a heating pad to get a similar, soothing effect.
- There are many types of hydrocortisone cream available. Follow the application instructions on any product you use.
- Don’t cover the cream with a bandage or wrapping. This locks in sweat and dirt.
- Ask a pharmacist for assistance if you aren’t sure which cream is best for you.
- Follow the dosage directions on whichever pain reliever you use.
- If the pain doesn’t improve within 3 days, contact your doctor for an exam.
Method 2 of 3: Using Medical Treatments Download Article
- Apply the cream in a light layer, unless your doctor tells you to apply it differently. Heavy creams block the follicles and can make the infection worse.
Take oral antibiotics to fight the infection. If the infection doesn’t respond to antibiotic cream, the dermatologist may try an oral antibiotic to fight it systemically. Take the prescription pill according to their instructions and finish the full course.
- Antibiotics sometimes cause nausea and an upset stomach. If antibiotics bother your stomach, take them with a meal or light snack.
- Always finish the full course of antibiotics, even if the infection clears up. Stopping antibiotic treatments early can encourage the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Use a topical steroid to reduce the inflammation. If the infection was caused by a virus or is unresponsive to antibiotics, then the dermatologist may try a steroid cream instead. These products reduce inflammation and can help the infection clear up. Use the product that your doctor recommends and apply it as instructed.
- There are OTC and prescription topical steroids. Your doctor may suggest buying an OTC product from the pharmacy or prescribe a stronger type, depending on the severity of your rash.
Method 3 of 3: Preventing Future Outbreaks Download Article
Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing to prevent sweat buildup. If you’re prone to buttock folliculitis, then avoid wearing tight clothing that traps sweat and dirt. Wear loose-fitting, cotton underwear and loose pants. This keeps the area ventilated and reduces the chances of outbreaks.
- Tight pants are okay occasionally. For example, you can wear yoga pants to the gym, as long as you change as soon as possible after your workout.
- Sleeping without underwear is also a good way to prevent sweat from building up in the area.
Bathe whenever you get sweaty. Sweat is the main cause of folliculitis, so prevent outbreaks by preventing sweat from building up. Wash up as soon as possible after going to the gym, playing sports, or working outside. Let the water run over your buttocks to remove any sweat buildups.
- Remember to use gentle, fragrance-free soap to prevent irritating your skin.
- If you’re unable to bathe after sweating, then at least change out of your sweaty clothes. Remember to put on fresh underwear as well.
Avoid shaving the area to prevent irritation. Shaving is another major cause of folliculitis. If you shave your buttocks, then you’re at a higher risk of developing an infection. Refrain from shaving to prevent an outbreak.
- If you have to shave the area, shave with the grain of your hair. Avoid shaving over any bumps or irritations to avoid making them worse.
- Laser or chemical hair removal can accomplish the same goal as shaving but with less risk of irritation. Look into these treatments instead of shaving.
Make sure you only swim in pools that are properly treated with chlorine. One form of folliculitis comes from dirty pools and hot tubs. If you have your own pool, make sure you treat it regularly with chlorine and keep its pH regulated between 7.4 and 7.6. If you’re at a public or hotel pool, look for signs that the pool is dirty and don’t swim if you suspect it isn’t well-regulated.
- Signs of a dirty pool or hot tub are cloudy or discolored water, slime buildup on pumps and equipment, and foam on the surface.
- You can also request to see the inspection records for public pools. If the owners don’t let you see them, then this may indicate that the pool isn’t well-regulated.
Remove and wash your swimsuit as soon as you leave the pool. Bacteria and fungus from the pool can remain on your swimsuit and cause irritations like folliculitis. Don’t leave your swimsuit on after leaving the pool. Remove it right away and put on fresh clothes. Wash the swimsuit thoroughly to kill any bacteria.
- Wash your swimsuit in hot water to kill any bacteria, especially if you suspect the water wasn’t clean.
- Don’t reuse your swimsuit without washing it. The bacteria can remain on surfaces even after the swimsuit dries.
Keep your immune system healthy with nutrition and rest. People with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of folliculitis. Strengthen your immune system to increase your chances of fighting off the infection. Follow a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and get 8 hours of sleep each night to keep your immunity up. You might also consider following an anti-inflammatory diet or a low-glycemic diet, or trying intermittent fasting.
- Avoid activities like smoking, heavy drinking, and using drugs. These can all suppress your immune system.
- Don’t snack between meals as this causes insulin response activation, which can make inflammation worse.
- Stress is a major drain on your immune system. If you’re under a lot of stress, try reducing it to improve your immunity. Meditate, practice deep breathing, or do yoga.