Folliculitis most often occurs due to an aggravating factor or irritant, and is thus reasonably preventable. It goes without saying that sound general hygiene practices can go a long way in preventing certain forms of the condition.
Some considerations which can help to reduce the probability of an outbreak occurring include:
1. Hair removal
Shaving is one of the main irritants leading to the development of folliculitis, particularly in men. Care can be taken to reduce the closeness of shaving, shaving less regularly (not daily), using antibacterial soaps and washes with warm water before shaving, using cloths or cleansing pads in gentle circular motions before shaving to help raise any embedded hairs, using adequate amounts of shaving lotions or lubricants prior to shaving, and shaving in the direction of the hair growth. Do not ever shave over or scratch existing bumps.
Using a sharp blade which is rinsed in clean warm water, or electric razors and applying a moisturising lotion or cream after shaving can considerably reduce the formation of folliculitis bumps. No shaving or other personal care items should ever be shared with others. If shaving, plucking and waxing are aggravating, alternative hair removal products, like depilatories (creams mostly for use on the arms and legs, not for facial hair), or laser therapy are options to consider.
If prone to folliculitis, limiting or avoiding tight fitting clothing styles is recommended. This helps to reduce friction between the skin and items of clothing, and thereby the likelihood of folliculitis breakouts. If rubber gloves are worn regularly, it is advisable to turn them inside out after use, rinsing well with clean warm water and soap, and allowing them to dry out thoroughly before using them again.
3. Causal precautions
If a cause of folliculitis is identified, it’s fairly simple to avoid many aggravating agents. For instance, drug induced folliculitis may be avoided by discontinuing medication use. Personal care products or cosmetics, blunt and unclean razors, poor shaving techniques, hot tubs, heated pools (Jacuzzis) and spa baths are all other examples of factors which can be avoided. Instead of wearing sweaty clothing for a long period of time after strenuous exercise, rather shower or bathe promptly.
A person prone to breakouts can also be more selective about the products and cosmetics used and choose those which are least likely to clog up pores and hair follicles (oil should be avoided as these can trap bacteria on the skin and result in folliculitis bumps). Underlying medical conditions which also aggravate folliculitis symptoms should be sufficiently treated / controlled by medical professionals.