Although genital folliculitis may be a bit painful, you can easily prevent it and treat it at home. Without prompt attention, however, an infected follicle can develop into a genital abscess, which will need medical attention.
What causes genital folliculitis?
Folliculitis, even in the genital region, is generally not contagious. However, due to the proximity of hair follicles to one another in the vaginal region, the infection can spread from one to the next, eventually looking like a patch of acne.
Folliculitis happens when your hair follicles are damaged. When they’re damaged, it’s easy for germs to get inside the follicles and cause an infection. The infection can be caused by bacteria, usually by Staphylococcus aureus (staph), viruses, or fungi.
Hair follicles can be damaged by:
- Touching or rubbing your skin frequently
- Wearing tight clothing
The initially infected follicle may occur as a result of an ingrown hair, caused by a follicle blocked by sweat and dead skin cells. Genital folliculitis is more common in areas of the body where hair is rough and often shaved, including the vaginal region. There, the hair is coarser, the skin is more sensitive, and the risk of bacterial infection from razors or other hair removal products is higher.