Posted by Bats (Perth, Wa) on 10/13/2012
I have had what I believe is a form of scalp follicultis for about 12 years. The only thing that I can relate it to was starting at a gym and therefore sweating more than normal for an hour 3 or 4 times a week. I still gym about 6 times a week and also sometimes work outdoors in the heat of summer, so sweat ALOT!
Having had acne is my teens/twenties, I assumed it was just a side effect of a greasey skin/hair. I noticed that the only time it ever cleared up was when I went on a course of antibiotics. I am susceptible to sinusitis and bronchitis in the winter. Some years I can get away with no colds, but if I catch a cold and it hasn't gone of its own accord in 3 weeks, antibiotics are the ONLY thing to clear it. The infection could last for months otherwise. And the side-effect of taking the antibiotics was that the folliculitis went away.... usually for about 4 months.
More recently I was put on antibiotics after a tooth extraction. I hadn't had antibiotics for well over a year. The folliculitis went away but only for two weeks. I mentioned this to my doctor who put me on a course for a month - this time specifically for the spots. Spots went away after a week but came back before I'd finished the course. This had never happened before. I have been referred to a dermatologist now and am due to see him later this month.
I recently had a case of sinusitis which had the usual effect of laying me low for 4 weeks. Got tired really quickly. 1st batch of antibiotics started to work, then the sinus infection came back before I finished them, so I was put on a combination of amoxycillin & potassium clavulanate. The 2nd ingredient is meant to help antibiotics overcome resistant bacterial strains. It worked on both the sinus infection AND the folliculitis and I find myself free of scalp zits once again. It remains to be seen how long that lasts but I think I'm going to put the dermatologist visit on hold until the problem returns.... which I'm guessing it will.
Other remedies I have tried.... Medicated shampoo, T Gel.. Tea tree shampoo... Keeping pillow cases and towels as clean as possible. Cutting out wheat, alcohol, dairy produce from my diet. None of these had the slightest effect.
I'm sure my immune system is below par. I had glandular fever when I was 20 and, ever since, some colds can easily turn into a sinus or chest infection and lay me low with flu type symptoms for weeks/months when most people would recover without any real problems.
I'm loathe to take any antibiotic long term, even though it is the only thing to work... Albeit the problem has, so far, always returned. It is BLISS when it goes away!!
I'll try a few of the remedies suggested here. Turmeric? Well I eat curry regularly so get alot of this already. Not sure I want to smell of vinegar all day and, being on the scalp, creams/ointments are not easy to apply.
And I also get quite deep pernicious spots on the face - the cheek area specifically. These spots take months to clear and are much deeper in the skin than the scalp spots. Worst of all, they often leave a pock mark scar. These also go when I take antibiotics. They are also more prevalent in the winter. As with acne, UV does help to keep them at bay. When a teenager, I loved sunbathing because UV ALWAYS killed the acne. It was the only time it went away! I'll probably get skin cancer but as any acne infested teenager will tell you, it'd have been worth it!