This blog will explain why hair follicles become blocked and how to prevent and treat them.

  • It is not entirely clear what causes blocked hair follicles to form. 
  • Poor hygiene does not cause clogged hair follicles. 
  • They are not also contagious.  

It is believed that blocked hair follicles form as a result of this process: 

  • Keratin, a naturally occurring protein found in hair, skin, and nails, clogs hair follicles. 
  • Sweat is trapped inside the clogged hair follicle. 
  • Bacteria breed and multiply in the clogged hair follicle. 
  • The bacteria-infested hair follicle expands and ruptures.
  • Under the skin, a painful pimple or swollen lump filled with pus forms. 
  • Bacteria from the burst follicle spreads, clogging more follicles and causing more pimples to form. 

Certain risk factors may increase your chances of having blocked hair follicles. 

They are as follows: 

  • Having a health condition that causes insulin resistance or a hormonal imbalance, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).  
  • Psoriasis, being Black, Hispanic, or biracial, and having a family history of hidradenitis suppurativa. 
  • Having an excess of weight. 
  • Cigarette smoking. 

How do blocked hair follicles feel?

  • Blocked hair follicles can be excruciatingly painful, especially if boils form deep beneath the skin. They may itch as well. 
  • When pimples and cysts form in areas that rub together and cause friction, your skin may become irritated and sore. 
  • As the condition worsens, you may notice black dots that resemble blackheads, often in pairs. 
  • You may notice an unpleasant odor if abscesses form and leak.


What are the risks of having blocked hair follicles? 

  • Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic condition that can flare up and go away. 
  • Tunnels under the skin can connect the lumps caused by blocked hair follicles. 
  • These tunnels could be leaking pus or blood. 
  • Scar tissue may form during the healing process. 
  • Scar tissue may eventually thicken and turn red. 
  • Areas of skin, such as your underarms or groin, may develop widespread lumps and significant amounts of thickened scar tissue over time. 
  • Tunnels and thickened scar tissue can cause chronic pain and limit arm or leg movement. 
  • Mild hidradenitis suppurativa can have symptoms similar to folliculitis- a common skin condition. 
  • A dermatologist can assist you in determining which condition you have. It is critical.

How are hair follicles that have become clogged treated? 

If your hair follicles are clogged, try the following home remedies: 

  • Wear nonrestrictive clothing that allows your skin to breathe. 
  • Use antibacterial soap to clean the area. 
  • Avoid squeezing or popping pimples or boils. 
  • Warm water compresses can be used to treat painful lumps.
  • A black tea bag can also be used to make a warm compress. 
  • Keep your skin dry and cool, and try to keep your sweating to a minimum. 
  • Do not wax the area or do anything else that could irritate the skin. 
  • If you must shave, use antibacterial soap to clean the area, gel shaving foam to protect your skin, and a new blade. 
  • Deodorants containing alcohol, parabens, baking soda, dyes, fragrance, or other harsh ingredients should be avoided. 

Treatments for mild to moderate cases of blocked hair follicles: 

  • Acne treatment with benzoyl peroxide anti-inflammatory medications for the body 
  • steroids. 
  • Humira, a biologic medication approved for this purpose by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Oral isotretinoin.
  • Pain relievers. 
  • Surgery may be required to remove scar tissue and deep lumps in severe hidradenitis suppurativa.
  • Topical and oral antibiotics like essential oils, plant-based butters, water, body scrubs and other natural substances.

What can you do to avoid clogged hair follicles? 

  • It can be difficult to completely avoid and remove clogged hair follicles.
  • According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 70 to 90 percent of people with hidradenitis suppurativa smoke. 
  • Stopping or limiting smoking may reduce flare-ups or even eliminate this condition entirely. 
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and limiting your sugar intake can help. 
  • Cutting back on simple carbohydrates like desserts, white bread, and white potatoes can also help. 
  • Laser hair removal may be advantageous. 
  • This condition may be exacerbated by stress. 
  • Stress-relieving activities like exercise, meditation, and yoga may be beneficial. 
  • Keep your cool when exercising. 
  • If your clothing becomes damp and sweaty, change into dry clothes as soon as possible.

What is the distinction between clogged hair follicles and folliculitis? 

  • A clogged hair follicle is a symptom of an inflammatory skin condition. 
  • It can be treated and often avoided, but there is no cure. 
  • Folliculitis is an infection or inflammation of the hair follicles. 
  • It is frequently self-resolving, but it can become chronic. 
  • Folliculitis occurs more frequently than hidradenitis suppurativa. 
  • Medical treatments for folliculitis and mild hidradenitis suppurativa may be similar.

Is it possible to spread blocked hair follicles?  

  • No. Hair follicle blockages are not contagious. 
  • This condition cannot be contracted by touching or coming into contact with someone who has it. 

Is poor hygiene to blame for clogged hair follicles? 

  • No. 
  • The exact cause of hair follicle blockage is unknown. 
  • There is no role for hygiene. 
  • In fact, if you have this condition, doctors advise against scrubbing your skin when cleaning it. 

Does diet have an impact on clogged hair follicles? 

It's possible. Insulin resistance and clogged hair follicles appear to be linked. 

Reducing your intake of simple carbohydrates may help reduce or eliminate flareups. 

Being overweight may also pose a risk. 

Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a well-balanced diet may be beneficial.  

Will this condition cause scarring and be unsightly if I have it? 

  • No. 
  • It can be difficult to treat blocked hair follicles, but early intervention can significantly reduce the severity of the condition. 
  • Find a doctor you can trust, and do everything you can to lower your personal risk. 
  • If you smoke, make an effort to quit.


Acne-like breakouts could be folliculitis. (n.d.).


Garg A. (2018). Hidradenitis suppurativa is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome: A population-based analysis in the United States.

Hidradenitis suppurativa. (2016).

Ludmann P. (2022). Hidradenitis suppurativa: Causes.