What is Oil Folliculitis?

Oil folliculitis is inflammation of hair follicles caused by exposure to various oils in the workplace. When the skin absorbs too much oil, it can lead to small pustules surrounded by a red halo in affected areas. Typically found on the forearms and thighs, these lesions may show obvious oil blockage in the follicles. The pustules can be sterile or contain harmless skin bacteria, like Staphylococcus epidermidis, and may cause varying levels of discomfort.

Occupations at risk of oil folliculitis include

Occupations at risk of oil folliculitis include

– Oil field and refinery workers dealing with crude petroleum

– Workers in the engineering industry

– Diesel mechanics exposed to impure paraffin mixtures

– Sheep shearers working with wool fats

– Road workers handling coal tar distillates, including pitch and creosote Additionally, the use of topical creams or ointments containing coal tar for treating conditions like eczema and psoriasis can also lead to oil folliculitis in some cases.


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