Can Bacterial Infections Cause Hair Loss? 

HK Vitals

Hair loss can be a distressing condition, and while many people associate it with factors like genetics or hormonal changes, bacterial infections can also contribute to hair loss. 

Understanding what kind of bacterial infections cause hair loss, the many bacterial infection symptoms, causes, and preventive measures can help you take proactive steps to maintain healthy hair. 

In this article, we will explore the connection between bacterial infections and hair loss, along with the preventive measures you can take.

How Does Bacterial Infections Cause Hair Loss?

Bacterial infections can affect various parts of the body, including the scalp. When these infections target the hair follicles, they can disrupt the hair growth cycle and lead to hair loss. 

Here are some common bacterial infections that can cause hair loss:

  • Folliculitis: This is a common bacterial infection of the hair follicles that can result in hair loss. It is characterized by inflamed, red bumps that may be filled with pus. Folliculitis can occur due to bacterial overgrowth, poor hygiene, excessive sweating, or damage to the follicles from shaving with unhygienic blades or tight hairstyles.
  • Cellulitis: Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin that can affect the scalp and lead to hair loss. It causes redness, swelling, and pain in the affected area. If left untreated, cellulitis can damage hair follicles and result in permanent hair loss.
  • Impetigo: Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection caused by Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria. When impetigo affects the scalp, it can lead to hair loss in the affected areas. It typically manifests as red sores that ooze and form a yellowish crust.
  • Tinea Capitis: Also known as scalp ringworm, tinea capitis is a fungal infection that a secondary bacterial infection can accompany. It can cause hair loss, scaling, itching, and inflammation on the scalp. Bacterial infection secondary to tinea capitis can exacerbate hair loss.

Bacterial Infection Symptoms

Recognizing the bacterial infection symptoms is crucial for early detection and treatment. Common symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Presence of pustules or crusts on the scalp

If you notice these symptoms, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Bacterial Infection Causes

A bacterial infection of the scalp can occur due to various factors, including: 

  • Poor hygiene
  • Compromised immune system
  • Exposure to contaminated surfaces
  • Pre-existing skin conditions. 

Scratching the scalp excessively, sharing personal items like combs or hats, or having close contact with individuals who have a bacterial infection can also increase the risk.

Measures to Prevent Hair Loss due to Bacterial Infections

To prevent hair loss caused by bacterial infections, consider the following preventive measures:

  • Maintain Good Hygiene: Practice proper scalp hygiene by washing your hair regularly with a mild shampoo. Avoid using harsh hair products that can irritate the scalp. Keep your combs, brushes, and other hair accessories clean.
  • Avoid Sharing Personal Items: Refrain from sharing personal items such as combs, hats, towels, or hair accessories, as this can facilitate the spread of bacterial infections.
  • Protect Your Scalp: If you participate in activities that expose your scalp to potential bacteria, such as swimming in public pools, wear a swim cap to minimize the risk of infection.
  • Treat Skin Conditions Promptly: Promptly treat any underlying skin conditions, such as acne or eczema, as they can create an environment conducive to bacterial growth.
  • Seek Professional Help: If you suspect a bacterial infection or experience persistent scalp issues, consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist. They can diagnose the specific infection, prescribe appropriate medications, and provide guidance on managing the condition.


Bacterial infections can contribute to hair loss by affecting the hair follicles and disrupting the growth cycle. Understanding the bacterial infection symptoms, causes, and which kind of bacterial infections can cause hair loss is essential for early detection and treatment. By practicing good hygiene, taking preventive measures, and seeking professional help when needed, you can minimize the risk of bacterial infections and maintain healthy hair.

HK Vitals


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