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Folliculitis Facts

  • Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles and the immediate surrounding tissue. The hair follicle is the growth area in the skin for a hair.
  • It only occurs on skin with hair.
  • There are many causes of folliculitis.
  • Exposure to infectious bacteria, immune system suppression, and occupational exposures can predispose to folliculitis.
  • Redness swelling and pustule formation at the site of the hair follicle opening are required for diagnosis of folliculitis.
  • Serious folliculitis requires a visit to the doctor.
  • Management of folliculitis requires investigation of the cause.
  • Complete recovery from folliculitis is the rule.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/31/2015

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Folliculitis:

Folliculitis - Causes

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Folliculitis - Treatment

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How is folliculitis treated?

Mild folliculitis usually heals on its own in about 2 weeks. You can take care of yourself at home with:

  • Warm compresses made with white vinegar or Burow's solution. These may ease itching and help healing.
  • Medicated shampoo. It can be used to treat folliculitis on the scalp or beard.

If the infection doesn't go away, you may need an antibiotic or antifungal cream. If your infection is severe, your doctor will prescribe antibiotic or antifungal pills.

Call your doctor if you have folliculitis and:

  • It spreads or keeps coming back.
  • You have a fever over 101°F (38°C).
  • The infected area becomes red, swollen, warm, or more painful.



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