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Folliculitis (cont.)


When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for Folliculitis?

Virtually all human beings experience folliculitis at some time in their lives with the vast majority of cases spontaneously resolving. So medical care should be sought only if the condition persists and starts to hinder normal daily activities. Bacterial folliculitis can produce deeper abscesses commonly called boils which often require a draining procedure and/or oral antibiotics. If caused by an antibiotic-resistant bacteria (MRSA, or methicillin-resistant S. aureus), the doctor may have to culture the pus to determine the correct drug to prescribe.

How Do Doctors Assess and Diagnose Folliculitis?

Since there are so many causes of folliculitis, precision in diagnosis is often difficult. If it becomes necessary to see a physician, it is often essential to culture for microorganisms and occasionally to perform a biopsy of the follicular tissue for pathologic examination. For noninfectious causes it is critical to obtain a history that accurately implicates exposure to an inciting agent. Certain auto-inflammatory conditions may have a characteristic clinical appearance that the physician can recognize.

What Are Treatment Options for Folliculitis?

Patient Comments

Treatment depends on the diagnosis. It is very important not to miss a diagnosis caused by an infectious organism because these infections can often be cured by the appropriate medication. Folliculitis produced by poor shaving technique can be treated with weak topical steroids like 1% hydrocortisone cream.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/6/2016

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