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How Do You Treat Scalp Folliculitis?

Reviewed on 8/26/2020

What Is Scalp Folliculitis?

Scalp folliculitis is the blockage of hair follicles on the head with bacteria. Scalp creams and shampoos with corticosteroids and antibiotics can help control the condition.
Scalp folliculitis is the blockage of hair follicles on the head with bacteria. Scalp creams and shampoos with corticosteroids and antibiotics can help control the condition.

Scalp folliculitis is a disorder that occurs when hair follicles in the scalp become blocked or infected with bacteria. Less commonly, the infection may also be caused by a virus or fungus in the hair follicle. Hair follicles are sacs under the skin where hairs originate.

What Are Symptoms of Scalp Folliculitis?

Symptoms of scalp folliculitis affect the scalp and include:

  • Small red bumps that appear like pimples, some with white heads on them
  • Bumps may appear in groups
  • Bumps may be itchy
  • May be painful or tender
  • Blisters 
    • May open, ooze, and crust over
  • Large areas of red, swollen skin that may leak pus

What Causes Scalp Folliculitis?

Scalp folliculitis is considered to be an inflammatory reaction to blockages of hair follicles, and is believed to be caused by: 

  • Bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Cutibacterium acnes)
  • Yeasts (Malassezia species)
  • Mites (Demodex folliculorum)
  • Skin products
  • Hair removal processes such as shaving, waxing, and plucking 
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Some drugs, such as corticosteroids 
  • Tight clothing
  • Sticky bandages

How Is Scalp Folliculitis Diagnosed?

Scalp folliculitis is usually diagnosed with a patient history and physical examination. 

Tests that may be indicated to help confirm a diagnosis of scalp folliculitis or to rule out other conditions may include: 

What Is the Treatment for Scalp Folliculitis?

Treatment for scalp folliculitis includes:

How Do You Prevent Scalp Folliculitis?

Scalp folliculitis may be prevented in some cases. 

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Use clean razor blades and replace blades frequently, or use an electric razor or hair removal products (depilatories) instead of shaving or waxing
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing that can irritate the skin
  • Avoid use of oily skin products
  • Be careful if entering a hot tub – only use hot tubs you know are well-maintained

QUESTION

Ringworm is caused by a fungus. See Answer

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Reviewed on 8/26/2020
References
Medscape Medical Reference



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