©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Bacterial Skin Infections

Picture of Folliculitis

Picture of Folliculitis

Folliculitis is a condition that results when hair follicles become infected and inflamed. Razor bumps, hot tub rash, and barber's itch are all examples of folliculitis. The condition can appear anywhere on the skin. Symptoms of folliculitis commonly include a rash, itching, and pimples near hairs in the neck, groin, or genital area.

Bacteria are typically to blame for folliculitis. Sometimes viruses or fungi may be responsible for the infection. Hair follicles are usually damaged by something prior to becoming infected. Exposure to heat, sweat, and skin dressings containing adhesive tape may all irritate hair follicles. Friction from shaving, wearing tight clothes, skin injury (scrapes), and skin conditions like acne and dermatitis can also predispose one to folliculitis.

Folliculitis treatment may include the use of a hot, moist compress to help drain the infected hair follicles. Oral or topical antibiotics may be prescribed as well as antifungal medicine. Treatments tend to work well at stopping folliculitis, but the condition may return.

Image Source: Color Atlas & Synopsis of Pediatric Dermatology Kay Shou-Mei Kane, Jen Bissonette Ryder, Richard Allen Johnson, Howard P. Baden, Alexander Stratigos Copyright 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.

Text Reference: Primary Care Dermatology Society: “Folliculitis and Boils (Furuncles/Carbuncles)”