Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicle. It can occur anywhere on your skin or scalp. There are many types of folliculitis.
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Folliculitis has many causes. It may be infectious or noninfectious.
Infectious folliculitis is caused by:
Non-infectious folliculitis may be caused by:
Contact dermatitis (poison ivy), acne, or rosacea may also cause folliculitis.
Factors that may increase your chances of folliculitis include:
Folliculitis may cause:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Diagnosis may be made by looking at your skin. Testing will help your doctor determine the type and cause of the folliculitis. Other tests may be done to rule out specific skin or health conditions.
Tests may include:
In most cases, folliculitis is treated with medication. The type of medication depends on the cause of the folliculitis. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment option for you.
Infectious folliculitis may be treated with:
Non-infectious folliculitis may be treated with:
American Academy of Dermatology
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Canadian Dermatology Association
Public Health Agency of Canada
Folliculitis. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aocd.org/?page=Folliculitis. Accessed September 25, 2014.
Folliculitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 25, 2014. Accessed September 25, 2014.
Hot tub rash (Pseudomonas dermatitis/folliculitis). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/rwi/illnesses/hot-tub-rash.html. Updated April 15, 2014. Accessed September 25, 2014.
Luelmo-Aguilar J, Satandreu MS. Folliculitis: recognition and management. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2004;5(5):301-310.
Last reviewed August 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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