Folliculitis is the infection and inflammation of one or more hair follicles. The condition may occur anywhere on the skin with the exception of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The rash may appear as pimples that come to white tips on the face, chest, back, arms, legs, and head.
Folliculitis starts with the introduction of a skin pathogen to a hair follicle. Hair follicles can also be damaged by friction from clothing, an insect bite, blockage of the follicle, shaving, or braids too tight and too close to the scalp. The damaged follicles are then infected with the bacteriumStaphylococcus. Folliculitis usually affects those in their early adult life, and may persist till their early 30s. Warmer weather may worsen the condition.
Hot-tub folliculitis is caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The folliculitis usually occurs after sitting in a hot tub that was not properly cleaned before use. Symptoms are found around the body parts that sit in the hot tub—typically the legs, hips, buttocks, and surrounding areas. Symptoms are typically amplified around regions that were covered by wet clothing, such as bathing suits.
Sycosis vulgaris, Sycosis barbae or Barber's itch is a staphylococcus infection of the hair follicles in the bearded area of the face, usually the upper lip. Shaving aggravates the condition.
Oil folliculitis is inflammation of hair follicles due to exposure to various oils and typically occurs on forearms or thighs. It is common in refinery workers, road workers, mechanics, and sheep shearers. Even makeup may cause it.
Malignancy may also be represented by recalcitrant cases.